Sunday, November 11, 2007

Eggs in One Basket or Share the Wealth?

What do you do with two of the world's best centers on the same team? Do you stick them on the same line or do you spread them out? Pens Nation has been asking itself this question for a week or two now.

Everyone knows Evgeni Malkin was born a center. He sure acts like one - swoops into the zone - checks his wingers positions - checks his own position - makes a choice. Sometimes it pass, usually its shoot. He does it well and we love him for it.

Everyone knows Sidney Crosby was born a center too. He's so talented he doesn't even play a position per say - he just fucking plays. Gets in the zone, protects the puck like his life depends on it - finds an open man - slides him the biscut - this guy better be able to shoot and read a play because its coming. Sid will find ways to make anyone look like a god - take the humorious Colby Armstrong or old timer Mark Recchi for example.

But what happens when you put these two on the same line? Sid as center, Malk as wing. Well if you're talking last season nothing happens. Malkin couldn't figure out where to be as a winger. He'd miss passes all the time. And then he'd fall down. Sadly, no magic really came from this illustrious pair.

But this season has been a different story. If you haven't had a chance to see Malkin this year, you're in for a treat. The summer was very good to him - he looks alive. Sid is coming along too. Lately they've been playing on the same line and the outcome has been positive. Mostly because Malkin figured out life. He knows where to be and how to handle a Sidney Crosby pass. He shoots and scores - perfect : )

Overall sounds like a good thing right? Well....not so fast. What about the rest of the lines? What about Jordan Staal who is getting plently of ice time but has yet to score? He played well with Malkin last year. Should that duo not be given another chance to find their spark again? Or how bout Petr Sykora - our summer steal who was suppose to complement Sid on the wing, yet he's spending his days on random lines with Staal and the rest of the troops.

Ryan Malone? Remember how I said Sid can make anyone look like a god. Case and point. Erik Christensen? That kid can shooot. Should he be given a shot on a top line? Questions, questions - decisions, decisions - wins and losses. The highs and lows of a young hockey team.

Any thoughts? Any wise words of wisdom from some seasoned teams with a few superstars?

As far as superstitions and pregame rituals go I don't really have too many. Pregames usually involve trash talking/texting/iming people whos team we're playing. Games usually involve some sort of beer and yelling at the tv. Oh and you have to turn on the radio to hear Mike Lange say - "It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh!" That makes it official : )


Elly said...

Yeah, I wonder what happened to all that depth last year. The Pens still have it, albeit shuffled around nightly, but I guess you go with what works, and Therrien is trying to find what works.

It's a weird situation trying to find someone to keep up with Crosby, and so far only Malkin really has...except he's another center, like you said. Sykora seems to click better with Malkin.

Z4Dfense said...

Split em up and let them make twice the fools out of all the other teams.
When you have two of the most dangerous youngsters in the game you make it tough for any single shut down line to focus. Every team you play with them seperated has heartburn when they arrive and heartbreak when they leave.

Syd will make his own magic w/ someone eventually and if Syk and Geno are already gotta go with line 1A and line 1B.

I LOVE GENO! a secondary, he's not a Coyote kinda way.

Ellie said...

i agree with you both - i like them together - i like them apart. although after the last two games nothing really seems to be working. guess we'll see what Therrien decides to do tonight...