Friday, February 29, 2008

13 shifts in as a Pen and Hossa may be done for the week

The Pittsburgh Penguins showed off their shiny new additions on Thursday night in Boston.
Having given up the most on trading day, and for some too much, the Penguins were anxious to see how former Atlanta Thrasher Marian Hossa was going to fit in with his new team mates.

As things turned out, they’ll have to wait a little bit longer now to see where it’s best to play Hossa, who he lines up with the best and to begin to benefit from his well known scoring touch.

Hossa was done for the night after ten minutes and twelve seconds of ice time; thirteen shifts were all that he would participate in after a knee on knee collision with Boston’s Glen Murray. The inadvertent collision sent Hossa to the dressing room for the rest of the game with a strained MCL in his right knee and now will see him heading for the MRI machine on Friday; the early prognosis was for at least a one week break before he will be expected back in the line up.

While Hossa was being looked over in the dressing room, his new team mates were being worked over to a degree back on the ice.

The Bruins took the play to the Penguins early on in the game and found that Pens goaltender Ty Conklin wasn’t going to have a particularly stellar night. The two early Bruin goals were both the type that Conklin no doubt wishes he could have back, seemingly caught by surprise on both of the Bruin markers.

Continuing to struggle with the puck after the two quick Bruin goals, he eventually would be replaced by Marc Andre Fleury when Conklin surrendered the third goal of the evening. Fleury was making his first appearance in a Penguin uniform since December 6th and was fairly reliable in the nets, though he two was victimized for two goals by the Pens, though his stats of 16 saves on 18 shots at least provides a bit of good news for the Pens who were wondering how he would bounce back after such a lengthy absence.

The Bruins though were full value for their 5-1 victory; they played like the Bruins of old, hard nosed, refusing to back down in the corners and generating many scoring chances by hard work and hustle.

General Manager Peter Chiarelli made no moves on deadline day, seemingly happy with his assembled crew, who have slowly begun to reward both he and head coach Claude Julien for their patience, with some impressive play in all parts of the game.

The Pens who believe they now have the necessary pieces in place to make a run for the Stanley Cup, will once again have to tread a little water, as they have through the Sidney Crosby injury.

The original plan when the Penguins picked up Hossa was to have him join up with Crosby on what would on paper be a very productive pairing. Now with both injured, the only way they’ll be getting in synch is when they take time on the rehab table getting their various maladies taken care of.

Globe and Mail--Penguins suffer double loss
National Post--Sturm lifts Bruins; Penguins' Hossa injured
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review--Penguins lose game, Hossa to injury
Pittsburgh Post Gazette--Hossa hurt; Penguins lose

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