Friday, January 18, 2008

"It's gonna hurt the Penguins - we lost our top gun!"

Shit happens.

In what has become one of the worst short term trends in Pittsburgh sports history, the injury bug returns, attempting to derail another season. Sidney Crosby went down tonight in what is being described as a high ankle sprain, the same injury that sidelined Talbot for little over a month and still has Fleury out. In the long run this will be good. There's always a silver lining, and I'm here to point it out:

1.) Thankfully, Sid must drink his milk, because he didn't end up like Gary Roberts, Willie Parker, or Levance Fields.

2.) The Pens played well after he went down... until the third period when they absolutely imploded.

3.) Players will have to step up and guys will fill new roles. Sucks for Sid's Art Ross/Hart chances, but it is a definite positive for our Stanley cup aspirations. Staal will be playing a much larger role. Malkin looked absolutely possessed for the rest of the game, at one point trying to do too much on his own by going red line to red line. Errey tried talking to him while he was on the bench and all he got was the infamous Russian cold shoulder. Why doesn't he act like this most of the time? Maybe its because he has to split time with Sid for puck possession, but he went on a similar tear last year when Sid had a bum ankle for a couple of games. When Sid does return I would not mind seeing them on different lines. Malkin needs to be a dominant player on his own.

4.) This one goes along with number 3. When the Pens won the cup back in '92, Mario missed 18 games due to injury. Typically, a high ankle sprain takes at least a month to heal, more than likely about 6 weeks. A couple days under 6 weeks, we play the Boston Bruins. If Sid comes back for that game, and plays the rest of the season, he would have also missed 18 games to injury. Meaningless? Absolutely. We just lost Sidney for probably over a month, take what you can get.

Now the bad...

1.) Other than the second period, they looked listless and Conklin looked human. Lets hope we get the magic back.

2.) Sykora complains too much. It's one thing to bark at the refs, but putting your hands up in disgust when the play is still going on and the puck is 3 feet from you is too much.

3.) We lost Sidney Crosby.

4.) We lost Sidney Crosby. Dammit.

Some other thoughts from tonight's game:

During the intermission, Potash had a piece on Vinny vs Sid (which is even more stupid than Sid vs. Ovechkin), and interviewed both of them. Their media training from growing up in Canada as NHL super-stars to be is mind-boggling. Emotionless, complimentary, staying away from anything that might be construed as offensive or humorous. Sid what do you think about Vinny? "Oh he's a great player, someone you just try to contain" Vinny what do you think about Sid? "He does things nobody else can do" blah blah blah. I'm not looking for trash talk, but raising your voice past library levels and saying something remotely unexpected would probably make this paragraph a lot more interesting.

-Malkin has been throwing around his body a lot more in the offensive zone, another positive to take from this game.

-The Pens defensemen got a lot of the quality chances tonight. I even thought Scuderi was going to get off the schnide. Good because we'll need the extra O, but bad because a lot of the shots were generated when the forwards couldn't connect near the net.

-It's one game. If Sid doesn't go down, it would be looked on as a bad loss and we move on. The next game will do a lot to the collective conscious of the fans and team.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're right - much like the Pitt hoops team, the possible silver lining is that the Pens will now have to learn how to win without their best player. Then, when they get their best player back, they should be that much stronger for it.