Wouldn't you know it, Ron Cook got it right this morning. Credit where it's due, he looked back on last night's inaugural regular season game against the hated Philadelphia Flyers and launched the quintessential Cook rhetorical query: "I say so what?" Indeed. Everybody was excited for this one, and a bit more invested than usual, but we'll be struggling to remember the details in a few weeks. Here's what caught GTOG's eye:
- The Flyers didn't see the need to try to intimidate the Pens, even with Eric Godard out of Pittsburgh's lineup. It's almost like they believe they can play with us. That's a little disturbing.
- There is simply no answer for Evgeni Malkin if he has the jump he had last night. Unfortunately, there is an answer for Mike Comrie wrist shots fired directly into the goalie's midsection. Comrie will get those chances every game - he clearly knows how to get open - and he better start to find the net.
- The way the puck was bouncing around in the first period last night probably had something to do with opening night jitters, but I suspect the Flyers' Mike Richards was right when he used an expletive to describe the condition of the ice at Consol Arena. Concessions to Ron Cook and Mike Richards in the same post? Rough morning.
- Sure, the new power play was a failure last night. But I'm not prepared to draw any conclusions. Let's talk on Sunday.
- There was a lot of talk in camp from Coach Dan Bylsma about the defenseman jumping into the play. He wasn't kidding. I don't remember ever seeing so many different Pens' defenseman being so aggressive offensively. It didn't translate into goals last night, but it looks like this team is expecting Paul Martin, Kris Letang, and Alex Goligoski to compensate for the expected dearth of goal-scoring from the wings. Even Z-Mickle was thinking offense.
- Kris Letang had the flu. He gets a pass on the giveaway. Just this once.
- What a shot by Tyler Kennedy. As discussed by Finesse in our season preview, he's got to add some versatility to his offensive game if he wants to stick. He got off to a good start last night.
- The state of the Penguins wingers was summed up perfectly at the end of the second period, when Chris Kunitz darted up the middle of the neutral zone looking to take a lead pass from Malkin and, without being touched, tripped over his own feet and somersaulted into the Flyers' end.
- The sequence in the third period where Malkin had his stick held, then moments later stripped a Flyer of the puck and got called for a hook? Terrible. How's my over-under bet on Geno's penalty minutes looking?
- Claude Giroux is a genuine, modern day Penguin killer. He scares me more than any other Flyer forward, and it's not even close.
- GTOG Nation, I call upon you now to explain the Alex Ovechkin commercial where Ovechkin's head (sans the rest of his body) appears in some kid's locker and he starts laughing maniacally as the kid looks on, stunned. Children across North America (or at least children who get Versus) will have nightmares about this.