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Sunday evening thoughts: Ex-Pens, Canadian goalies, TK and Goose has a cool "100 facts to know feature" up.  Among some of the more interesting and lesser known Penguin highlights:

  • Six of Tyler Kennedy's last nine goals have counted as game winners (something we mused about last week)
  • TK currently leads the whole league with 3 game winning goals in 2009-10.
  • Alex Goligoski leads the Pens so far in plus/minus (+8).

We're a couple weeks and 8 games into the season, so here are some "who would have thought" statistical oddities...

Who would have thought:

  • that Eric Godard would play 6 of 8 games and only rank 7th on the team with 10 penalty minutes.
  • Mike Rupp and Tyler Kennedy would combine for one less goal than Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin (6 for the grinders to 7 for the big boys).
  • that Sergei Gonchar and Brooks Orpik, the #1 defensive pairing, would be the only two players with a negative plus/minus rating on the team.
  • that Goligoski and Kris Letang would be second and fourth respectively on the Pens in time played.
  • the Penguins would rank 3rd in 5-on-5 goals ratio with 1.9.  (As in, Pittsburgh has scored 1.9 goals at even strength for every 1 goal they give up).
  • And who would have thought that the only teams Pittsburgh would be behind in the above category would be Buffalo and Phoenix.

--The grass isn't always greener in the Wild.  Former Pittsburgh assistant GM Chuck Fletcher's Minnesota Wild is off to a terrible 1-6-0 start.  What I find funny is that Todd Richards would have been next in line to have been PIttsburgh's head coach, since he was a "rising star" coaching Wilkes-Barre before ditching for an assistant coach's job in the NHL.  Now in his first crack at being the head man in the NHL it's been rough.  And his little known assistant Dan Bylsma is the #1 coach in hockey, based off his results in the past 8 months.

--Team Canada, like other national bodies, are keeping a close eye on how players fare in this season to help decide in large part who's going to Vancouver for the Olympics...Here's the five Canadian goalies from the summer camp's early season stats:

  • Martin Brodeur: 4-3-0, 2.68 GAA, .908 save %
  • Roberto Luongo:  3-4-1, 3.41 GAA, .870 save %
  • Steve Mason:  4-1-0, 2.35 GAA, .925 save %
  • Cam Ward:  2-4-1, 2.42 GAA, .926 save %
  • Marc-Andre Fleury: 7-0-0, 2.09 GAA, .922 save %

It'd take a lot of balls not to give Brodeur and Luongo ice-time, given how highly regarded and experienced they are, but the three other guys all have great save percentages and have been making cases for themselves.  Could a guy like Mason or Fleury play themselves into Olympic action if they keep making saves and getting wins?

--We all love former Penguins (mostly) so here's how some notable old buddies of ours are doing around the league with their new teams:

  • Colby Armstrong (ATL): 4 games played, 0 goals, 1 assist
  • Georges Laraque (MTL): 7gp, 0g, 1a, 5 PIMs
  • Ryan Malone (TBL): 7 gp, 6g, 0a
  • Petr Sykora: (MIN): 4gp, 1g, 0a
  • Hal Gill (MTL): 7gp, 0g, 0a, -4, 10 blocked shots
  • Rob Scuderi (LAK): 8gp, 0g, 1a, -3, 15 blocked shots
  • Ryan Whitney (ANA): 7gp, 1g, 3a, 10 PIMs
  • Ty Conklin (STL): 2-0-0, 1.50 GAA, .950 save percentage

Good starts for Malone and Conklin but a lot of tough times for the other guys.  At least they're getting good paychecks though; the combined cap hit of those eight players is $22.05 million. 

--Random: If you like to watch "60 Minutes" you must really hate football.   Pigskin ALWAYS runs way over and bumps back the old people's show.

--Down on the farm (more tommorow) the Baby Pens went an impressive 2-0-0 this week, on the heels of getting one of their most talented forwards (Mark Letestu) back from an injury.