Moving on to the Pens today, whom I’ve done a tremendous job of ignoring. Look for a Steelers season recap sometime this week.
We’ve just about gotten used to watching Pens games without Malkin and Crosby. It’s basically like watching the 2009-10 New Jersey Devils, only less douchier. Somehow, we’ve not only managed to stay afloat, but have navigated these rough seas to a solid January-February record (minus the last two games). However, the Pens undoubtedly face some major problems
Rumors have been flying around about the status of Crosby. Ask one person and they’ll say that Crosby is seeing stars when he practices, others say he was beaten by baboons outside of Mike Rupp’s Super Bowl party. The line between fact and fiction is opaque at best.
What we do know is this; we likely won’t see Crosby until March, or if Crosby’s injury is as apocalyptic as some are claiming, he’ll be put on season-ending IR prior to the trade deadline (March 1st). In order to have any shot at a deep playoff run, the Penguins need Crosby at 100%. That’s the reason that I don’t fully buy into the severity of these claims. Penguins brass are not stupid. Unless the team were to go into a nuclear tailspin in the next month, it’s smarter to shelf Crosby for the time being.
All that being said, it’s hard to look at what happened to Marc Savard after Matt Cooke’s hit. He’ll never be the same.
Can the Penguins win the Cup without Evgeni Malkin?
Before you point to his numbers for the past two seasons, remember, he’s a Conn Smythe winner. He’s no joke. Even when he’s not at the top of his game, he’s at least taking up one of the opposition’s top defensive pairings. Especially given the improvement in Malkin’s defensive play, his production is nearly impossible to replace.
It’s a scary, yet interesting time to be a Pens fan.
Late News: Matt Cooke suspended 4 games for raping Fedor Tyutin (still the best name in hockey). Should be fun to see what kind of depleted lineup we can field tomorrow night against the Kings. No word on whether or not Cooke will get an extra two games for bitchslapping Tyutin with his Stanley Cup Ring.