The Penguins were back in the ‘Burgh for the first time in a week last night when they welcomed Billy G and the Minnesota Wild. The Pens played a tribute video early in the game for Bill Guerin, and he responded perfectly
Guerin’s return to Pittsburgh wasn’t the biggest news of the day, as Sidney Crosby was finally ready to join his team after missing 28 games. With Sid back in the fold, the Penguins sent Joseph Blandisi back to Wilkes-Barre and lined up as such:
It was “Pittsburgh” night, hence the Warhol tribute on the graphic card.
It should come as no surprise, but I saw a few people who are loyal to DK question Crosby’s return to the lineup as they wondered if the captain would mess up the chemistry. For starters, shut up. Secondly, the “chemistry” is referring to a three-game one-goal win streak, two of which required overtime.
With Crosby in the lineup, the Penguins had the same jump to start this game that we have grown to love. The Wild looked like a Bruce Boudreau team. Prior to the game, Bruce dropped some mustard on the lineup card and missed a defender which resulted in the team having to play with 5 defenders the entire game.
After some good pressure to start the game, the Penguins would get their first powerplay opportunity when Matt Dumba was called for high sticking. It’s apparently “hi-sticking,” so I’ve been wrong my entire blogging career and that’s cool. Malkin and Crosby paid tribute to MAF and took 29 seconds on the powerplay to cash in.
EVGENI MALKIN (14) Assisted by Rust (21) & Crosby (13) @ 7:57 PPG
If you don’t get half a chub seeing Evgeni Malkin crash the crease then you should either be a female or see your doctor. You want to know how important Crosby is on the powerplay? Look at Minnesota collapse on Crosby in the center prior to the pass to Rust. They cover Crosby and leave one of the hottest goal scorers in the league wide open.
The Wild would barely get their feet under them before Kevin Fiala would get called for holding Chad Ruhwedel. This powerplay wasn’t as productive but the Penguins maintained momentum afterward until Andrew Agozzino interfered with Marcus Foligno. The Wild powerplay wasn’t very exciting and the ice shifted back in Pittsburgh’s direction following the kill.
After two minutes of chances DAMN! Marino put a spiral to the numbers of Dom Simon, and Simon returned the favor with an equally great pass to McCann who, in fact, can.
JARED McCANN (14) Assisted by Simon (13) & Marino (19) @ 17:57
This pass by Marino is not a pass a rookie defender makes and therefore I am officially opening an investigation on Marino, I feel that he is an imposter. This pass by Simon is just the norm for him, you are just usually using predispositions to ignore them.
The Pens would get a 30-second powerplay to close out the period when Foligno high sticked Pettersson at 19:30 but couldn’t convert before the horn sounded.
The second period started just like the first. The Wild had a little more pushback in the first five minutes, and it looked like the game was going to be evenly played the rest of the way. Insert Bryan Rust. The second line continues to click, Evgeni Malkin busts in 1 on 2, draws both defenders to him and then drops a nasty drop pass to Rust who buries it.
BRYAN RUST (19) Assisted by Malkin (32) & Kahun (17) @ 14:04
For years we have harped on the importance of having players who can shoot on the wings of Crosby and Malkin, and this is why. Malkin draws both defenders to him, and he knows as soon as he crosses the blue line that he isn’t shooting this puck. In a phrase, even with Crosby back Malkin was still fire.
Mats Zuccarello was pissed following the goal, presumably for having a plural first name, and took two for high sticking Tanev just 14 seconds after the Rust tally. The powerplay took a little bit longer this time, but 47 seconds in Malkin walked down the line and looked for the Horny one in front, but instead got a little help from his friends.
EVGENI MALKIN (15) Assisted by Letang (19) & Crosby (14) @ 15:05 PPG
There is no gif of this goal but if you close your eyes and imagine Evgeni Malkin kissing Ryan Suter on the cheek while slipping a $20 into his hand and whispering “this for you mom,” that pretty much sums it up.
The Penguins got a little sloppy toward the end of the period, and Zach Parise cashed in for the Wild at 17:17. Minnesota doesn’t use gifs or video on their Twitter account because they care about the mental health of their fans.
The period would end 4-1 Pens.
The Wild came out firing to start the third and quickly converted on a bad line change by the Pens. Foligno showed off some hands and it was 4-2 less than 3 minutes into the period.
The Pens responded by punching the gas pedal down through the floorboard. After five minutes of domination, it was the captain, your captain, getting back on the board.
SIDNEY CROSBY (6) Assisted by McCann (14) @ 7:41
I mean, of course the goal comes on the backhand. Hell of a play by Jared McCann, who seems to be fitting in nicely with Simon on Sids wings.
We barely had time to celebrate the goal before Sid went off. 39 seconds after his goal Crosby toyed with Ryan Donato with a pass to himself before setting up Crosby. Fair warning, if you are at work, you would be better off opening pornhub than watching the following gif.
DOMINIK SIMON (5) Assisted by Crosby (15) @ 8:20
Anyone born in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 is a direct result of this goal. Jesus Sid. The play to himself off the net is one thing, and an amazing thing at that. The pass to Simon is a great example of how Crosby sees the game. It’s a vision that us mortals cannot comprehend. Hell, most of us couldn’t make that pas to Simon in a video game. Look out boys, Sid is ready to roll.
The Penguins continued pushing that pedal down and the Wild didn’t have an answer. After total domination, to the tune of a 70% Corsi For during the period, Alex Galchenyuk scored on a filthy shot to complete the touchdown.
ALEX GALCHENYUK (5) Assisted by Agozzino & Hornqvist (7) @ 16:57
This is the first time I’ve noticed Agozzino in a positive manner, all the other memories seem to be of him getting hit. Great shot by Galchenyuk. With the play of Bryan Rust, and the likeliness of Simon and McCann sticking with Crosby, Galchenyuk suddenly has no pressure on him. If he can chip in form time to time with goals like this from the third line, instead of being expected to score 20-30, he may stick around for the rest of the season.
The Pens took a late penalty and Zach Parise scored on the powerplay with 13 seconds left in the game. The Wild would shut the door for the final 13 seconds and that would be it.
- I have nothing to say. Just enjoy this team man, because they are doing some special shit and this could be a special year