MORNING PENS BUZZ
Fair or not, talking to people around the league and the consensus is there’s pretty much nothing Marc Andre Fleury can do in the first two to three months of the season to re-emerge on Team Canada’s radar for the Sochi Olympics. Fleury is off to an excellent start, 8-2-0 on the season with a 1.79 GAA and .928 save percentage but the strong start is considered to have no impact on Team Canada suddenly seeing Fleury as potentially being one of their top-3 goaltenders. When Fleury who was apart of the 2010 Gold winning team, wasn’t invited to Canada’s orientation camp in August, it all but meant he had no shot at making the team regardless of what he does on the ice in October, November and December I’m told.
Until Fleury performs well again in the playoffs, big time situations, the cloud surrounding him just isn’t going to go away. Regardless, you can bet Fleury would rather have the three weeks off to spend time with his family than go be the No. 3 goaltender again, a role he was said to be miserable in during the 2010 Olympics. Some team officials also felt at the time that Fleury going to Vancouver and sitting, played a factor in his struggles following the 2010 Olympics. Upon returning from the Olympics, Fleury posted an .898 save percentage in March, .892 save percentage in four April starts and an .891 save percentage in 13 post-season starts.
— Jarome Iginla returns to Pittsburgh tonight as the Penguins and Bruins clash in a rematch of the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals. Boston people tell me what Penguins fans should expect to see from Iginla tonight is a player playing in a system that fits him and a coach using Iginla the right way. The Bruins are said to be thrilled with how Iginla has fitted in and he has 2 goals and 6 assists for 8 points and a plus-8 rating in 10 games played. Iginla’s time in Pittsburgh seems to be looked at as a disappointment by most of the fan base and some media types, but at 35 years old Iginla still produced 9 goals and 23 points in 28 combined games (regular season/post-season) with the Penguins. Over an 82 game period, that’s a 67 point season.
For a player who didn’t fit the system well and was used on his off-wing, the Penguins got something from Iginla but there’s one area where Penguin scouts missed on Iginla. I’m told Penguins coaches obviously knew they weren’t getting the Jarome Iginla of eight to ten years ago, but the coaches were expecting a player based on reports they were getting that was still a force in the corners in winning puck battles and had more grit to his game. That was one major area where Iginla’s game has dropped off over the last couple years.
— Never want to see a player get injured but Chuck Kobasew’s injury could be a good thing for this hockey club as it opens an opportunity for Jayson Megna. The Penguins do indeed plan to give Megna an extended look on the third line with Brandon Sutter over the next two to three weeks. One team source compared Megna to being in the situation that a young Tyler Kennedy was in during the 2007-2008 season. Kennedy was called up in late October and won over the coaching staff becoming a pivotal player on the third line for the rest of the season.