Game two is done and the Swedish experience is over. The Pens struggle again on the power play, Dany Heatley beasts two goals in and that’s basically your game. Is it just us or were these games pretty surreal? 11 out of the 25 players from the Penguins playoff squad were gone due to injury/changing teams and this incarnation of the Penguins just hasn’t look comfortable yet. In a way it’s still weird to see no Sergei Gonchar out there, no Ryan Whitney, no Petr Sykora and, yes, no Ryan Malone…And what’s Jarkko Ruutu doing pinning Sidney Crosby down, isn’t that supposed to be him doing that to Daniel Alfredsson? Strange times.
The Penguins will come back with 2 out of a possible 4 points, but perhaps the journey here of traveling together and the forced team bonding will be more important in the long run than pure results of the trip. After all, most teams had maybe a routine couple of pre-season games this week, not too many have started the season. On top of that, no one’s had the injury laden roster turnover to deal with. The Pens can use their experiences and build off of that.
The season has started, it just might not feel that way.