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Pensburgh celebrates Phil Kessel 7/31

Another week ending in the summer, another chance to catch Phil Friday at Pensburgh.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the best day of the week: Friday. Phil Friday

Catch up on your previous Phil Fridays:

And here we go!

Kessel highlights the Pens changes

Really great article by Stephen Whyno yesterday. The best portion:

Last season Pittsburgh dressed 24 different forwards because of injuries and trades. Many were far from productive, leaving Crosby and Malkin to shoulder the bulk of the offensive load.

On opening night the Penguins could feature a top nine of Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Bonino, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis, David Perron, Patric Hornqvist and Beau Bennett, with Fehr stepping in once he's back from elbow surgery. And those spots aren't set in stone, as Rutherford expects a competitive training camp and season under coach Mike Johnston.

Can the season just start already?


We've seen this before, but it's worth watching again. First, really nice play by James van Riemsdyk to sky the puck into open space, but it's the way that Kessel can chase it down, control the puck and almost instantly release a picture perfect snap shot at a high rate of speed in a fluid motion.


Did someone say warm cookies?


Going to open this up, who do you think would be the best first choice to start the season on the same line as Kessel?

We'll make the choices:

  • Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby
  • David Perron - Sidney Crosby
  • Sergei Plotnikov - Evgeni Malkin
  • Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin
  • David Perron - Evgeni Malkin

I don't really think there are any other realistic choices, given that Crosby is basically certain to start with a LW he's familiar with (meaning Kunitz or Perron) and though there's the outside chance that Plotnikov might be good enough to start with Malkin, whoever between CK14 and DP57 doesn't play on Crosby's left, will likely be on Malkin's.

Chime in the comments with your choice and why you think it's best. It's still the dog-days of summer after all.