Marc Andre Fleury and most of the rest of the pens are taking a few days off during the All Star Break. Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby will all be making a trip to Montreal. That is, if El Sid wouldn't rather take the time to rest his knee/hip/ankle/undisclosed. Le-tank is playing in the Junior Stars game, well, mostly because he couldn't get an invite to the adult table I guess. I've taken some time between posts as well. (did you notice? I thought I noticed you noticing) but the Penguins have not been idle... wait a minute, yes they have, that's the whole point.... sheesh.
For those of you that haven't heard Ray Shero signed Jason Anderson to a one day deal the day of the 'Canes game. I'm going to throw a vid atcha, but I've got to warn you, keep the tissues handy, because you'll be welling up by the end.
Jason had most of the day with the Pens, and a big part of that was spent being toted around by the guy he replaced on the first line, Matt Cooke. (Jason was posted on the board on the line with Geno and Sid) He got to take a couple of shots at Flower and went 1-4. MAF said, "I gave it my all. I did not want him to get much on me and to show him who is king out there on the ice. I think I did well. He still scored, so I think we're even, he did a good job." Jason spent the pre-game in the penalty box and the game in seats behind the player bench with his sister and parents. After the game all the players signed his official jersey. This was the 10,000th wish granted by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Make a Wish Foundation, the most of any single chapter in the country. Which kind of shows you that the sports teams around here (quite a few wishes of the total) are a bunch of soft touches when it comes to kids, and I heartily approve. (I have my official seal of approval around here somewhere)
Migrating Penguins: The Pens have shifted so many players down to WBS that they should have just gotten a bus to get a group rate. Jeffery, B-nasty, Minard, Thomas and Pesonen within the last week or so have all been re-assigned to the Baby Pens. How do these guys handle living it two different cities across the state? I'll bet they've seen more groundhogs while driving across the state, than the people in Punxsutawney (damn that's tough to spell). (Thankfully, I'm not Bill Murray, so I won't have to do that again tomorrow.) Maybe they should just get a house in State College, or Dubois, you know, halfway in between.
Big Hits: Evgeni Malkin has done his best to enhance the reputation of the tough Russian hockey player recently, pasting people into the boards at random intervals. Well, the NHL has decided that his hit on Zherdev during the Raggers game was worthy of the #3 spot this week.(just the hit) (the whole top 10) I'm curious to see what Malkin and O'retchkin will do playing on the same team this weekend. You know there's not supposed to by any hitting, right guys?
Give us a Break: Somehow I figured when the Pens started winning a couple of games we'd be in more of a relaxed mode, media and fan-wise. In my incredibly unofficial poll I see that the fans are ranging from 'Looking up' to 'I don't want to get my hopes up yet'. While the media seems stuck somewhere around, 'this could be just the third bob to the surface for a drowning team'. Seemingly because the Pens are 2-1 for the last three games instead of 3-0. Molinari, over at PPG.com seems to think that the Pens need to 'regroup' after the 2-1 loss to the 'Canes, Tues. He also wonders if the power play, or something else 'betrayed' the Pens in that game. (Yeah, the PP is a traitor to the Cause) Shero, on the other hand, praises the team in one breath, and says that the Pens 'must be a playoff team' in the next.
Let's all take a bit of a trip to Lastweekland, shall we? Remember when all we wanted was for the Pens to win a game? Then we all made sacrifices to the Hockey Gods (the HG are not interested in virgins) to maybe, possibly, hopefully help the guys win TWO in a row. Let's gain a little perspective, ok? Even Stanley Cup winning teams lose the occasional game now and then. Let's not jump out of our collective windows yet, ok people? There's still a couple of games to go, and the guys are playing better hockey than last month. So let's enjoy what we've got, ok?
Late Late Late Edit: The NHL Network is showing a progam of Mike Lange on 'Voices'. It should be posted on their site sometime, and if I find it, I'll swipe it, in the fine tradition of TFS.....