You can have all the talent in the world but still not win games. The Penguins look like individuals playing a common game and not so much like a cohesive team so far. It’s interesting to read the outrage over Scuderi but really, is it one player holding them back? Beau Bennett looked like he was a better player in the preseason then took a stupid penalty against Arizona. Plotnikov isn’t fast enough to be on Malkin’s line yet. Speaking of Geno, the undisciplined penalty in the third period in Arizona…I hope he doesn’t make that a habit, as was the case at the end of last season.
Then, there’s the power play. The talent on the ice at any given time is staggering yet they fail to capitalize on the man advantage. To quote Sam Kasan, “It was great seeing the Pens get on the board and Kessel score. But one goal through 120 minutes of hockey is not good enough, especially with the talent that the Pens have on their roster.”
I have a world of respect for Coach Johnston. He’s so bright and obviously knows and loves the game BUT how about a little passion….a little fire…..a little personality? I’m not suggesting he goes all Tortorella but maybe he could be a little less soft-spoken and maybe summon up a pitch change to his voice at least? While it’s true I don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, I picture him enlisting Coach Tocchet to do his yelling (and Tocchet doing a fine job).
All that having been said….tonight is the home opener and only game 3. Kessel isn’t afraid to shoot the puck and hopefully that will wear off on Crosby and Malkin. I loved the passion in Hornqvist’s game, especially in AZ….I hope it’s infectious. The PK needs to regroup. As many complaints as people had about Adams, he was a fixture on the PK for years and was fierce at it. They could use someone to step into that role…..Porter? Pa
If you asked me to name the top 5 NHL players I intensely dislike (hate is a strong word) I would include Brad Marchand every time, and yet it makes me a little sad he’s out with a concussion. I wouldn’t wish it even on him. Marchand left Boston's Saturday 4-2 loss midway through the third period after taking an inadvertent elbow to the side of his head from Canadiens forward Dale Weise. He was helped off the ice and did not return to the game.
Few players get under my skin like “The Little Ball of Hate”. He earned a five-game suspension in 2012 for a clip on Sami Salo that left the Canucks' defenseman concussed. At the time, Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said, "Someday he's going to get it. Somebody's going to say, enough is enough, and they're going to hurt the kid because he plays to hurt players." While it really didn’t look like Weise set out to hurt Marchand, it sure does make a claim for what goes around comes around.
I’ve been somewhat quiet about the Patrick Kane situation. I am a fan of “innocent until proven guilty”. While plenty of guilty men have gone free and The Innocence Project has proven over and over that innocent people go to jail, I believe in not punishing anyone who hasn’t even been charged.
Kane has been investigated by police who are fully aware they are under a microscope and a grand jury has been convened but he has yet to be charged or indicted. Yet, as late as this past weekend, hashtag activists were still asking why he was allowed to play professional hockey.
I didn’t see people call for Jarret Stoll to be suspended when he was charged with felony cocaine possession. HE was actually charged with a crime and it was a felony. Did the hashtag activists cry out for him to be suspended? They did not. Was he suspended? He was not. He was allowed to plead guilty to reduced misdemeanor charges and sentenced to probation and community service. He is currently playing for the Rangers.
I would like to ask the hashtag activists where is the outrage over Ryan O’Reilly whom, you may remember, was charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident after striking the side of a Tim Hortons cafe in Lucan, Ont., at approximately 4 a.m. on July 9. That was just six days after he signed a $52.5 million contract extension with the Sabres that's the largest in franchise history. You'd think he could have afforded a cab.
His blood alcohol level was 80mg or .08 which is considered “drunk”. Under Canada’s Highway Traffic Act, O’Reilly faces penalties for leaving the scene that could include a maximum of six months in jail, a fine of between $400 and $2,000, seven demerit points on his license and a suspended license for up to two years. (O'Reilly's case was pushed back to Oct. 22, meaning it will still be lingering well into the Sabres' season) He was driving impaired. He could have killed someone. He's having a good start to the season in Buffalo.
Why aren’t the hashtag activists demanding that O’Reilly be suspended since he’s actually been charged? Could it be that they aren’t really interested in global justice in hockey? Could it be that because of Kane’s past indiscretions and the fact that he behaves like an arrogant entitled little jerk have clouded some people’s judgement? Is it because some weigh the claim of rape with a heavier hand than the actual charges of felony drug possession or DUI?
So, I ask those hashtag activists if they really want all NHL players held to a “Suspend until cleared” standard or just Patrick Kane?