Sid gets 1,000 and the Penguins get 2
Last night the Penguins put together a very nice ceremony for Sidney Crosby’s 1000th game. In the absence of fans the Penguins came strong with a highlight package few player’s to ever play the game could compare to
It isn’t often we are given a window in Crosby’s personal life. His girlfriend met him on the ice and his parents recorded a video from Cole Harbor which took twenty takes to get through. Even Sid himself started to show some emotion.
We’ve gotten so used to robot-Sid we it is nice when we get to see the human side.
Crosby didn’t disappoint in his 1,000th game. He finished with two primary assists on his friend Kris Letang’s first two goals of the year. The first goal came on the power play, yes the power play.
There is nothing complex going on here and that is the beauty of it. A won faceoff, using the bumper player in the middle to relieve pressure, having a shoot first mentality on the right circle, winning rebound battle, passing the puck into the other player’s wheelhouse for a one-timer. The one thing I will say is that I hope Kris Letang returns the favor to Evgeni Malkin and serves him up some passes to blast like Malkin did for him there.
Letang’s other shot was just as good, if not better, than the one on the power play.
The curl and drag to change the angle to get the shot through was great as was the placement. This is why I get frustrated with Letang passing up shooting opportunities on the power play. It is something he’s really good at. Also, don’t sleep on the screen Jake Guentzel put on Varlamov. You don’t have to always stand in one place while somebody cross checks you to successfully screen the goalie. Jake goes about it the more cerebral way. Both methods can be successful.
The Mike Matheson experience was on full display last night. His skating and shot led to the tying goal, but the tying goal was necessary because his decision making and marking up players was so bad on the Islanders second goal. There are going to be some low lows with Matheson, but there will be some positive plays working to somewhat balance things out. It is going to be a wild ride
Here is the strong skating and shot to tie the game
Tristan Jarry played another strong game. Stopping 33 out of the 35 shots he faced. The Penguins were vastly outplayed and Jarry’s strong performance was the driving force for the victory. It was Jarry’s fourth start in a row and he is finally starting to gain traction. Where it goes from here is anybody’s guess. He has a small NHL sample and trying to predict goaltender’s with a wildly volatile small sample is a fool’s errand.
Evgeni Malkin left the game for an extended period of time after he crumpled due to a Mat Barzal spin move. He looked shaken up, finished his shift, and then went to the dressing room. He eventually came back and finished the game. On the surface this seems like good news, but given how many times the Penguins let a player finish the game after leaving injured only to miss weeks of game action is way above zero. I really hope it doesn’t happen yet again here.
The Penguins, Flyers, Islanders and Capitals are all tied with 19 points in the division for the second spot. The Penguins and Capitals have played 16 games, the Flyers have only played 14, while the Islanders have played a division most 17.
The Penguins have the Capitals next on Tuesday where they will face off against their future teammate?....
Thanks for reading!