Sunday, January 21, 2007

These Penguins Can Fly

Somebody needs to sit Mark Recchi down and explain to him in big words that it is not his job to score goals. Somebody should take the time to explain to him that he is a washed up bum playing on a rebuilding team. Somebody should also explain to him that he is not being paid to score hat tricks, especially not at this point in his career, and especially not against our Maple Leafs. While that person is at it, they might as well take the time to explain to the Penguins' dressing room that they are a very, very young and inexperienced team and that they have no business scoring eight goals in one game, and certainly not against our Maple Leafs. And because they've already gathered all these guys in one place, they might as well take the opportunity to explain to them that their team isn't supposed to be holding down a playoff spot yet, especially when that spot could go to our Maple Leafs.

The NHL All-Star break is here, and Saturday night provided a case study in two teams that weren't expected to make the playoffs. On the one hand were our Leafs, owners of a whatever .500 record, exactly where they were expected to be. Injuries haven't helped, and Toronto has shown the odd flash of what they might be capable of, but over all it has been a half encompassed by mediocrity.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, in contrast, are flying (that is funny because penguins are flightless birds you see). Their roster has a tantalizing array of young goodies (like a box of chocolate that you've lost the which-is-which guide to. Eww... Coconut Malone) plus some direction pointing veterans. Some said that the Penguins were still a year away from making the playoffs, after all, Ma Fleury had yet to really establish himself, Evgeni Malkin had never played an NHL game, and Jordan Staal was scheduled to spend the season in the OHL. But the NHL's '09 Stanley Cup champs are nothing if not tenacious (though their D is still a little suspect) and they've proved that they have the cojones, if not the facial hair, to compete with anyone in this new NHL.

Our tale of two cities could still end well for both teams. The Leafs have shown that they can play with any team - when they feel like it. Mind you, Toronto is missing two of its top scorers right now, something a week long break will do nothing but help.

Until then,


(Please note that we went through an entire entry on Pittsburgh without mentioning you know who. So... do we get a prize now?)

1 comment:

seth said...

hey, i'm a pens fan checking out a toronto blog to see what other teams have to say about pens games. i must say, to me, you really did a good job hitting the nail on the head: recchi shouldn't be scoring and the pens shouldn't be fighting for a playoff birth but with players like crosby and malkin, they make players (such as recchi) and the entire team better. The pens have been extremely streaky this season and have played some excellent hockey (tonight) and some absolutely horrific hockey (losses of 6-2 to ottawa and 5-1 to carolina.. but don't quote me on those scores). Sadly for the leafs, they caught them on one of their good nights. I must say, the Toronto fan bas is very impressive