The Pittsburgh Penguins head into the olympic break with a two game winning streak. Yes i said a two game winning streak. Friday night they defeated the best team in the league the Carolina Hurricans 4-3 in a game believe or not that they outplayed the Hurricanes for most of the game. It was a great team effort and getting goals from Boguniecki, Leclair, Recchi and Crosby. One player that i was impressed with friday night was Ryan Whitney. He finally looked like the player who first came to the team in November. He was playing with confidence and was the best player on the ice. For this team to finish off the season strong after the Olympic break is for Ryan Whitney to play like the Ryan Whitney that played against the Hurricanes.
Tonite the Pens defeated the Washington Capitals 6-3. The Pens started off strong with Sidney Crosby scoring a powerplay goal at 18:25 of the first period. He was follwed with goals by Leclair,Gonchar,Armstrong and Recchi in the second period. Boguniecky also notched a goal in the third period to put the Penguins up 6-1. John Leclair has really turned it on the past couple weeks. He is playing like the player i thought we were getting. It’s looking like that goal scoring touch has come back for the time being. Mark Recchi also has played extremely well the past weeks. Leclair and Recchi should be brought back next year. You need veterern players and Recchi is still a solid second liner and Leclair can be a valuable third liner. With the salary cap possibly rising to 46 million next year the minimum cap number is going to be around 32 million.
With Ziggy and Mario retiring this year, this team has shed about 7-8 million from their payroll and stand at the end of the season with a cap number in the 24-26 range. That means there is no reason to unload Recchi, Leclair and Gonchar unless they get some teams at the deadline to drastically overpay for them. Despite the Arena and ownership issues, management is possibly going to have spend 4-8 million on free agents just to get to the Cap minimum which will be in the range of 29-32 million. Im telling you this team is not as bad as its record looks and this team could improve alot come next year. Other notes from the game Marc Andre Fleury was outstanding. Plain and simple this why i have faith in this team turning it around next year. This kid is going to keep getting better and better. Upcoming game: Wednesday March 1 VS the Ottawa Senators
Baltimore Ravens star linebacker Ray Lewis is frustrated with the team and has told friends that he does not want to return to the Ravens in 2006. Baltimores GM Ozzie Newsome did say that Lewis did ask to be traded before the 2005 season and just recently has a meeting with team owner about a possible trade before training camp starts.
– This will be interesting as it plays out, No word on what teams are interested.
Dont forgot to check in tuesday morning for my hockey Olympic preview and my surprise pick on who will win the gold.