The Penguins earned one of their biggest wins of the season as they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 without Sidney Crosby in the lineup. They avoided what could have been a catastrophe by avoiding the three game sweep by the Flyers in winning last night’s game. Pittsburgh is now tied with Philadelphia in the standings with the Flyers still owning two games in hand.
Evgeni Malkin looked great last night. He looked like himself. He also didn’t “elevate” his game as people like to say when Crosby is out. He had the Penguins two best wingers with a healthy serving of Kris Letang. This is also known as the Sidney Crosby QoT. I think we all agree that Sidney Crosby is a great player and probably the best player since he entered the league. Why can’t he do any of the heavy lifting when he gets back into the lineup? We can see Malkin at 34 years old needs some QoT help. Why can’t he get it? You have Sidney Crosby right there. Sid has been spoon fed QoT his entire tenure with the Penguins. I think it is time he has to try to do more with less while Malkin gets the benefit of playing with the best wingers and defenseman on the team. Sid should be better than Malkin, right? If 87 has a hard time with the new deployment will he get the same criticism of 71? I feel like there is a double standard when it comes to Malkin’s struggles because rarely is he given the cushy deployment Crosby does. When he does get it everybody marvels at how well Malkin is playing. QoT matters.
The Flyers outplayed the Penguins, but Tristan Jarry was up to the task again. He is building up an impressive eight game sample which has been night and day from the first seven games.
This team would have sunk to near the bottom of the standings if Jarry didn’t snap out of his funk from earlier in the year. He’s done the opposite and is having a stretch of play like he did to start last season, which earned him a bid to the all-star team. It has been a season saver.
Kasperi Kapanen is going to be a player that shows his ceiling like last night and makes you wonder why it can’t show up more often. He had a very strong game scoring twice and being robbed by Carter Hart for his hat trick goal. If he consistently showed the kind of game he played last night the Maple Leafs would have never traded him. I don’t know if Kapanen will be more consistent moving forward, but I do know last night’s performance was a main catalyst in the Penguins winning a much needed game.
I loved his fake slap shot move to open up the five hole. He borrowed if from his former teammate, Jason Spezza.
Kapanen put his own twist on it by going five-hole.
Kris Letang picked up another assist last night and now has eight points in only six games. A good way to overcome issues with depth is to generate offense from the blue line. Letang has done just that in the most recent sample of games.
Speaking of that depth the fourth line of Colton Sceviour, Josh Currie, and Anthony Angello all finished the game with an xGF% of 0.0. I don’t recall ever seeing a goose egg and if there have been before it hasn’t been often.
On the flip side Mark Friedman had a really good Penguins debut. He had an assist and finished the game with an xGF% of 84.03.
Don’t worry about Pierre-Olivier Joseph. He is doesn’t have to pass through waivers.
Cody Ceci finished off a really nice passing play for his second goal of the year.
He has performed well in a bottom pairing role this year. I don’t see anybody unwilling or afraid to say it. Weird
Penguins and Flyers meet again tomorrow. Will Sid be back?
Thanks for reading!