Wednesday, March 26, 2008

News and Notes

From a combination of different things we've heard lately:

  • Expect Sidney Crosby to be back in the lineup tomorrow night. His ankle is stronger, but he wanted to give it as much time as possible for the playoffs. More immediately, Crosby didn't want to return to the lineup until he was conditioned enough to play the 20-23 minutes of high intensity play that we're accustomed to.
  • It’s pretty clear that Michel Therrien let his displeasure with Ryan Whitney be known by putting the defenseman as a 4th line winger last night…They also did this to Brooks Orpik before giving him a shot to redeem himself, which he seems to have done. Surely a young, talented player like Whitney will get the chance, it’ll be up to him to make the most of it.
  • Bad coach but good analyst Eddie Olczyk made a good point on Versus the other night…For the playoffs you’ve got a Crosby/Marian Hossa combo and a Evgeni Malkin/Petr Sykora duo. (Fans tend to think too much in trios when they think about forwards, when really it’s about adding a third piece to a talented duo). Anyways, suppose you’re an opposing coach; what unit do you send your best defensive unit and/or checking line to match against? Edzo then proposed Ryan Malone be the swing-man to rotate to which-ever line is given more space. A guy like Pascal Dupuis could be the other swing-man.
  • That could be a complicated, but interesting theory. It remains to be seen if Therrien would employ it. He’s not too keen letting the opposing team dictate Pittsburgh strategy based on matchups. Therrien believes (and we do too) that it’s better to concentrate on just having your players focus on playing their games. Guys like Crosby, Malkin and Hossa have long been targeted by the opposition’s best defensive players their entire careers, it’s not like they can’t produce.
  • The last time the Penguins had seven healthy defensemen (as they do now), Therrien decided to employ a rotation in which everyone but Sergei Gonchar and Mark Eaton would sit a game. The rotation lasted all of about two or three games. It will be interesting to see what choices the coaches make now that Rob Scuderi is healthy. Orpik has played well as Gonchar’s partner on the top unit, but do they put Scuds back there? Whitney’s been struggling but is a talented player with a lot to offer (like creating the only goal of consequence last night). Darryl Sydor hasn’t been outstanding, but unlike Kris Letang, this aint his first rodeo, so to say.
  • We think, that Gonchar, Scuderi, Orpik and Hal Gill should be in the lineup every night, Whitney should be too, if he can get his act together. This leaves a choice between Letang and Sydor, we’d lean towards Letang for now, but obviously there’s going to be times when Sydor’s going to play.
  • Gary Roberts was re-evaluated and while they didn't find anything else wrong, it's not that encouraging either...Sad to report that Mr. Gary's triumphant return is not in sight. So much for the couple of tune up regular season games he was hoping to get in for.

Finally, after a lot of searching we finally found something leaner than Marc-Andre Fleury's recent numbers:

Kate Bosworth used to be pretty hot before turning into a human stick figure

No comments: