-I was at a Bo Burnham concert on Sat. night and unfortunately missed the game. I did Tivo it, but I already found out the score and didn't really have time to watch them lose anyways. From the replays it looked like the Pens were outhitting and outshooting the Devils but Brodeur was very strong, Fleury let in some stoppable pucks and the team looked fatigued. Which is fine. The Pens won 7 in a row and playing on back to back nights against the Devils is a tough task. You can't win all the games but you can try to build winning streaks and that should be the Pens main goal.
-Mike Richards was not suspended for his head shot on Panthers forward David Booth on Sat. night. Booth was caught with his head down and Richards nailed him. Booth had to be taken off on a stretcher. I do NOT agree with the NHL not suspending Richards based on the result of the play. A hit to the head should be a suspendable offense even though it isn't in the rules, twice now the Flyers have been let of the leash with suspensions. Hartnell could've got one for biting Letang a couple weeks back and now Richards for this high hit.
-The Colorado Avalanche and the LA Kings are the two surprise teams in the West. Conference. They are 1st and 2nd in the conf. respectively and they are as young and talented as anybody. The Avs snagged Craig Anderson from free agency to try and strengthen their goalie problems and he has been dynamite. #3 overall pick in the '09 draft Matt Duchene is quicker than lightning and he is starting to pick his game up. Rookie Ryan O'Reilly has 2 goals and 8 assists. But it's the Avs vets such as Wolski, Stastny, and Hejduk who are leading the charge. Wolski and Stastny are still young but they are playing like wiley vets and leading this team to success.
-Kyle Quincey has been a huge offensive addition to the Avs backend and Ryan Smyth has been an excellent part of the Kings success. Kopitar is scoring in bunches (he has 10 goals/11 assists), Brown is producing, Quick has been solid in net, and Doughty is also playing suberb hockey. Even enigmatic forward Alex Frolov came back last night after being a healthy scratch and scored 2 goals. He is very talented and is a sniper but like some Russian players, he takes some nights off. If Frolov can stay focused the Kings will be competitive all season long.
-Not surprising but the Pens and the Caps are atop the East. Conf. standings. Ovechkin is on fire as usual and Semin (6 goals) is lighting the lamp for a change instead of the glass. Backstrom, Knuble, and Laich have also been contributors. Knuble is the first real net presence that team has had in a long time but I still think the defense is sub-par. Jurcina, Morrisonn, Schultz, and Pothier are nothing special. Pothier is young and has the most potential but developing takes time. The problem with this team has always been defense the past couple seasons.
-The Sabres are 3rd in the conference and have been a nice surprise. They added several tough players over the summer in Grier, Montador, and McCormick. In addition they have their old core of players in Pominville, Roy, and Connolly. Don't forget all-star goalie Ryan Miller. The Rangers are also red-hot and the Euro's on the team are buying into Tortorella's offensive system. Kotalik, Prospal, and Gaborik are coming up big every night. Brandon Dubinsky is slowly becoming the leader and invetibaly the future captain of this team.
-The Pens don't play again until Wednesday vs. the struggling Canadiens.
-I'll be updating with a look back the Pens team so far.