And a good morning it is.
Just what the doctor ordered. The Pens took care of business and lit the lamp a few times, and were it not for a power-play goal in the last tick of the second period, it would have been perfect and Marc-Andre Fleury would have had the shutout he very much deserved. Faceoff Factor has the grades and no surprises, the guys did get up for this game.
Dave Molinari has lots of good nuggets for us to chew on. The Pens have now outscored opponents 21-11 at even strength this season. With a goal and an assist, Sid's points streak to start the season now sits at 7. The whole Deryk-Engelland-at-right-wing experiment was a modest success, he had about 7' TOI and 0 PIM so there.
Our situation on defense is good but a little crowded. Pens Initiative breaks down the logjam.
From around the league: No more unbeaten teams. Sharks lose in a shootout (though TK had a goal) and the Red Wings (I mean did you expect anyone else?) hand the Avs their very first loss of the season. The Wings blue line stepped up without Niklas Kronwall, who was taken off on a stretcher following a Cody McLeod hit. Kronwall was later reported to suffer a concussion and cuts to his ear. Shanny's calendar is filling quickly, as he will meet with Maxim Lapierre today at noon and expect McLeod to follow with an in-person hearing.
The Leafs lost tonight on an unlucky "hockey gods getting back at us" bounce but also may have lost James Reimer to an injury team neurologist Dr. Randy Carlyle termed "headache". At least he didn't diagnose him with brain swelling.
Despite the loss, the Toronto Maple Leafs are sporting a 6-2 record and are tied with the Detroit Red Wings atop the Atlantic Division. In a piece well-worth reading called Collision Corsi, Sean McIndoe outlined the conundrum that the Leafs pose, and this morning's analysis from Puck Prediction further explores the question of whether the Leafs are good or lucky.
Who is the most complete forward in hockey? By complete they mean two-way. Not that I really care about Sid not being on this top-10 list, but I think it's worth pointing out that Sid's committed to enhancing his defensive game and, by the way, is starting to clock some decent PK minutes. Last night I sat right behind Fleury in the first and third periods and the Pens had to kill a couple penalties, and normally you expect Sid to take the faceoff in the D zone and hop off, but he actually put in 2:09 SH time, more than any forward not named Adams, Dupuis and Sutter (who only had 35 seconds more).
That's it for today. Happy Friday everyone.