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Thread: Going back to Genotown ?

      
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    Default Going back to Genotown ?

    Brian Metzer
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    The losing streak has finally come to an end!

    Though the night didn't start out great, the Penguins found a way to persevere and once they started throwing pucks past Ondrej Pavelec they were off and rolling.

    Jordan Staal had a great game, which is starting to become pretty common around these parts. He just looks more confident by the game. I actually think that his not being included on the Canadian Olympic team could be a good thing. It could be the thing that motivates him to move to the next level in all facets of his game. He scored two goals this evening, one off a nice give and go with Tyler Kennedy and the other banging home a rebound.

    I asked Dan Bylsma to discuss Staal's play and to share his thoughts on his overall performance as of late.


    I think that Jordan is playing very well and you see him...the way he skates in the middle of the ice there with speed and power. Defensively, with how he is winning battles -- defensively, PK-wise and then in the offensive zone hes been playing some of the best hockey of his career. His numbers prove it and they prove it because he has been playing the right way and chipping in and there's details in his game. Tonight, he gets a big night tonight and there's probably a couple other ones I think he would have liked to have gotten that third one, but a real strong game. He has been playing that way for a while...


    Bylsma was also very complimentary of what he saw out of Luca Caputi tonight. He praised his work along the boards and around the net. He thought that he worked very hard in the crease area and behind the net, which created scoring opportunities for Evgeni Malkin and Ruslan Fedotenko.

    Bylsma was also glad to see Caputi score his first goal of the season...


    He got to that puck and scores the goal, gets the reward for some of the other work he had done tonight. So it was good to see him get on the board...pretty big smile from him.


    Speaking of Evgeni Malkin, he showed signs of getting back on track tonight. He made an amazing individual effort to set up Caputi's goal. He took a pass from Fedotenko just inside his own blue line, walked up the boards, made a move around the defender, fell but still managed to push the puck to the net. The rebound popped into open space and Caputi buried it. Here's hoping that was the play he needed to (as Phil Bourque said on the post game) get back to "Genotown."

    Two out of three periods were definitely good ones tonight, but there were still some signs of the problems I outlined this morning. The worst one that still lingered involved bad decisions in the defensive zone by Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Each player passed the puck through the slot in front of their goaltender. Malkin's didn't end up hurting the team, but Crosby's ill placed pass found the blade of Jim Slater and was one timed behind Brent Johnson for the Thrashers second goal. That cannot happen...

    Brent Johnson played a very good game...in fact, he has strung together a couple good starts in a row. He wasn't rewarded with a victory against the Devils in his last start, but came away with a victory this evening. He also picked up an assist on Jordan Staal's second goal of the game.

    It wasn't perfect, but it was a great way to break out of the slump that had been plaguing the Penguins...

    The scene in the Penguins locker room post game was one that I won't soon forget. The television in the players lounge was tuned to the World Junior Championship's Gold Medal game between the USA and Canada. Once the interviews were finished up most of the players were gathered on the couches watching as Canada chipped away at the USA's two goal lead.

    Us media folk also squeezed in front of the television, as everyone was riveted by the game. Max Talbot was screaming and jumped up celebrating as Canada scored their fourth goal to pull within one goal.

    We all typically race over to the media room for Dan Bylsma's post game press conference, but tonight everything was on hold. We all wanted to see what would happen in the rest of the game.

    As Canada tied the game 5-5, Sidney Crosby, Matt Cooke and Craig Adams all hugged and were screaming. Talbot joined in... Mario Lemieux and David Moorehouse stood in the middle of the room smiling. As the final moments ticked off before overtime, Bill Guerin yelped as the USA put a last second shot on goal. Sitting amongst the fray was Evgeni Malkin...he just smiled as he stared at the screen. It was a great moment all the way around...

    As us media folks started to make our way over to the media room to speak with Coach, Bylsma could be heard yelling out... "I'm not going anywhere until its over!!!"

    We all missed overtime, as the business of covering post game had to continue, but it was a magical moment for about 15 minutes when a bunch of pro hockey players and the folks who cover them became nothing more than a big group of American, Canadian and Russian hockey fans!

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    Default Re: Going back to Genotown ?

    Speaking of Evgeni Malkin, he showed signs of getting back on track tonight. He made an amazing individual effort to set up Caputi's goal. He took a pass from Fedotenko just inside his own blue line, walked up the boards, made a move around the defender, fell but still managed to push the puck to the net. The rebound popped into open space and Caputi buried it. Here's hoping that was the play he needed to (as Phil Bourque said on the post game) get back to "Genotown."

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    Default Re: Going back to Genotown ?

    Malkin did look like he had a little bit of life. Staal was definitely one of the best players on the ice against Atlanta but I wonder if Caputi is what Geno has been missing. Talbot was really a nice piece to Geno's line last year that gave them a player that forechecked well, played the boards well and created space for the talent... Talbot hasn't played with Geno this year and hasn't rebounded from injury and Kunitz is the other play of similar stayle and he's been injured and not recovered.

    Caputi might have been the life injected into Geno

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    Default Re: Going back to Genotown ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    but I wonder if Caputi is what Geno has been missing.
    Exactly what was needed. Go to the net and play physical. When Fedo does those things he has success with Geno. Problem is he doesn't do it consistently.

    Anyway, if Caputi just does those things he'll score plenty of goals playing on Geno's line. Hell he might be what we need on the PP.

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