Rob Scuderi was back, and the big outrage on the Internet was Deryk Engelland getting the call instead of Simon Despres. That debate and discussion will only get worse when Paul Martin’s return boots Bortuzzo up to the press box…and then Kris Letang returns. Knowing Bylsma’s track record, a healthy blue line could mean Engelland will dress instead of Maatta, which would be borderline insanity.
There’s people who say Engelland will be moved to forward again when it’s time to cross that bridge. But why not just have Engelland getting acclimated to playing forward as soon as possible?
But then again, the Penguins are winning games, and they are doing it with a particular style. You could put Gumby in the lineup and the Pens could win a game. The Bylsma system is far more complex than we even thought. And this game was a great example of it. Again we saw the third and fourth lines survive long enough to give Crosby and Neal time. The Blue Jackets couldn't take advantage, and then they played a horrible third period. It doesn't hurt that James Neal is in some type of 2000 Alexei Kovalev mode. Neal's wrister in the slot is almost as automatic as it gets right now.
As for the game itself, the Pens asserted their dominance over the Blue Jackets yet again, although it was pretty much up in the air until the Pens pulled away.
- What a great atmosphere in Columbus for this one. Blue Jackets fans are a tortured bunch, but this "rivalry" will blossom for years to come.
- The big boys carried the team again.
5G-6A-11P for Crosby, Kunitz, and Neal.
Engelland, Niskanen, and Vitale were the only other Penguins to register a point.
- Last game, we mentioned the Pens’ simple formula when they have to put at least two no-name lines on the ice. A huge part of the formula that we didn’t mention was the Penguins’ special teams. It’s a scary thing when you ride or die on your special teams. They’re nice to have, but you can’t lean on them on a nightly basis. The Pens PP put up an oh-fer in Ottawa, and that didn’t turn out well. The PP went 3 for 6 in this one, and it was all the difference. The PK silently went 3 for 3.
- James Neal’s HT brought down the house. And it brought down the hats from the millions…and the millions of Pens fans in attendance in Columbus. Always good shit. Neal has 8 points in his last two games.
- Jeff Zatkoff continues his magical mystery tour. He is now 7-2-0 when the Penguins call on him. Can’t really ask for more, especially when you consider his first outing in Florida looked like an episode of Big Bang Theory.
- Corey Tropp got the third star of the game for some reason. Sick move on the goal, though. Maatta may have gotten vertigo.
- The stats also say the Blue Jackets outhit the Penguins, 50-21. In what universe did that happen?
- Interesting ice-time distribution for the defensemen.
- Jack Johnson is terrible.
- Brandon Dubinsky lololololol.
- The Jackets need to tank the next few years and set up shop for Conner McDavid. All Blue Jackets jokes aside, they have one of the best setups in the NHL at Nationwide Arena. The Arena district is stunning and shows how horrible the Penguins and the city of Pittsburgh have failed at developing the land around CONSOL. Overall, if you haven't done it, we suggest making the trip to Columbus for a game.
- We stopped at the Thurman Cafe
before the game. It is about a five-minute drive to the Arena:
This is just a stock photo we found because we waited so long we forgot to take a pic of ours. Trust us, though: one of the best burger places in the country.