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?