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Monday Pens Points: Vokoun May Play In Regular Season

Sid's pep talk helps Geno rebound. James Neal's talent is in danger of being overshadowed. Vokoun may play by the end of the regular season. Leafs ship sinking fast. Canes extend Faulk.

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I was at this school charity gala on Saturday, and even there I could not escape my dear Flyers-fan friends. Question of the night (by a reasonably well-meaning guy): Why can't Crosby be more like Chase Utley and less like Ryan Howard? Sigh. We have long ways to go here.

Anyways, Geno is having a bit of a resurgence of late, which he directly credits to Sid seeking him out and talking things through. Don't look now, but Geno's climbed to within a few points of Getzlaf for #2 in the scoring race. The last time teammates finished 1-2 in scoring (last two times actually), they were the Pens.

James Neal may one day be a 50-goal scorer. His game is there, but he's not getting the benefit of the doubt by the refs any more, and leads the team by a wide margin in questionable calls made against him. We can replace 2 minutes for being Matt Cooke with 2 minutes (or 5 games) for being James Neal.

So the Pens lost to the Blues 1-0 and everyone is so relieved we didn't allow 7 goals that this loss is almost looked upon as a win. Former Pen Brenden Morrow is there now, and his skills are a much better fir in St. Louis than they were here, although I'd be glad to have him in our bottom 6.

The Pens lack prospect depth at forward, and never has it been  more evident than this year, when WB/S Penguins struggled mightily with the cream of their crop spending a lot of time in Pittsburgh. The guys left behind are facing a tremendous pressure to deliver, but they haven't scored much and it's been a tough year.

Tomas Vokoun is still working his way up to possibly playing again, and it's a possibility he might get a game or two at the end of the regular season. It won't be a 3-man rotation, though. I know I'm not the only one confused.

And the chickens have finally come home to roost for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Jonathan Bernier's goaltending has kept the Leafs in playoff position, sitting 3rd in the East as recently as 10 days ago. But when Bernier went down with a groin injury and Reimer couldn't replicate his Sv%, the bottom fell out. Reimer did have a bad week, but he shouldn't be the scapegoat for the systemic problems.

Carolina Hurricanes have re-signed their Olympic defenseman Justin Faulk to a 6-year, $29M extension. That's a great deal for them considering he's only 22.