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Pens Nation Thursday: Links and Crosby stats

--Swine flu cases are piling up; Colorado's Peter Budaj, Edmonton's Ladislav Smid, NY Islanders' Doug Weight,  Washington's Quinton Laing have all been diagnosed in recent days.  It's probably only a matter of time before a Penguin (or one of us) catches it.  So far though it doesn't seem like a player has spread it to his teammates, so hopefully team officials can continue to keep it bottled up.

--If you were wondering, Crosby didn't hit goal #9 until November 28th last season (his 22nd game of the year).  He gets to that mark October 28th in the 12th game of the year.  Of course, to be show the whole picture, Crosby had 12 assists through his first twelve games last year, this season only 5 helpers.  Playmaking's still probably the biggest tool in the box, but Crosby's penchant to drive the net and bury the damn thing himself has carried over from the playoffs.

--Jersey fouls make the world go 'round. [Puck Daddy]

--Are the Sens gonna piss off Erik Karlsson by demoting him to the minors? [The Hockey News]

--James Mirtle talks about hot starts and sends me to a dictionary to see what the heck the word "ephemeral" means.  Worth a read, for sure.  Colorado might be in danger of falling apart like Ottawa, Montreal or Buffalo have in years' past, but you'd think the defending Stanley Cup champs have the experience (and talent) to avoid those pratfalls. [From the Rink]

--Finally, Seth from Empty Netters sums it up pretty well:

"That was easily the team's best performance of the season. And it was still far from perfect. That's how scary the Penguins are right now. They aren't even close to playing their best right now yest they're still winning games with relative ease.

Imagine the Penguins with Sergei Gonchar, Tyler Kennedy and Maxime Talbot in the lineup? Imagine the Penguins with a power play running at full efficiency. This will be a scary team if it gets everything running at 100 percent."