The Penguins split the weekend going 1-1 against the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs. There were some positives to take from the weekend.
The first positive was related to the big trade from Friday. Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann got to the game on time (barely). My initial impression of Bjugstad is that I think he will be a better fit than Brassard (going on a limb I know). I like his size and ability to win more wall battles than Brassard. I am not under the disillusion that Bjugstad is going to be a monster physical force I just think he is going to win a few more contested pucks to keep more plays alive and when you are either playing with Kessel, Crosby, and/or Malkin keeping just one more play alive could always result in a goal.
The problem with Brassard is that stylistically he was like a water bug. This style can work and did for Brassard in the past. With the Penguins he was unable to create separation which is a key component of being successful. Without separation and a consistent ability to win contested pucks he was unable to use his passing ability and create for others. Why was this a problem in Pittsburgh? Aging, injury, something else? Whatever it was it wasn’t working.
Teddy Blueger has two goals in his last two games. These are the first two goals of his NHL career. He has been close to a point per game player down in WB/S and deserved his promotion. I’ll always be in favor of trying out an AHL player putting up a point per game rather than using an NHL veteran well past their prime (Cullen). With Zach Aston-Reese, Jared McCann, Garrett Wilson, and Teddy Blueger as options there is no reason for Cullen to be in the lineup every single night when everybody is healthy. We will see if Mike Sullivan has himself a Craig Adams problem.
Evgeni Malkin missed both games this weekend. Odds are he injured himself fighting Steven Stamkos. Fighting in hockey is dated and low brow regardless of the players involved. It’s even dumber when your star players are getting hurt because of it. Scrolling through channels last night I found bare knuckle fighting and watched it for a while. It was entertaining. Combat sports are fine. They are what they are. For hockey it’s a side show and serves no purpose. It is lame. Malkin’s wrestling match with Stamkos wasn’t worth not seeing him in action against the Maple Leafs.
The Carolina Hurricanes are making all 200 hockey men mad with their post-game celebrations. Hockey culture sucks. It will continue to suck until the boomers are out of the game. One of the most popular things in the NFL are the celebrations after good plays. It is only fitting that NHL hockey men would hate it.
The person who had the duck, duck, goose idea? Mr Game 7 himself, Justin Williams.
I’ve got a game for hockey media. Duck, duck, shut the fuck up. Seriously
Thanks for reading!