The clear insinuation is that all is not well in Pittsburgh.
The latest “thing”?
Ex-Penguin Matthew Barnaby has “looked into it” and what’s he’s heard is that Crosby and co-owner Mario Lemieux have had a “big falling out.”
“Now whether that pushes them to move him at some point? Whether he wants to move? That I don’t know,” Barnaby said today on SiriusXM, via Puck Daddy.
Again, it’s all just scuttlebutt at this point. After Malkin’s “mad at each other” remark, the players insisted that that wasn’t true. Malkin said he didn’t mean it that way.
So choose for yourself what to believe.
But despite the winning record, unless this team starts playing the way it was designed to play — i.e. scoring a lot of goals, not the 26th-most in the NHL — don’t be surprised if you hear more “things.”
The Penguins host St. Louis tonight.
Another frustrating night for Crosby (and this time Penguins lose)
Brandon Dubinsky was absent from the Columbus Blue Jackets’ lineup, but that didn’t stop that team from accomplishing the unofficial goal of getting under the Pittsburgh Penguins’ skin.
They frustrated Pittsburgh often in this one, as could be seen in the rocky night for Sidney Crosby (not to mention Patric Hornqvist‘s frustrations late in the game).
Hornqvist channeled some of that energy into a goal and a near-tying-tally that was rightfully waved off, yet the Blue Jackets ultimately scored a 2-1 win on Friday.
Beyond that, um, “exchange” with Fedor Tyutin, Crosby didn’t have a good night. He finished without a point to continue a terrible start – at least by his lofty standards – and also seemed to nearly get injured.
The Penguins have a chance to really soak up some points if they can get things together.
After tomorrow’s road game against the New Jersey Devils, they play four straight in Pittsburgh and five of six at home.
That argues for a positive span, although it could be a curse disguised as a blessing if this offensive funk translates to more defeats.
The Pens have scored 36 goals in 16 games. Yes, Fleury's been great. Yes, the defense has been decent. But 36 in 16 is an awful number.
“I’m kind of a traditionalist,” Crosby told PHT on Wednesday. “I would rather see the goalies get smaller equipment before the nets get bigger. I’d rather try that. But I’m all for more goals. However you want to do it.”
Reducing the size of goalie equipment is, of course, not a new idea. In fact, the NHL has made changes before.
“I think there’s some stuff in the goalie gear they could maybe round up so guys aren’t so boxy and big,” he said.
Fleury, not surprisingly, agrees with Crosby on keeping the nets the same size.
“I think the nets have been the same for so many years,” he said. “Growing up in the same nets, same angles. It would be a little weird to change that.”
Yesterday, Babcock reiterated his argument that the nets should be made bigger to counteract the increasing size of goalies.
“It’s impossible to score,” he said. “All you gotta do is a math equation. You go to 1980 when the puck went in the net. You got the average size of the goalies in the NHL and the average size of the net. You keep growing the net bigger, that would make the game the same. We change the game every year because we don’t want to change the game. The net’s too small for the size of the goalies. Period.”
The NHL has not given any indication that it’s seriously concerned about goal-scoring. In March, commissioner Gary Bettman said that fans “should continue to enjoy the game principally the way it’s being played.”
Penguins just keep winning (and this time, Crosby scored)