Before we get started, it needs said again. We at Pensblog stand with the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting this past Saturday. This is our city and we’re stronger than hate. Penguins did an unbelievable job hosting a blood drive, making donations and their opening video last night is a tear-jerker. We love you, Pittsburgh.
Our friends at Pensburgh are running a pledge drive going forward this season. Check it out and help any way you can.
*disclaimer, Happy Halloween. Boo. There, it’s a spooky edition of the Grab Bag.
Back to hockey, because that’s what you came here for. Well, the Penguins backhanded their way across Canada. Winning four straight and by a combined score of 23-6. Crosby made sure to tell Matthews and McDavid he’s still here. Murray and Casey “The Smith” DeSmith proved to be a dynamic one-two in net and outside of the Edmonton game, Jack Johnson looked mildly competent. All good signs!
Then, as the PDO gods are so apt to do, the Penguins dominated most of their game against the Islanders, but were unlucky. Jeff’s got your recap here.
If Kevin Bacon doesn’t play Justin Williams, what are we even doing here?
Ben Bishop doesn’t like goaltending analytics. I put this in the good because Wysh did the smart thing and got multiple viewpoints. He didn’t hit us with the usual, “Well, a player said he doesn’t like them so they must be bad!” trope. Good read, worth your time.
Griess, Griess, baby. What a mask.
Uhhh, so maybe don’t let Elias Pettersson get behind you….
But…but..how could this have happened when Mr. Enforcer and deterrent Ryan Reaves was on the ice?!?! Oh wait, maybe the idea of a deterrent is bullshit! Spare me your “The NHL is soft now” takes. You’re taught in peewees to not check from behind and not target a head. They did that in the 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s and now. Just say you like violence.
The weekend wasn’t pretty for the Anaheim Ducks. John Gibson is just about all they have going for them.
You gotta feel for Detroit fans. Pain is forever. Life is meaningless. Eat Arby’s.
Listen…I’m all for fun and quirky stuff, but this is cringe-y from start to finish….
Jack Eichel…Calgary sleeper cell?
What These Numbers Tell Us: It’s worth noting, that I will never stop trashing the Pacific Division for being just that: trash. There are exactly two (2) teams in that division with a positive goal differential, San Jose and Arizona. Calgary’s numbers are skewed due to the Pens 9-1 throttling, but LA is a wild -17. If you’re playing the Pacific Division and it’s not the Sharks, don’t worry, chances are they aren’t putting up more than two on your team.
What a difference a week makes. The Pens find themselves atop the Metro Division, Tampa has eclipsed Boston and Toronto in the Atlantic and Nashville and San Jose continue to set the pace in the west.
Speaking of goal differentials, yo, the Flyers! Our friends to the east. Like Wile E. Coyote, you keep chasing that Road Runner, and so help you god you’ll catch him in that tunnel, but then you find out it’s actually a painting on the side of a mountain and you have less teeth than Bobby Clarke. A not so shabby 5-7-0, but when you’re goaltending tandem is *checks notes* Brian Elliot and Michal Neuvirth…you better be able to score. Not to mention your third option is Calvin Pickard. Woooooooooof. I dunno, at least everyone is talking about your mascot and not the abomination on the ice.
Anaheim’s gameplan moving forward.
Evgeni Malkin, ever the quiet, Russian assassin finds himself tied for second in points. Look out.
The Week Ahead:
Well, after what was a strange game at home last night, a chance for redemption is on the horizon. It’s off to Brooklyn to take on the Long New Island York Islanders again. Listen, Pengs, just limit the odd-man rushes and you should throttle this sad sack of a team.
Know Your Enemy: Lighthouse Hockey
Oh yeah…Matthews is out for four weeks and the Leafs come to town Saturday.
Know Your Enemy: Editor in Leaf
Next Monday, a brief two-game home stand concludes with the New Jersey Devils in town. Despite a shell-shocking 8-3 loss to Tampa Tuesday night, they’ve been one of the more solid teams overall. Something is being built in East Rutherford.
Know Your Enemy: All About The Jersey
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