Friday, January 11, 2008

The Sweater Ty

No words. Should have sent a poet.

Actually I do have some words, on MalkinGate. We would have loved to have this 10 bell save on Vincent Lecavalier stand alone, but alas.

Pens fans and others are bitching moaning about Evgeni Malkin shooting the puck into an empty net with just over 10 seconds left when he had Sidney Crosby open. Crosby was riding a point streak and is chasing Lecavalier for another scoring title and could have used the gimme point.

We here at TST don’t blame Malkin for doing what he did for many reasons. In hockey, which we doubt most of the complainers played at a very organized level, it is drilled into your head not to do anything cute, to take what they give you. Malkin had a chance to score and he did. That the outcome of the game was over (the Pens were obviously already winning by 2 goals) has nothing to do with it. You score when you can. Period.

What good is it if Malkin tries to pass the puck on bad ice at the end of the period and Crosby is unable to receive it? No goal. What happens if Malkin misfires on the pass? No goal. What happens if Crosby misses the net? No goal. What happens if it takes a bounce on the bad ice and ends up on the stick of an opponent somehow? Likely a goal, but for the other team. As the astute reader can see, the range of good outcomes is uncertain to very bad and the payoff--forcing a goal to Crosby isn't worth forcing if Malkin can score it himself. So why chance it?

The answer: you don’t. Malkin made the right move. As Penguins announcer Paul Steigerwald said when Bob Errey whined about the no-pass to break Crosby’s point streak: it’s no big deal, Bing will likely just start another one very soon. And if you need a last second empty net goal to continue the streak, well that’s like Cal Ripken just getting an at-bat to continue his streak, it kinda cheapens it.

First win in Tampa since before the lockout. Good times all around. Petr Sykora had a huge night, 3 primary assists, one of which should have been a goal if Jordan Staal wasn’t in the way. But good to see young Jordan back on the scoresheet. 3 goals in the first 42 games and 2 goals in just one. Hopefully this will kick off a big second half for him, an additional source of production is always a good thing.

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