Have your cake, and eat it too. By: @LuigiLemieux - PensInitiative | Pittsburgh Penguins Blog | Rumors | News

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Have your cake, and eat it too. By: @LuigiLemieux

Roster moves abound as Pens welcome back Kris Letang, and keep rookie Olli Maatta on NHL roster for remainder of season.

Good Morning friends, family, and Penguins fans alike. It is Friday, and as always is A Great Day For Hockey.

I would like to get every one of you off to a tranquil start today, so please join me in this meditative technique.

Close your eyes, look deep inside and search your hockey loving soul. Imagine our defense, solid and fast, keeping our net minder out of trouble as they have through the early stages of the new season. Feel the vibrations of the hit as the opposition is sandwiched with the boards and plastered to the glass. Visualize Olli Maatta cruising behind the net, dishing the puck to his forwards for a drive up the ice, and see the frustration in the other team as Scuderi clears the crease of a sure goal...

Now take all that, and insert an All-Star defenseman with flowing black locks and a penchant for big time Power Play Goals.
Hard to believe that our perennial Norris Trophy Caliber blue-liner has not seen his first minute of game action yet.

Tonight, Friday Night at Consol Energy Center, all of that is poised to change.

The Penguins have been missing a key part of their team, and it has not been more apparent than in the two minutes following an opposing teams penalty. Kris Letang, who has been out of action with a lower-body injury since September 27th, practiced paired with Rob Scuderi, and took back his rightful spot on the 1st Power Play. Letang's return to the man advantage situation could not have come at a more opportune time, as the Penguins have gone scoreless over their past seven power play attempts.

Other than his absence on the Power Play, which has been a problem for the Black and Gold as of late, The Penguins have done an incredible job making up for the void on defense left by Letang, who (should all go acording to plan) will make his regular season debut tonight against the Metropolitan Division rival Islanders on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Washington Place. Much of the weight left by the injury to #58 has been beautifully lifted by returning defenseman Rob Scuderi, a member of the Penguins 2009 Cup Championship team, and first year phenom Olli Maatta, who has been playing out of his mind, and doing everything and more to earn a permanent spot on the NHL roster.

Maatta, the 19 year old rookie out of Jyväskylä, Finland, has been playing far beyond his years thus far. His good hands and smooth skating has registered not only with the coaches, but also on the score sheet, where the young defenseman has notched a goal and two assists, both on Jussi Jokinen goals against the Carolina Hurricanes. Maatta has been praised by coaches and players alike for his outstanding work ethic and indomitable will to succeed, which has undoubtedly landed him smack-dab in the situation he currently sits, one of which no better exists for a young player looking to make his mark early in his career.

To make room on the roster, the Penguins have re-assigned forward Chris Conner and Harry Zolniercyzk, which most assumed would be the likely two most eligible AHL'ers available to be optioned to Wilkes-Barre in the event of Kris's return. The Pens also recalled forward Jayson Megna, who introduced himself to the city of Pittsburgh with a Datsyukian shootout goal in the Black and Gold scrimmage following the 2012 NHL Lockout. Megna hails from the great city of Fort Lauderdale, FL (hometown of a certain member of the Pens Initiative Staff... Ahem...) This move by the Penguins will give Jayson his first taste of regular-season NHL Hockey, and afford him the opportunity to show the coaches and management that he is indeed ready for the big time after putting in his years playing for Wilkes-Barre and affiliate clubs. It will be interesting to see how Jayson reacts to his big chance. He has plenty of ability, tonight we get a chance to see just how that ability will manifest.

So sit back and relax Penguins Faithful, it has been a while since our vaunted D has looked as strong on the ice as it does on paper. Fleury has been doing a lights-out job in net, don't get me wrong, however to those who have followed the play of our blue liners his numbers speak not only to his abilities, but to the outstanding effort being put forth by our defensemen. The addition of Kris Letang will only bolster our abilities, and his scoring touch is sure to provide some fuel to a already star-studded power play unit. We have been visualizing and imagining a lot recently, but tonight it is time for our imaginations to take the Ice.
Let's Go Kris, and Olli, and why not... Let's Go Megna.

above all, Let's Go Pens.

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