Dany Sabourin will be defending the net tonight, and Alex Go-Go is still shown as a 4th line winger, in what PP.com is calling a 'grudge match' at the Boston Garden. Let's check... whooped our butts in our own Igloo, phantom penalties, (which I was ready to blame Error and Stogie for missing, but I couldn't even see them on the replay), cheap shots with a lead and no time remaining in the third period. That should be enough for a totally demoralizing loss... you think there might be a bit of a grudge?
The Pens held a players-only meeting after the game Monday night. The main issue seemed to be player responsibility. By MAF: " We have a good team, and we know we can be better than we are right now. We have to find a way to win." By Brooks Orpik: "The coaches don't play. Coaches can't score goals or keep the puck out of the net. They can only give you so much." El Capitan refused much comment: "That will stay in there. That's our team and it's a closed-door thing. I don't think it's necessary to share." I just hope it wasn't just an excuse to bring dancing girls and pinatas into the dressing room for a 'Cheer Us Up' party.
Actal Hockey Stuff: The Pens announced that Ryan Whitney and Petr Syko-ra were named Revolving Alternate Captains for the month of January. Also, tucked in at the end of that article is a rather unimportant announcement that Kris Le-Tank will return to the line-up for tonight's game. I'm not sure how PPG.com could get this news out before PP.com, but there it is. The line-ups don't match... I don't know who to believe... I'm pretty sure (sort of) that the Pens won't dress 8 defensemen, but stranger things have happened. If this is true, and someone sits, I'm still going with my last prediction and guessing they'll sit Eaton. Update: PP.com finally caught up to the media and announced that Kris Le-Tank will be starting in tonight's game, and that Pens-bully Eric Godard would be a game-time decision. No word so far on what this'll do to the lines.
Update: Dustin Jeffery scored his first NHL goal tonight! Of course the Bruised turned right around and scored the tie up 2 minutes later.. but Congrats DJ!
Flower Power and Pen-kids: I can't guarantee anything about the next 5 minutes, but as of 2pm EST The Tower of Flower Power, Marc Andre Fleury was over 16,000 votes ahead of Carey Price in the All Star voting. I've seen this before... someone says MAF is in the lead, and by the time I check he's 4000 points down. So 'roll your dice and move your mice' (that's Rat-speak for 'who knows'). Voting is over tomorrow at some strange time of the day... (translation: didn't check) so get out there and Vote for Flower! (that's the most campaigning I'm gonna do)
The Trib seems to be sending out a plea to militant Pensaddicts to lay off the guys, they're just kids. They mention the fact that it's easy to forget that Jordan Staal isn't legal to buy beer in the US yet, and that expectations may be a bit large for a group of kids that averages somewhere around the same age as most colleges. Personally, I don't know what Rossi is talking about. Just because I want them to win every game I watch (ie: all of them). I don't think I'm expecting too much, am I? I only want the Pens to crush the hopes of their opponents and dominate the League in every standing. That's not unreasonable, is it? I didn't think so.
Evgeni Malkin is settling into Pittsburgh, the NHL, English and his new house. "Big house." Geno said. He likes having some hometown things with him in da Burgh, like his girlfriend, Oksana, who's staying with him and his parents, who are coming over for several extended visits. And who does the clean-up? "My girlfriend, not me. My Mom when she comes." (I know, men are men all over the world) Even though he'd still rather not do any on-camera interviews he's spending more time with the English speaking members of the team and relying less on the 2 Russian speakers in the group. (Syko and Feds). He still thinks that El Sid can have all the media attention, "Sid is good at talking English, and talking to the media. I just play hockey." I'm glad the big goof is continuing to find his comfort zone. It's already doing good things for his playing, and I'd just like to see Geno happy here. (cause that means he'll stay)
World Hockey Stuff: The Canadian Junior Hockey team trounced the US team last night, 7-4. Two empty-net goals ran up the score a bit, the game was looking like a rout the other way until Canadia stormed back in the second period. All this means so far is that Canadia gets a first-round bye and the US has to play Slovakia on Friday. But the stats are not good. I hate stats anyway.