Evgeni Malkin did not disappoint in his first NHL game as he netted his first career goal late in the second period. Despite out shooting the Devils 16-4 in the 3rd period, the Penguins couldn’t muster anything past Marty Brodeur. Malkin was good not great but he showed he is the total package. It maybe be premature to say this but i’ve seen enough already and Malkin is the real deal but their is some concern. He has unbelievable offensive skills for how big he is but one thing that worried me was it seemed he had his head down a bit to much through the neutral zone. He’ll most likely fix that problem but Colin White was looking for the right time to line him up at center ice all game. Because of his size he’s a easier target through the middle and we don’t want to see him end up like Eric Lindros. Patrick Elias said the same thing regarding Malkin in his post game comments “The only thing I’m worried about is that he’s going to get killed out there. He keeps his head down and he likes to go through the middle,” Elias said. Lets give him the benefit of the doubt. It was his first game and he will adjust to the smaller rinks.
updated 1:00p.m. Arena News: City gaming task force backs Isle of Capri Casino Plan. For entire article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette click the link below
The Buzzontheburgh’s Penguin Notebook
Ryan Malone and Nils Ekman have been absolutely useless. Malone has 0 points in 5 games while Ekman has 2 points in 5 games. For two players on the top 2 lines to have 2 pts combined is a embarrassment. Mark Recchi had his finest game of the season and showed some good chemistry with Evgeni Malkin. Hopefully Recchi can keep it up. With the lack of production from Malone, Ekman; should Therrien put Crosby and Malkin together? For the short term I say yes. Right now players like Malone and Ekman are bringing down the play of Crosby. Crosby has now been pointless in 3 out of 5 games. Crosby is so versatile, he can play anywhere. Jordan Staal has 4 games left before his time is over so moving him up as the #2 center should not be out of the question. Johnny Leclair also had his best game of the year. Was very effective on the forecheck. Say all you want about but he’s showing a lot more than Malone or Ekman are.
Marc Andre Fleury was outstanding again. Although the Penguins were outshot by the Devils 38-34, the Devils had twice as many legit scoring chances. Both goals were not his fault. The defense was shaky at best. The personel is just not their. They miss Brooks Orpik’s physical presence in front of the net and could use Noah Welch and his physical presence. The inability to move players from the front of the net is what led to both goals and the loss. The Penguins now stand at 2-3 as they take on the New York Islanders tonight. This is a game the Pens need to win. Beat the teams your expected to beat like the Islanders.
The Buzzonthenburgh’s quick hits
The Rumor front: The Penguins have been awful on meaningful faceoffs and Yanic Perreault could be the answer. Perreault had 22 goals last season and was top 3 in faceoff percentage. He is still on the open market and if things don’t improve in the next couple games don’t be surprised if Shero brings in Perreault to fill that void. With the lack of production from our top 2 lines, reports out of Canada this morning have linked the Pens to being very interested in Petr Bondra. Stay tuned.