I’m not going to do a full game re-cap today. Just some thoughts and random Pens news. A lot going on today. Injury updates, information from last night’s game against the Flyers, the upswing in concussions and the Pens new reality show “In the Room.”
Read on for a ton of information…
Pens vs. Flyers
Last night the Pens lost to the Flyers in their first game against each other this season. The Pens looked exhausted through the first two periods and the game was seriously chippy from the start. Games against the Flyers are always physical. You should expect nothing less.
James Neal was the first Penguin in hit Jagr and had the first Pens goal of the game, sending a beautiful shot top shelf over Ilya Brzygalov (Why you heff to be mad?) It was a power play goal, resulting from Zac Rinaldo cutting across the slot to lay a blatant elbow to the face of Robert Bortuzzo, who did not return to the game. Evgeni Malkin scored the Pens other goal. Claude Giroux had one point, an assist on a goal by Wayne Simmonds.
James Neal now has 15 goals, 8 of which are power play goals. He leads the league in PPG.
Matt Niskanen cross-checked Scott Hartnell after he crashed the net and took a penalty. Hartnell had some cheap shots himself in this game. Tyler Kennedy went bezerk on Harry Zolnierczyk. Not exactly the fight people were expecting.
Jaromir Jagr drew infinite penalties all game. Rinaldo cheap shotted every chance he got. The Pens 5-on-3 doesn’t exist. They need to get that in gear because what they are doing is embarrassing for a team that has gone from terrible power play to amazing power play. The only thing I can say is that when you look at the Pen’s PK unit, we are missing Kris Letang and missing him pretty badly.
Pens and Flyers meet again on December 29th. Jagr and Max Talbot’s first time playing in Pittsburgh since they went to the Flyers. It is going to be insane inside Consol Energy Center.
Today, the Pens are practicing at the Nassau Coliseum. Six players from the active roster are not present at practice. Sidney Crosby is now sitting his second game in a row as a precaution from taking a few hard hits in the game against Boston on Monday. Robert Bortuzzo is not practicing. According to Head Coach Dan Byslma, Bortuzzo is experiencing concussion-like symptoms.
Deryk Engelland is practicing with the team. He has missed the past two days after leaving the game against the Hurricanes last Saturday with a lower body injury. He has been listed as day-t0-day. He is not ruled out for the game tomorrow against the Islanders.
Richard Park skated prior to practice today with Engelland, but left the ice before practice began. Jordan Staal and Matt Cooke aren’t practicing.
Ben Lovejoy is still listed as 2-4 weeks away from returning to the line-up from a broken wrist. No timeline yet on Zbynek Michalek and Kris Letang, who have both been diagnosed with concussion symptoms.
According the @BroadStHockey on Twitter, Flyers’s captain Chris Pronger is headed to Pittsburgh next week to be evaluated by Dr. Mickey Collins, who has been treating Sid. Pronger is out indefinitely with a concussion.
Something has got to give here. The NHL needs to do something, because Shanabanning everyone and their mother for headshots isn’t working. There is no word yet on if Rinaldo’s hit on Bortuzzo will be reviewed.
Just this week, Andy Sutton from the Oilers has been suspended indefinitely for a hit on former Penguin Alexi Ponikarovsky. He left his feet and nailed Poni into the boards when the Oilers played the Canes on Wednesday. Poni has been diagnosed with a concussion. This is Sutton’s SECOND suspension this season for headshots. He was suspended for 5 games back in October in a game aagainst the Avalanche. Sutton hit Gabriel Landeskog. Absolutely annihilated Landeskog. So he goes and pulls this stunt AGAIN!
Ville Leino was suspended this week for elbowing Matt Read of the Flyers. Seriously. What does the league intend to do? Shanahan can suspend people all day long and the players just don’t get it. Honestly, the teams themselves need to come up with a way to protect the players. Each team should be making maximum effort to ensure that their players understand how serious headshots are and enforce zero tolerance policies for headshots.
How many careers and lives have to be ruined before it clicks in someone’s head that this is dangerous? Of course, people are allowed to headshot Matt Cooke, so we know exactly how serious the league is…
The rampant success of HBO’s 24/7 showcasing the Pens and Caps Winter Classic has inspired the Pens to film an all access internet reality show called “In the Room.” You can watch episode 1 here on the Pens website.
Most fans are happy right now because our DVD copies of 24/7 are arriving in the mail this week. My copy should hopefully be waiting for me at home today!
The internet, especially social media, have given us all a glimse into the lives of our favorite teams and players and allowed us to interact with them on a daily basis. This is a great move by the Pens. Ray Shero is extremely conscious of the fan base and our wants and needs and doing right by us. This is another example of how well he understands Pittsburgh fans.
On December 14th, the first episode of 24/7 Rangers vs Flyers will air on HBO. On the edge of my seat for this one.