I have a sneaking suspicion that this could be one helluva game.
Several factors lead me to that belief.
First and foremost, I mean, duh, the Pens need a win BADLY. They're not far away from getting over the hump, they're really not. A couple bounces that start to go their way, and those one goal losses start to turn into wins.
Secondly, irregardless of the any pregame comments by Sid you may hear that this is just another game, let's be honest, human nature itself tells you that no young man enjoys to be embarrassed in front of his peers, especially in front of 20,000 strangers. Make no mistake, Mr. Crosby has been thinking of NOTHING the last couple of days but that pussy Kovalchuk pointing at him in the penalty box last year. I expectly nothing less than an absolutely possessed effort from Sid tonight.
Thirdly (is that a word ?), speaking of possessed efforts, and as I've been commenting on the last several days, I believe we're going to see Geno take it up a couple of notches tonight. The expected happened Friday during practice in Atlanta, when Therrien had a long talk with Malkin, which I believe was long overdue. I think Geno needs to realize that he has the talent to take over games, very similar to what Sid does. He needs to take advantage of his physical skills, ones that I don't believe he's really done so far. That means forechecking, rather than taking one half-hearted stab then falling back. That means laying open ice hits, rather than just receiving them. Anyway, I think we're going to see a different Malkin tonight.
Fourthly (what the hell, I'll keep it going), the Thrashers got the dog piss smacked out of them Thursday night 8-0 by Tampa Bay. I'm sure that they had a brutal practice as well Friday.
So, combine those four elements, and you've got yourself one spirited hockey game on tap for tonight.
I believe that the lines for the most part will stay the same, which I must say is a rarity nowadays.
LET'S GO PENS !!!!