This year it's more frustrating than before. The team started the season off so very well, even leading the division at one point. And then Jim Slater got hurt, the team's face-off percentage dropped, and puck posession dropped. Compounding that (though I like the return) was the trade of Rich Peverley ithout getting anyone to make up for that face-off ability. When you add the fact that the coach puts people inappropriate to the situation out on the ice (Thorburn, Stapleton, and Schremp out during the dying minutes of today's game, and Stewart, Thorburn, Stapleton, Dvorak, et al are all often put out on the powerplay) and can't seem to figure out how to best manage his goaltending effectively, you have a serious problem.
When Mario Lemieux or Double J would hop over the bench, you couldn't help but get to the edge of your seat. It's an intangible feeling to describe. Any time 66 or 68 was on the ice, something could happen at any given moment, and you wanted to be ready for it. Sidney Crosby, in all that he's done, has never done that for us. He does now. Even something as simple as the first time he touched the puck in this game. He had speed through the neutral zone, confronts the D-man, performs a spin move, and gets off a backhand that had more velocity to it than a Rob Scuderi slap shot.
Chris Kunitz – Mark Letestu – Alex Kovalev
Pascal Dupuis – Max Talbot – Tyler Kennedy
Eric Tangradi – Mike Comrie – Chris Conner
Mike Rupp – Craig Adams – Arron Asham
Brooks Orpik – Kris Letang
Paul Martin – Zbynek Michalek
Deryk Engelland – Ben Lovejoy
Andrew Ladd – Bryan Little – Blake Wheeler
Evander Kane – Nikolai Antropov – Anthony Stewart
Eric Boulton – Robbie Schremp – Chris Thorburn
Ben Maxwell – Alexander Burmistrov – Tim Stapleton
Johnny Oduya – Tim Stapleton
Ron Hainsey – Dustin Byfuglien
Mark Stuart – Andrey Zubarev