All right so we’re assuming that Sidney Crosby isn’t going to play tonight against Colorado (7:30 p.m. ET on Versus). After all, Dan Bylsma said yesterday there was no change in his status even though he wouldn’t totally rule him out. The Penguins are enjoying messing with us in our Crosby anticipation. Good for them.
Luckily the Pens still roll Jordan Staal and Evgeni Malkin out there to fulfill the superstar quotient for the night. Throw goal scoring zen master James Neal into the mix and you’ve got a Pens team that’s still formidable. Marc-Andre Fleury isn’t too bad in goal either.
The one downside for Pittsburgh is that they may not have Steve Sullivan due to injury and Tyler Kennedy may not be ready to return from his concussion yet. It’s not all puppies and rainbows in Pittsburgh, but just think what they’ll be able to do once they’re all healthy.
On the flipside of things, there’s the Avalanche. It might seem like they’re in this game on TV to play the part of patsy to the Pens, but they’ve got a funk to get out of. Gabriel Landeskog’s hot start has slowed down, Matt Duchene is even more lost in the forest than a certain Flyers goalie, and Semyon Varlamov has come crashing to earth.
On the upside, Brandon Yip might be back after a broken arm and Milan Hejduk is now sporting the captain’s “C.” On the further downside, however, Colorado has lost seven of their last nine. That kind of downturn has the Avs feeling flashbacks from last season and for coach Joe Sacco that could mean big trouble.
Can the Avs surprise the Pens, or does Pittsburgh have a trick or two in store for them?
Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.
Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.
As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.
Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”
Commodore wasn’t done there:
And there was much, much more.
To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.
Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.
Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.
The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.
“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.
Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.
The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.
“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”