Gameday #23: v. Tampa Bay Lightning, Evgeni Malkin is a Toyota Pick-Up TruckPosted: 04/03/2013
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS v. Tampa Bay Lightning
Consol Energy Center, 7:30 PM, Root Sports, NBC Sports (Local Blackout)
Hey Geno is going to be back in the lineup tonight. He’s been symptom free for a week, he took contact during practice yesterday, and he passed his ImPACT test. We would have been okay with resting Geno for a couple more games (read until after the Pens play in Philly on Thursday, there’s a lot of guys on that team that I could see risk suspension and target his head) but we’re certainly not disappointed to see the league’s reigning MVP return. I’ve been talking with people all day and we hope this can serve as a turning point for Geno this year: no doubt he’s been good, but he hasn’t been great, we want to see him come back and be great. He should be better rested than he has been and he should be champing at the bit if he wants to earn the most lucrative annual contract in the NHL’s history this offseason.
Of course, unfortunately in order to make room for Geno someone needed to get the boot from the NHL roster. At this time the only two guys who can be sent to the minors with no fear of being lost are Simon Despres and Beau Bennett. Well Despres has been incredibly good so he’s not going anywhere, so despite the fact that Bennett has posted .375 points per game and a 12.5% shooting percentage, he got the boot. Now we hate Tyler Kennedy just like everybody else, and sure it would have been convenient for the Pens to try to pass him through waivers, but there is actually a nice message that Shero didn’t try just that. Refer back to this holy text from Mike Colligan, since Shero didn’t try to pass Kennedy through waivers that means that there is a trade potential for Kennedy. And that’s good. Nonetheless, we really wouldn’t mind seeing Zach Boychuck play tonight.
Still no Paul Martin so Mark Eaton will continue to play, we just desperately hope he’ll look as good as he did in Montreal. Obviously Despres will stay in the lineup given that he played stellar against Montreal and the Pens are a better team with him in the lineup. Fleury in the cage, and I’m really sick of people saying that “Fleury’s pissed that he didn’t get to start in Montreal.” Is that what he said? Is it really? Even if he said anything it was probably more like, “well sure, Montreal is really close to hometown, would be nice to get the start, but we gotta roll with two goalies, so Vokoun got the start instead.” I have no idea, but I’m sure MAF didn’t get mad about anything.
Crosby v. Stamkos, would really be awesome to see Sid open up a 4 or 5 point lead in the scoring race by the end of the night.
So much going on with the Penguins so screw the Lightning.
Ride the Lightning. Go Pens.