Sorry for the long delay, with 1200 miles to ATL and back plus the Holiday in there the blog fell by the wayside...Things we think we think--
1) It's good to use Mike Zigomanis in situations to win faceoffs....But should he be sometimes taking full shifts on the top powerplay over guys like Petr Sykora? Even when the puck goes out of the zone and they have chances to change they don't pull Zigomanis. He's a NHL worthy player, but he's got 21 goals in 187 NHL games. Not bustin on the guy, just sayin..
2) Ever since Darren Dreger suggested Sidney Crosby should use a curve on his stick blade in order to help his shot (which would hinder his backhand passes not to mention his shot) El Sid has 7 goals in 8 games....Keep makin' noise up there, Canada.
3) Through now more than a quarter of the season, Evgeni Malkin is on pace for 138 points, which would be the most in a season by any player since Mario Lemieux rang up 161 back in 1995-96....Most would say the best player in the NHL now is Alex Ovechkin or Crosby, but we think that Geno is making his case pretty clearly every single night.
4) It seems a bit odd to say Alex Goligoski reminds us of a "young" Mike Green since Goose is only a couple months younger than the Washingtonian blueliner, but the similarities are there...Other than being left handed and not being as able to rush the puck up ice as a current day Green, Goligoski has become a sensational player that isn't bad in his own end of the ice either.
5) Despite the loss tonight, John Curry is definitely making his case to be the future backup goalie to Marc-Andre Fleury next season. Dany Sabourin is an unrestricted free agent after this season, for the record..Also, listed generously at 5 feet 11 inches, how much smaller does Curry look in the net than MAF (6'2) and Dany Sabs (6'4)?
6) Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Matt Cooke has recorded 20+ assists three times in his NHL career. Any doubt that he'll get there this season with 8 assists already and doing a lot of dirty work digging pucks up and throwing them to the front of the net?
7) It's not often you see a guy score more goals in the NHL than he did in juniors, but Tyler "Mister" Kennedy might just do it. Kennedy's top mark in the Ontario Hockey League was 22. He's got 6 this season and has a penchant for putting the puck past the goalie at the NHL level. We're betting he'll beat his junior mark, probably sooner than later.
8) Ruslan Fedotenko was a healthy scratch tonight against Buffalo, and rumor has it he's asked for a trade, as he doesn't agree with the opportunities the coaching staff has given him...But it's hard to blame HCMT when Feds hasn't really been effective with the Pens....Still we get the feeling Fedotenko will get the chance to redeem himself and he will score a huge goal sometime in the season.
9) Sorry if that last bullet sounded a little Stan Fischler-esque. Hell, Rusty already scored a huge goal-- remember the OT game winner in Detroit? If Fedotenko's production (or lack thereof) is the Pens' biggest problem for the rest of the season, odds are things are going to be alright for the boys.
10) Therrien's finger on the button to slide Malkin and Crosby together in the middle of games for a jump has been excellent. It's reminiscent of Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg in the late '90s...They can play apart and make things happen, but when you need to get a boost put them together and watch the magic happen, like it did for the five goal explosion that 87 and 71 had a part in four of them in Long Island a couple nights ago.
11) By the way in case you didn't know, Sakic and Forsberg raised the Cup two times and probably would have done it a time or two more without a bum foot getting in Floppa's way.."Salvation lies within" and in hockey, strength lies within the middle. Believe that.
12) Finally, just remember: everyday that goes by is a day closer that Fleury, Ryan Whitney and Sergei Gonchar get to re-joining the boys. Heaven help you Eastern Conference when that happens.