Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Plan for the Pens To Win Without Sid

I apologize that this is going to be so short. I found this and, even though I don't have a lot of time today, I wanted to make sure you got to see it. Dave Molinari of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and has devised a strategy for the Crosby-less Penguins to make it through their captain's absence:
The formula for remaining competitive with a watered-down lineup is pretty basic:

• Solid goaltending. Ty Conklin, who spent the first two months of the season in the American Hockey League, has become something of a folk hero for his work in place of Fleury. Good positioning, rebound control and strong puck-handling allowed him to win his first nine starts after being recalled. One hitch: Conklin is a less spectacular 3-3-2 since.

• Strong team defense. After allowing 30 or more shots in 10-of-11 games before the break, the Penguins have limited the number of quality scoring chances since -- no opponent has taken more than 28 shots. If they stray from sound play on their end, they could end up in shootouts they are ill-equipped to handle -- at least for now.

Sid is (presumably) making use of the only rehab facility in the country not currently housing any pop tarts, starlets, or celebutantes.

• Productive special teams. Good penalty-killing and power-play work become even more critical when a team has personnel problems. If the Penguins can't at least break even here, chances are they're going to lose.

• Keep games close. Malkin can be a difference maker in tight games. The Penguins were 12-7 in their first 19 one-goal games settled in regulation or overtime.
I still haven't found any updates on Sid's condition. I've been searching high and low but I've got nothing. If any of you find something before I do, be sure to send it my way and I'll make sure I get it posted ASAP. :)


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