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Max Talbot's latest blog: On Alex Ponikarovsky and Jordan Leopold, the trade deadline and the Olympics

For the second time this week I was fortunate enough to have received an e-mail from our residential translator Becky.  Only this time, rather than providing a Marc-Andre Fleury blog (she did that last week, FYI), it was a fresh, new Max Talbot installment.  Say what you will about his season so far, but the guy certainly writes like he still has a lot of fight in him.  As always, many thanks to Becky for her efforts in providing an accurate translation.  Far be it from me to even attempt such an endeavor.  I failed Spanish two years in a row in high school.  I need all the help I can get.

See what Max has to say about the Penguins' newest acquisitions, the league's trade deadline and Sid's game-winner in the Olympic gold medal game.

The Improved Penguins

I very much agree with the acquisitions that our general manager, Ray Shero, made around the trade deadline.  I think that we form a better team than before the recent trades that brought us Alexei Ponikarovsky and Jordan Leopold.

The former hasn’t yet played with us, due to problems with his work visa, but he jumped onto the ice this morning at practice and there is no denying that this player is truly an offensive force.

Really, to have amassed so many points—114 goals and 143 assists for 257 points in 477 games—with the Leafs, who are far from being a big team in the league, shows the extent of his talent.  In my opinion, in partnering with a player like Crosby or Malkin, we should see him blossom… and it should be beautiful to see.

The worst is that it’s not only Gino and Sid, there’s also Jordan Staal.  We are incredibly lucky to have three such exceptional centers, and in the last three seasons, our GM has made it a point of honor to go search out wingers who are able to adapt and follow the rhythm set by our centers.

Ponikarovsky should really be a good addition for us, since although it’s all well and good to have support players like myself who are going to make a mark in the playoffs, but if you really want to have some punch on attack, that takes guys like him.

As for Leopold, he’s just a solid hockey player.  He’s played two games with us now, and you have to admit that he’s a smart player who knows how to do the little things well and how to kick-start the attack.

With their addition, I think that we are a better team.  These are talented players with a lot of experience in the league.  We are definitely a better group of players with them along.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are going in the right direction, that’s for sure.


The trade deadline around the league

The Washington Capitals are also moving in the right direction, and they obviously represent a force in the East, and in the league in general.  We respect them, but do they scare us?  I wouldn’t think so.

They also made moves during the trade period.  They got Milan Jurcina, Joe Corvo, Scott Walker, and the one the analysts perhaps talk about the most, Eric Belanger.

Some people seem to think that his acquisition will enable the Caps to cover Sidney, to contain him.

Honestly, since I’ve been playing with Sid, I don’t think that a single team has tried to stick a guy on him, and I don’t think that it would be a very good thing to do.   Belanger is an excellent player, but if their plan is to make him cover Sidney one-on-one…let them try!

So many emotions

Like most everyone else, I was riveted to my television last Sunday during the hockey final between Canada and the United States. 

Aha!  You should have seen me at my house.  Alone on my sofa with the lights off, focused exclusively on what was going on on my TV.

As the game went on, I was sending texts to my American friends to tease them a little.  I can tell you that they let me know it when Parise scored with twenty-some seconds to go.

I replied that Parise had just set the table for Sid… I couldn’t have said anything better.

I don’t know how you reacted yourselves, but you should have seen me go "Aha!"  I was jumping all over the house.  I was like a child who has just discovered a pack of candy or his Christmas present.  I had tears in my eyes, I was so happy.

It’s been five years that we’ve been playing together, and to see my good pal achieve that was really incredible.  I am truly happy for Canada, but even more for Sidney.  Wow!

Incidentally, an Olympic medal is pretty impressive.