I sat back a few days ago and just took a look through my Twitter feed and just got a really anxious for the NHL season to get under way. The debates were on over who would stay in Pittsburgh and who would make the long drive back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Admittedly, the TV coverage for all of the pre-season games has been incredibly shoddy, at best. I’ve been hitting up Penguins HD Radio and streaming the games. Admittedly, hearing Mike Lange on the radio for the first ever game in the CEC brought back a ton of memories as a kid. I have no regrets over sitting back in my man-cave with the sound blasting. ALMOST like being there…..but whatever.
All of the talk over which 2 defensemen were going to make the final cut. It really has been a stellar time listening to all of it. Despres, Engelland, Lovejoy…..seriously, easily the top 3 names being tossed about for those last 2 spots. Michalek has been all over the ice and people finally got a really good glimpse of what Paul Martin brings to the table just the other night. Please, Martin has burned the Pens a few times. I remember a time when Rod Buskas was the toughest guy on the blueline and Doug Bodger was the PP stud. Once you got past them, it was “pick and choose the pylon for defense”.
I was actually kind of stunned that people had booed Arron Asham during one of the HOME pre-season games. I suspect some folks are still a bit riled over his previous employers. Guess what? He now gets to ruin his former bosses behind a skating penguin logo, it’s time to get over it. The forthcoming spectacle of Asham-Talbot-Cooke should put to rest any questions or doubts for the naysayers. Let’s not forget the yearly “Crosby needs a winger” conversation. Sid has 506 points in 5 years with the Pens…all with average wingers at best. Hossa is barely a mention since he showed up late in a season then going on to prove that Pascal Dupuis was the better part of that deal anyway. Bill Guerin has come and gone, Ruslan Fedotenko…well, he held the bench gate open pretty well, it’s just a revolving door of wings nowadays. That’s the best plan set forward by Ray Shero, build through the middle and fill in as needed. Hey, it works and I am fine with that. The playoff runs from 2008 – 2010 have proven that and here we are getting fired up over the likes of Letestu, Tangradi, and Jeffery just to fill out the spots. This doesn’t even bring into play that Jordan Staal will miss time early on this season due to complications to the foot injury he suffered during the playoffs. That has even played into the talk even more. Mike “Duffman” Comrie cements himself as the first man to score a goal in the CEC.
Think about it, we are spending our time actually worrying who is going to make the cut….and a logjam at the defense position. If you’ve been a Pens fan long enough, you know as well as I do, the only defense worth talking about usually belongs to the Steelers.
Team sports are cyclical, it’s a series of up and downs…regardless of the team. This is why we feast or famine for the love of our teams, and right now, Pens fans are eating well.
Drink it in!