Last year, we really didn't like Matt Niskanen. We gave Shero credit for getting him thrown in the Goligoski-Neal trade, but once we saw him play we longed for the days where we were underwhelmed by Jordan Leopold. But what a difference a year makes.
Nobody talks about Niskanen and that's the best thing about him. I can't remember saying a single good or bad thing about him all season, except he does a really good job at one-timing super hard passes. He's definitely added some grit to his game as he's gotten more comfortable in Pittsburgh and has transformed himself from a nice throw-in piece of an already great trade to an extremely valuable third-pairing defenseman. He has missed one game all season, plays over 18 minutes a night, and is a +10. As a 5th defenseman with a $1.5 million cap hit, he's more than just a valuable asset. He's a luxury.
|Will not disappoint you if you don't expect too much.|
Huge game against the Predators tonight, as the Rangers have decided not to go quietly into the night. Against Winnipeg, the Pens could score at will and had to play almost no defense (we're looking at you, Paul Martin). But with Pekka Rinne in goal tonight, it's about defense...the Pens can't let the Preds get to 3 goals. We've been fans long enough to pick up the smell in the air about tonight's game. Pens out-shoot Preds 41-21, Rinne stands on his head, power play goes 0-for-6 and the Preds win 2-1 on a late goal. But we also have an inkling that a certain Penguin loaded up on Febreze.