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27 December 2008

What is going on with the Penguins?

So, I have been watching the last couple months and have been at the point of every emotion my body is capable of. At first I was upset, then excited, then sad, now I am a mix between optimistic and disappointed. I know they usually take it up a notch in January and on into March, but we all know that injuries and timing of those injuries play a huge factor into the whole scheme of things.
So, here are my thoughts. We, yes I feel as though I am a member of this team as a loyal fan, usually start out slow and slowly build up. By usually I mean the last two playoff years. Well, we did things a little backwards this year and started off hot without or main defense. I think we played out of our minds for that matter. No, with even more injuries to our players that are significant role players and not superstars like Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, it is catching up to us. The losses of Tyler Kennedy, Mike Zigomanis, Hal Gill, and Maxime Talbot have been huge. I know, I know, you look at them and you think how can those players bring us down? They prove how important role players are in this league. I will start with Kennedy. He may be listed as 5' 11" and 183 lbs, but he plays like James Harrison of the Steelers. He throws what body he has around on every shift. He gives his body and soul to his team and what for? He has the Crosby passion we would like to see in all players. He creates a spark when he steps on the ice for that ever important third line. He helps Jordan Staal and Matt Cooke create things that otherwise shouldn't be there. Next I will move onto Zigomanis. You might ask what does a fourth liner bring to the table? Mike Zigomanis was only leading the league in faceoff percentage. If you think faceoffs don't matter, follow or record versus our faceoff percentage. It is amazing how much they coincide. I would even venture to say that goes back to the Stanley Cup Finals last year. I feel if we could have won those key faceoffs like we were with Zigomanis, we would have won the cup. Next on the list is big Hal Gill. He is a little more obvious, but I am going to key in on his Penalty Killing ability. Our PK has dropped off significantly since he went down with the injury. He covers up so much of the ice and mastered the defensive positioning. He may be slow, but for the most part he can be. By this I mean his positioning and decision making make this possible. I feel like Gill is one of the most underrated defensemen that we have. Finally I want to talk about Maxime Talbot. He has become the toast of the Penguins aside from Sid and Geno. He has that speed and ability to be so versitile and clutch. I feel that every team needs a player like him on their team. He just loves playing and gives his all everytime he steps on the ice. This attitude reflects over every member of this team. I think if we would have traded him instead of Colby Armstrong in that Marian Hossa deal last year, we would not have made it to the Finals. He is that important.
Overall, I am just saying the success of a team is the whole team, not just certain parts of it. Don't overlook anyone. Marc-Andre Fleury and Petr Sykora are difference makers as well. I think that we have the complete package this year when we are all healthy. All I have to say is thank God that our players that were going to get injured were in the first half of the season and not the last half.
I still stick by my prediction of the Stanley Cup Champions this year.


  1. they need to start playing consistent hockey, injuries or not, and shoot the puck more if they want to even get within a shot of the Cup again.

  2. I completely agree...big thing is shooting the puck!