Catching up on Jeremy Lin

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If you're like us, it took a little while to look into this Jeremy Lin playing for the New York Knicks.  We had heard about it in passing for like a week, and then the Linsanity reached critical mass.
 
Basically, this guy is 23 years old and has bounced around the league seeing hardly any playing time.  He went to Harvard and then went undrafted but eventually got picked up by someone.  Fast-forward a couple years to December 2011, where the Knicks pick him up on waivers to act as nothing but insurance in an already deep backcourt. A couple injuries later (and a bad stretch of games for the Knicks), Lin was given the nod and has exploded. 
 
In his six games since seeing significant playing time, he has scored 25, 28, 23, 38, 20, and 27 points.  Those 38 points came against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in a showdown this past Friday night at Madison Square Garden at a point where Linsanity was already taking off.
 
And then he did this Tuesday night up at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto:
 
 
Yeah, this was a road game for the Knicks. And you need that cockiness in a point guard.  Dude gets amped up on the court.  Basketball is a much more bravado-driven sport that hockey.
 
Emotional as it gets.  The Knicks have now won 6 straight games since Lin started seeing playing time.  It's an awesome underdog story.  The only people who aren't rooting for him are people who can't take the hype being shoved in their mouth on the Internet and Twitter.  You're on the Internet.  You should know how this works by now.  
 
And then people are trying to make this some kind of race thing.  Jesus.
 
It's an unbelievable story. 
 
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Which got us to thinking if we as Pens fans have ever experienced something like Linsanity.
 
Got to say the first thing to pop into our minds, which is Johan Hedberg.   Not gonna go into a long-winded description of what Moose Fever did for the Penguins down the stretch and into the playoffs in the 2000-2001 season.  It's on the Internet somewhere else.  But it's seriously as close as it comes for the Pens in terms of a player coming out of nowhere and sending the city into a fervor.
 
 
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Rule one for NHL GMs should be that if your number-one goalie's helmet isn't color-coordinated with the team's uniforms, you're in for a world of pain.  But the Moose name stuck to Hedberg quickly and he decided to keep it blue for the playoffs.
 
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Then there's Patrick Lalime.  That has to be the next closest.  He holds the record for the longest unbeaten streak at the start of a career.  The Pens went 14-0-2 with him in his first 16 games.  Then came that 4-3 loss to Colorado that popped the bubble.  Lalime and the Pens couldn't work out a contract at the end of the season, so he bounced.
 
And that's really all we can think of.  We're looking for players who unexpectedly had insane beginnings to their career/stint with the Pens.
 
 

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