Pens Points: Alfie's comments, Kris Letang good/bad, great expectations

It's beard growin' season - Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo

Some notes around the Penguins this morniing- Daniel Alfredsson and Paul MacLean had different viewpoints last night, and are the Pens the most pressured team since the 2002 Red Wings?

Welcome back to Pens Points, our little way to get out the various and random little points about the Penguins

``A lot made of the Daniel Alfredsson "with their depth and power play right now it doesn’t look too good" comments right now. Was it the humbling admission of a player at the end of his rope? Some crazy pyschology trick? Loved this take by Justin Bourne, who has an interesting perspective.

A lot of people don’t realize how things are behind the scenes with hockey players. You’d be silly to think when guys are relaxing over a beer after a loss that the conversation is always “We’ll get ‘em next time champ, we can do this, rah rah!” It’s a lot of “Oh man, we are f^&%ed, I cannot believe how stacked those guys are. How hilarious is it watching ____ try to defend ___? Lolololol.” Guys aren’t reality-blind because of the logo on their chest.

What Alfredsson said has been said 100 times before by players on Ottawa (just not publicly), likely before the series even started. So for him to say it now down 3-1 in the series…right on. I support it.

``On the flip side of the coin is the terse, 13-second-long press-conference by coach Paul MacLean (Puck Daddy). Make no mistake about it, the Ottawa Senators will be prepared for Game 5 and probably give their best effort of the entire series. As the Dan Bylsma oft-repeated cliche goes- it's really hard to get that fourth win against a team. Boring, but true.

``The art of Kris Letang - he'll frustrate you with some of his decisions (and his mental breakdown freaking out at refs after he feels he's been fouled) and his poise/composure can be low. Then you notice him make a nice pass here and there, look at the score sheet and he has four assists. Talented, but as always he needs to be refined.

``James Neal and Jarome Iginla two goals a piece last night. Guess that line is ok, huh? Also, how crazy is it the Penguins put up seven in a playoff game and Evgeni Malkin goes 0-0-0. Wouldn't have guessed on that one.

This tweet from one of my favorite writers, Yahoo's Nick Cotsonika caught my eye last night:

The Penguins were winning 7-2 at the time of this tweet. Just goes to show really how high their ceiling is. They were running away with a game they blew open in the 3rd period (one they could have opened up much earlier if not for some stellar saves by Craig Anderson) and people still openly wonder if they can "be even better?". I could be wrong, but I don't think a team since the 2002 Detroit Red Wings has had such high across-the-board expectations.

``Almost everyone looks good in a 7-3 win, but nice to see Jussi Jokinen back for the first time in the lineup in 15 days. A nice pass to Iginla for the PPG, plus 6 of 10 in the circle for JJ. He can still be a useful player and hopefully can stay in the lineup. Even though he played three games after being kneed by Marty Reasoner in Game 1 of the Islanders series, he didn't look himself. Last night, he did.

``Another nice part of a blowout win- no one's taxed too much. The Pens defensive triumvirate of Letang, Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin were taxed for 35-37 minutes a piece in ice-time in the double OT Game 3, last night they were all in the 21-23 minute range, a bump below their usual. Nothing comes easy this time of year, but getting to roll the lines and pairings when the game isn't close is always an added bonus.

``Chris Kunitz left the game, came back and left again when the score got out of reach. It goes without saying he's one of the Pens most important players, so we'll wait and see what happens. Not that we'll find out a lot of information before game-time Friday night, but either he can play or can't. Either way, for a game or two, let's go Rangers, right?

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