PITTSBURGH - NOVEMBER 12: Maxime Talbot #25 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates his third period goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Consol Energy Center on November 12 2010 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. The Penguins defeated the Lightning 5-1. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
It's kind of funny. When a number of comments from Friday morning's post started to debate whether or not the Penguins remained confident and ready to win without Sidney Crosby in the lineup, I receive an e-mail from our overseas interpreter Becky, giving me a heads up that there is a new Max Talbot blog making the rounds.
And what is the first thing he mentions? "We can win without Sidney."
While Max's views are obviously only that of one player, he does speak on behalf of the entire team in saying that confidence is not an issue.
Additionally, Max talks about Marc-Andre Fleury's Carey Price pose following the Pens' 5-2 win over the Habs Wednesday night and the upcoming 2011 All-Star Game.
Take the jump to read the latest from our boy Max.
We can win without Sidney
The 5-2 win over the Canadiens on Wednesday was a very good thing for our team, especially since we were on a three-game losing streak, something that is pretty rare for us.
Moreover, the Canadiens had our number. I think we had lost our four previous games against them. So that does a lot of good for the morale of the troops.
I also think that it was the first time this season that we scored four goals on the power play. It's nice to have accomplished that without Sidney. The execution was good. We just kept things simple by making sure to shoot at the net while screening Carey Price.
We wanted to keep things simple. We had just suffered a heartbreaking 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins, who got four goals in the final minutes of the game to beat us. We wanted to rebound after such a frustrating result.
We know that we can win without him, because we have done it in the past. Over all, we have more wins than losses in his absence. That's a fact that makes us proud. But to have success, we need to raise our game a notch, because everyone knows that he is our leader. He's the main piece of our team, and it is important that all the players pull their weight in order to get wins.
There is no doubt in our minds of our ability to win without him. The important thing is to continue to do what we have to do. It's not wrong to say that Sidney is at the root of the majority of our goals and our scoring chances. A glance at the statistics is enough to prove that. But collectively, we know that we have a good hockey team and that if we play our system, if we do the right things, we are going to win hockey games.
Fleury imitating Price
If you were paying attention, you will have seen our goaltender Marc-Andrè Fleury cross his arms at the end of the game, just as Carey Price did last week after the Canadiens' shootout win against us.
This kind of thing makes headlines in Montreal, but not in Pittsburgh. I can tell you that nothing was planned out in advance. Everyone knows Marc-Andrè and his sense of humor. He loves to make jokes and he's not the type to take himself seriously. So his gesture shouldn't in any way be seen as arrogant. He just wanted to make us laugh, and he succeeded.
The All-Star game
I love the format adopted for making up the teams this year. I can't wait to see the results and how the guys are going to stick to the concept. I like that they're trying new things. The old formats (East vs. West, or America vs. Europe) were fun, but it's very good to try some new things.
We were talking about it the other day and had some fun picking teams, just like when we were kids playing in the street. You got picked or you went off to play dodgeball! I am convinced that the guys are going to have a lot of fun with all that and that the fans will enjoy it.
Sidney, Marc-André, Kristopher Letang, and Evgeni Malkin will represent the Penguins at this year's game. Some will say that our players won't be able to take advantage of the days off, but since our last game before the break will be held on January 25th against the Islanders and the All-Star game doesn't take place until the 30th, they also will have a few days to rest.
I like All-Star hockey games. It's prestigious for a player to say that he was chosen to participate in it. I hope that it stays on the NHL schedule in the future. I think that this game really helps to promote hockey in the United States, and that people enjoy the event in general.