Thursday, November 19, 2009
Talbot, Gonch Return to Lineup as Pens face the Sens in Canadia
-Superstar Max Talbot will make his season debut tonight and he will no doubt add some much needed energy/spark to the Pens lineup. The last time Max had a goal it turned out to be the game winner of game 7 of the Cup final. Mckee and Eaton unfortunately will be out for tonight's game, Mckee is expected to miss 2-4 weeks after being injured in the Anaheim game on Monday. Gonch thankfully, will be returning.
-In the absence of Eaton, the Pens called up their 4th d-men from the minors, Chris Lee. Lee leads all Baby Pens d-men with 7 points in 15 games. The injury ridden defense will consist of Gonch, Guenin, Engelland, Lovejoy, Lee, and Skoula tonight. Can you spell awful? But really Engelland and Skoula have been playing very well the past couple games and the PP will get a HUGE boost with Gonch being in the lineup.
-Geno will stick alongside Sid and Feds on the top unit. Max will play with Adams and Cooke on the 3rd line and the rest of the lines will remain the same. Can Chris Bourque finally get a goal? It seems like he misses an empty net attempt every game, it's about time he comes through. Former Pen Alexei Kovalev will play tonight's game before leaving for Russia tomorrow for personal reasons. He has struggled this season as has newcomer Cheechoo.
-The Pens beat the Sens in Ottawa last month 4-1 in dominating fashion. The game did have a bunch of bounces that didn't go the Sens way and Milan Michalek was a force all night for the quiet Sens. It was one of the few games I've seen where Alfreddsson did nothing against the Pens. He'll be looking for a stronger effort tonight. The Sens are 9-6-3 on the season thanks to consistent goaltending from Pascal Leclaire. Mike Fisher, Ruutu, and Foligno have also been playing well for them.
-The Pens need to continue this offensive onslaught mode they're currently in. They've scored 11 goals the past two games, and funny enough Geno has played in both. He is such a unique force and dominating player that he can take over games by himself. He did so when Sid was injured a couple seasons ago, and don't tell me it was cuz Malone and Sykora were playing with him. He made an old and slow Sykora look good, granted Malone is an excellent grinder.
-Scotiabank Place has been a tough place to play in for the Pens but they still seem to find ways to win games there. Expect the Pens to answer the physicality of Neil, Ruutu, Donovan with their own set of energizers: Max, Cooke, Rupp, and Adams. It will be physical and the inexperienced Pens D will look to limit turnovers if the Pens are to win tonight.
Pens (14-7-0) vs. Sens (9-6-3)
Fleury vs. Leclaire
Lines: Fedotenko Crosby Malkin
Dupuis Staal Guerin
Cooke Talbot Adams
Bourque Rupp Godard
Gonchar - Skoula
Engelland - Lovejoy
Lee - Guenin