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The Confluence

Penguins to be Tested in January

If you were to glance at the NHL scores last night and see the Penguins’ 8-1 trouncing of the Lightning at the CEC, you would have probably thought that Sidney Crosby had yet another big night.

That wasn’t the case, at least on the scoresheet.  Crosby only had a mere assist in the Pens’ big win.  That could bode well for the Penguins, who have seemingly always needed secondary scoring help.  Sure, Tampa was gassed from their 1-0 overtime win over Washington the night before.  So let’s keep things in perspective.

But in the next few weeks we should get a pretty good idea of just what kind of team the Penguins have, as they face several of the top teams in the NHL.

As we’re exactly halfway through the regular season after the Pens’ win over the Lightning in game #41, the Penguins have a record of 16-2-1 against teams who are currently not in the playoffs, if they were to start today.  However, against teams who are in the playoffs, the Pens are a pedestrian 10-10-2.

A caveat:  Seven of those losses against playoff teams came early in the year when they (specifically Marc-Andre Fleury) were struggling mightily.  Since their 7-4 loss to Boston on Nov. 10th, the Penguins have gone 19-4-2.

So now that they’re halfway through the season, they’re basically healthy now with Jordan Staal now back in the lineup, they’re about to get a stern test.

Two games in Montreal (including tonight), home and away games against Boston, a home game against Minnesota, and last but certainly not least, a home game against their bosom buddies, the Detroit Red Wings, on January 18th.

Most of you have probably read, as I have, every now and then how the Penguins’ recent long win streak was mostly against subpar teams.  Well, there’s some truth to that, of course.  So we’re about to find out just how good the Penguins really are.

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  Tags: nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins

Comments

Avatar

Is anybody who saw episode four of the HBO show last night still not convinced that Steckel knew what he was doing when he hit Crosby?

Posted by NathanBC on 01/06/11 at 02:08 PM ET

Tony's avatar

I’m over it, but yeah, he sure as hell followed though as if he knew exactly what he was doing….

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 01/06/11 at 02:13 PM ET

JMK's avatar

I think Crosby might still be feeling the effects of that hit.  Looked kind of sluggish last night.

Posted by JMK on 01/06/11 at 02:22 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by JMK on 01/06/11 at 12:22 PM ET

Yeah, he did look sluggish, but he did at times seem to ‘turn it on’ going for a puck behind the net. I think the score and back-to-backs probably had a bit to do with it, and I don’t think Hedman’s hit to the back of his head helped him, in fact, I think it didn’t help at all.

Posted by NathanBC on 01/06/11 at 03:18 PM ET

Avatar

Whether Steckel knew or not, Several Penguins have already said he’s going to have to pay the price the next time they play. I’d suggest he man up and do so to defuse the situation (a la Matt Cooke fighting Sean Thornton) so it doesn’t get out of hand. The Capitals don’t have the types of players that would fair at all well in an all-out-brawl-type game against Pittsburgh.

Posted by StevieSteve on 01/06/11 at 03:38 PM ET

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Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.

Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.

I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes.  I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.

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