We've said this regularly over the first 6 games, but it must be said again after the Pens latest sans-Sid/Geno loss in a game where the team played well but -- you guessed it -- couldn't bury enough of it's plentiful scoring chances. We're ready for the stars to come back. It's nice to be proud of the way the team plays when the Big Two aren't on the ice, but it's a lot like potty training: it's great when the kid is trying really hard to use the toilet, but at some point he needs to learn how not to hit the seat.
- Saying the Pens are starless right now may not be technically accurate. James Neal has been dominant this season, galloping like a Clydesdale in a turtle race. But this is not a surprise -- last year Neal was also an impressive player, clearly looking like the scoring winger the Pens needed (you know, except for the scoring). This season, he's not doing anything that differently -- last year he threw the puck from the board to the net indiscriminately an unlimited amount of times, to very little success. Except this time:
The point is that Neal wasn't that bad last year; but this year we're wondering if he could really be that good.
- Speaking of things that aren't that good, Jordan Staal's puck handling.
- We have nothing against Mark LeHealthyScratch personally, but it's never a good sign when your fill-in first line center is also the first guy that you scratch when your real first-line center comes back. And it's an even worse sign when this fill-in subsequently gets replaced on first line duty by Richard Park. And it's an even worse sign when Richard Park looks significantly better in the first-line role.
- Bylsma did a good job last night of rolling all 6-defensemen to avoid giving Letang too much ice time this early in the year. Last night he was at 21:13.
- The Sabres are for real.
- GTOG's rage over Comcast's failure to devote more than one High Definition channel to the NHL Center Package reached a boiling point last night; a very angry email was sent. Comcast replied and will reach out to contact me as soon as possible. It's a near certainty that they won't do anything about it, but GTOG is going to fight the good fight.
Beautiful Sunday. Go Steelers.