The Penguins did actually play some games last month, so what the hell. Let's give out what's turning into the "Sidney Crosby player of the month award"
Past months grades and Pensburgh Player of the Month:
The Penguins went 2-1-3 in February before the Olympic break; which could be good if you look at it as they got points in the standings on a lot of nights, but if you're a glass half empty person you probably notice a couple more points that they left on the table.
A reminder, as always grades are based off of expectations. So, a guy like Eric Godard could get a better grade than a Evgeni Malkin, doesn't mean that Godard is a better player, just would have done better based on his role....
|Marc-Andre Fleury||C-||(2-1-3, 3.39 GAA, .898 save percentage on the month) Fleury was the goalie of record for every game in the month of Feb. He got pulled once in the month and gave up 3+ goals in four of six outings. Not ideal.|
|Brent Johnson||C-||(0-0-0, 3.69 GAA .885 save %) Another month, another injury for Johnson (this time the groin). He came in relief for Fleury once, but in his only start he left with injury.|
(6 games played, 0 goals, 1 assists, +2, 2 penalty minutes) Rumored to possibly be a deadline victim out of town, Eaton didn't practice on Sunday because in the words of coach Dan Bylsma, Eats "had a situation flare up". Uh yeah, that's NEVER good.
(6gp, 0g, 2a, -3, 0 PIMs) The last time Goose scored a goal, the baseball season was still going on (Nov 3rd. Now that pitchers and catchers have reported, maybe he'll kick it into gear?
|Sergei Gonchar||B||(6gp, 0g, 4a, +5, 6 PIMs) The Pens defensive leader posted his best month of plus/minus while producing points at his usual high rate. Hopefully he sets aside his Olympic disappointment for the prospect of another playoff run.|
(6 gp, 0g, 3a, -1, 6 PIMs) Memo to Letang: you're in a contract year, time to kick it in gear. He's got a history of big "second half" performances too, hopefully it'll come through again.
|Jay McKee||C-||(5gp, 0g, 1a, -3, 0 PIMs) Uneven and injury plagued month for McKee. He's a guy who puts himself in harm's way, and as a result often ends up paying the price. On the plus side, few NHL'ers probably benefited more from the two week breather than McKee. Also is the Mustache Man for March!|
(6gp, 1g, 2a, +3, 24 PIMs) From the signs of the apocalypse file: Brooks Orpik leads an NHL defense for the month in goal scoring (no matter how brief the month)
(1gp, 0g, 0a, -2, 0 PIMs) It only took 4:50 of ice-time for Skoula to rack up a -2 and probably lose the confidence of management forever.
(6gp, 0g, 0a, +1, 9 PIMs) Well, you look at his +/- and say "at least nothing's going in the wrong net while he's on the ice". Even if nothing's really going into any net at all.
(6gp, 1g, 1a, +1, 7 PIMs) Cooke's work on the forecheck and excelling on the PK earns him a little leeway for when the production is lean.
(6gp, 8g, 2a, -1, 4 PIMs) Only seven Penguins have scored more goals than Crosby did in an abbreviated month. Oh yeah, he's a legend in Canada for all-time now or something. Just another month for El Sid.
|Pascal Dupuis||C+||(6gp, 1g, 1a, -1, 2 PIMs) Perhaps no player on the team may see his role change depending on the trading deadline. Dupes could be a top line player or down on the 4th line. It's wait and see time.|
(6 gp, 0g, 0a, -7, 2 PIMs) Fedotenko's lack of production is a big reason why many expect the Pens to look at acquiring a winger. It's been a rough month in a rough year, hopefully the break has allowed himself to press the reset button.
(0gp, 0g, 0a, 0 PIMs) Injured the entire month and still hasn't resumed practicing. Given that Godard doesn't play in the playoffs, it's questionable whether or not he'll be back in uniform at all this season.
(6gp, 1g, 2a, +1, 23 PIMs) Decent month for the wily veteran, who's just biding his time until the games really count.
(1gp, 0g, 0a, even, 0 PIMs) Johnson got in the Buffalo game, didn't stand out in a good or bad way and is now back in the minors. With guys like Kunitz and Talbot back, this may have been his last taste of the show in a while.
(6gp, 0g, 3a, +1, 15 PIMs) Never too great when TK has more fights (2) than goals (0), but you can never accuse him of not playing with an edge or staying active.
|Chris Kunitz||B||(4gp, 2g, 0a, +2, 4 PIMs) We've missed your grit, hitting and production from the wing. Welcome back.|
(6gp, 2g, 8a, -2, 10 PIMs) Geno's currently rockin' a 13 game point streak, but how mentally tough he can be bouncing back from his disappointing Olympic outing may determine the result of Pittsburgh's season
(6gp, 1g, 0a, -3, 0 PIMs) Gets the trooper award for keeping a good attitude over all the promotions and demotions, but even better is that he hasn't looked out of place in the NHL.
|Mike Rupp||C-||(6gp, 0g, 0a, even, 2 PIMs) All signs of early season goal scoring is gone, Rupp's still a valuable 4th liner even if he's not showing that noted touch lately.|
(6gp, 3g, 2a, +4, 4 PIMs) A short month but a solid one for Staal, who's stepping up his game seemingly after every shift.
(0gp, 0g, 0a, 0 PIMs) Talbot's back to practice and ready for the games to count. The Superstar plays for keeps.