Well, here we are. We’re four games into the season and it’s been a doozy, to say the least.
Let’s take a ride down memory lane, shall we?
Game 1 vs. Buffalo: Pens come out flat, play flat, Murray and Geno are the only two players to show up. Bryan Rust, out of the lineup due to blocking a shot in the preseason.
Game 2 vs. Columbus: Pens decide that the home opener was some baby-back bullshit and decide to take it out on Columbus. Seven goals, McCann and Hornqvist team up for a pair, Galchenyuk quietly puts up two assists, looks comfortable on Geno’s line. Like that?
Too bad, Geno’s hurt. Out longer-term.
No worries, we’ve got Bjugstad!
Now he’s hurt.
Game 3 vs. Winnipeg: Ok, McCann looked good through two games. We still have Sid. Hornqvist seems to be finding himself. Even without Geno, Galchenyuk has looked pretty good. It’s Mike Lange Night, don’t embarrass the Hall of Famer.
So here we are.
Half the forward corps is hurt. The Pens are 1-2 and in one victory they looked like the team of old. Fast, physical, relentless. In two losses we’ve seen more the current Penguins. Aging, slow, overly-reliant on 2-3 players.
Let me spin zone this.
Remember 2015-2016? Sure you do. We traded Scuderi. We promoted Sullivan and we ended that season with a championship.
We also let the kids play.
The kids are coming. Hornqvist, Galchenyuk, Malkin, Bjugstad, Rust are all on the shelf (maybe not Hornqvist, but we’ll see). Lafferty, Agozzino, Adam Johnson, Blueger and Kahun, this is your shot to prove you belong in the NHL.
Maybe it works.
Maybe they vomit all over themselves and we miss the playoffs, who knows that’s the fun!
Anyway, the Pens welcome one of only seven remaining undefeated teams in the league to PPG Paints Arena tonight, the Ducks!
We’ll likely see John Gibson in the cage and he’s had a stellar start to the season. In three starts he’s posted a .970 save percentage. Three wins, if you’d believe it.
Penguins legend Derek Grant is tied for the team lead in goals with…one.
Lines (via Daily Faceoff)
players to watch
He’s free. Let’s get to getting, AJ. Johnson’s scored almost 20 goals over parts of two AHL seasons and added 45 assists to boot. He’s been one of the less-heralded players in the system, but with the NHL roster looking like a World War I infirmary, it’s time for the Baby Pens to grow up.
Also, keep watching Murray. Your comments will not sway us. He’s the MVP through three. Your tweets won’t bring back the Smiley Man. He’s gone. Grow up.
Despite constantly being one of the best goalies in the NHL, Gibson struggles against his hometown team. Johnny Whitehall in eight games against the Penguins has surrendered 29 goals against for an abysmal .886 save percentage. To be fair, Gibson struggles against the Metro no matter which way you cut it, with a pedestrian .910 overall against the division.
Nothing to it but to do it.
Light the lamp, sound the horn and….that’s right, party hard. #NotMyGoalSong
Do it. Go Pens.