G Marc-Andre Fleury got career victory No. 227 when the Penguins won 3-1 at Philadelphia Saturday. That makes him the franchise’s all-time wins leader.
Fleury beat those orange-and-black scumbags and knocked that jackass Tom Barrasso off his perch at the same time. If he was a woman, I’d marry him.
There is lots to like about the Penguins’ 2-0 start. The Flyers and New York Rangers both being 0-2 sure isn’t disappointing, either. To continue:
*If RW James Neal keeps shooting like that, he’ll score no matter where he sets up on the power play: Left point, high slot, popcorn stand. Neal is on pace for 72 goals, but probably won’t net many more than 50.
*Fleury and Neal took a twirl on the ice Saturday after being named the game's Nos. 1 and 3 stars, respectively. On the road. In Philadelphia. In front of hockey's most hostile crowd. LOVE THAT!
*C Evgeni Malkin, as suspected, is ahead of the curve. He dished four assists and was on the edge of breaking loose for much more. Thanks, KHL!
*The Twitter terrorists wonder, “What’s wrong with Sid?” Despite just one assist so far, C Sidney Crosby is playing fine. Starting 2-0 without Crosby and Malkin scoring a goal should be encouraging, not cause for alarm.
*Memo to C Brandon Sutter: You can’t take faceoffs with your hand. So stop.
*C Joe Vitale was a healthy scratch at Philly, then replaced C Dustin Jeffrey at MSG and made play after play. Exactly what you want from your fringe guys. I bet Vitale earned himself a sweater for Wednesday’s home opener.
*LW Eric Tangradi is pointless, but his play wasn’t. Tangradi went to the net, opening space up for his linemates. If he does only that, he contributes.
*D Paul Martin had a goal and two assists, playing very solid. Not terrific, but solid. That’s a step in the right direction after last season’s debacle.
*D Kris Letang dominated the first two games to a frightening degree.
*Not sure how I feel about D Simon Despres. He’s good with the puck. His slick breakout pass led to Kennedy’s goal last night. But he sure lacks physicality.
*D Brooks Orpik does not. He hammered Chris Kreider and got a good piece of 6-foot-7 Brian Boyle, too. Kreider got knocked goofy, but even Rangers Coach John Tortorella said Orpik's hit was clean. Torts, of course, usually whines when given chance. No chance there.
*It’s one game, but the Rangers did not impress me. Torts smothers talent with system. The Rangers got maybe the best goalie in hockey. Why block every shot? Seems like a lot of risk. I bet Rick Nash hates Torts already.
*I love ex-Pen Arron Asham. Hated that staged fight with Tanner Glass just two seconds into the game. Typical Torts. The Rangers fight more in the first five minutes of a game than any team.
*The Flyers are better than the Rangers. My predicted finish in the Atlantic Division: Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Rangers, New Jersey, New York Islanders.
*The Penguins look fast, and very responsible defensively. Good combination.
*The Penguins needed 4:40 to score at Philadelphia, and just 1:48 to score at MSG. That’s a formula for success anywhere, but especially on the road.
*I can’t decide which I liked better, silence at the Wells Fargo Center or the booing of the home team that filled MSG. No two better places to win.
Photo courtesy of Penguins.nhl.com.