Good morning and happy Friday!
Woo-hoo, we finally won a preseason game! Another one I didn't see because I was at the Linc watching Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb just like the old times. But hey the Pens won! Sid is no worse for the wear, thankfully. Now let's bubble-wrap him for the rest of the preseason.
Beau Bennett is making a strong case for a top 6 spot. Over the summer he bulked up to 195 lbs which will certainly help, because we know he's got the skill.
Matt D'Agostini is trying to make the team and earn a job on the third line, replacing Tyler Kennedy. What most people may not know is that they've been good friends since childhood, growing up together in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada. It's a small world. Nice story.
Speaking of the Flyers, the site for the Penguins-Flyers outdoor game is yet to be determined. The foregone conclusion that it would be at Beaver Stadium is just speculation for now.
The Oilers reached agreement with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on a 7-year extension worth $42M. For the record, this is utterly ridiculous. He had 76 points in 102 games. What?
As new hockey season starts, it makes sense for hockey fans to draw up some new year resolutions. Down Goes Brown has taken the first stab at a list of things we all should do in order to become better fans. On the list: it's Olympic year and all, so if someone has a slump, let's think first before we go all-Pujols on them Jack Clark-style; let's dial back the weekly Grapes drama; let's be more creative in our hatred of opposing team's stars and come up with something better for Sid and the Sedin twins; and let's stop telling advanced stats people to watch the games.
Of all the articles I read today, this one was by far the most interesting because, although I was trained as a scientist, hockey analytics is not something I really have time to devote to, so I learn as I go. Puck Prediction has an in-depth analysis of the Pens 15-game winning streak in March. While you're at it, also read their take on Fleury and the power of narrative. As always, things are neither black nor white, but rather a shade of gray.
Apparently Ted Leonsis plans to announce on Saturday that the Washington Capitals will host the 2015 Winter Classic. Their opponent is speculated to be the Philadelphia Flyers. If mediocrity is what they're going for, they will put those two in the WC.