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The Penguins on Wednesday night aced their toughest test of the season with a 3-2 overtime win against the Colorado Avalanche in improving to 5-2-0 on the season.
Everything about Pittsburgh’s hot play despite a rash of injuries is all about Sidney Crosby who is driving the bus in elevating the Penguins play like few superstars can.
Crosby has been in complete control of the game in all three zones over the last four games and the rest of the team is just feeding off him. What we’ve seen from Crosby over the last week has been special.
Getting better with age?
Get used to it.
If there’s a Tom Brady esque athlete in the NHL who will keep getting better with age, it’s going to be Sidney Crosby who year after year is finding ways to adapt to a faster, younger league and will continue to in remaining a top 3-5 player in the league. The days of winning Art Ross Trophies are likely over but Crosby’s 200-ft game has become so dominant and health permitted should carry smoothly with age where his reign as a top-5 player has at least a 3-4 year window.
The Penguins have had like what seems like a 9-10 year run where they get crushed with a couple key injuries in the regular season and they find a way to go on a great run for a couple weeks.
It seems like a yearly occurrence and it’s happening again.
This stretch has been fun to watch in how well the team as a whole is doing the little things, going all out to make the simple play like it’s the post-season.
With all the call-ups mixed in, one team source this week said ‘you see the results’ when ‘Mike [Sullivan] Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access" a common denominator that came up from multiple decision makers in the org was moving away from the one-dimensional skilled players, yes Evgeni Malkin and a few others that remain on the team were part of these talks at various points, was putting a lineup around Sidney Crosby that will be Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"
— Eddie Olczyk was quite critical of Kris Letang during the Penguins – Avalanche telecast, especially on the first goal against where a breakdown with the Penguins having numbers defensively (a major problem) saw them cave and leave the slot wide open.
I’m as critical as anyone on Letang and while Letang was a tad too aggressive in over-pursuing, this was a bit of broken play where Juuso Riikola deciding to take a stroll on the back check was more of an issue than Letang leaving his lane.
Even the biggest Letang supporter, though, can’t defend him for his over-aggressiveness in defending the 2-on-1 that saw Nathan MacKinnon tie the game.
This season is already proving Kris Letang is who he is. As long as your running him out there 25-27 minutes a game, you have to live with the good and live with the bad.
— Was Dominik Kahun just one of those who players who has a fluke season in putting up some points on a bad hockey team?
One glaring issue in his game is the lack of ability to push defenders back off of zone entries. There’s no fear from defenders that Kahun will beat them wide with speed or strength to get to the scoring areas. As the Penguins are inching closer to getting healthier with Rust, Blugstad and Galchenyuk not that far away, to go with the emergence of Sam Lafferty, the clock is ticking on Kahun already.
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— Phil Kessel who scored twice last night for the Arizona Coyotes, is looking like a genius for blocking a trade to Minnesota. What a disaster Bill Guerin has on his hands with a team of overpriced veterans that can’t stand each other.
Jim Rutherford isn’t shy about entertaining some wild trade scenarios and a Kessel for Jason Zucker wasn’t the only 1-for-1 swap discussed between the two sides last May.
Former Wild GM Paul Fenton initially pushed for a Z Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"