Continuing their 4 game road trip, the Penguins found themselves out west in Colorado Thursday night, taking on Jose Theodore and the 6-4 Avalanche.
With the 9 pm start time out East, I had the evening to prepare for this game. First I played a couple games of NHL 08 online, and then I took in an hour long recap of the Penguins v. Bruins in the 1991 Wales Conference Final on the NHL Network. By the time the puck dropped, I was already in full stride. And in the first period, it appeared the Penguins were as well.
Crosby scored twice in the 1st, with the first goal coming off a fortuitous bounce. Pittsburgh was up 2-0, and Sabourin looked solid in the net.
What a difference a period can make.
The Avalanche scored off a too many men on the ice bench minor in the second. Something I'm sure the Penguins must be leading the league in, and with a fair amount of the blame probably falling on Michel Therrien and his inconsistent lines.
They tied it 41 seconds later with a penalty pending on Sidney Crosby. Following the play Crosby was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Which only fuels my doubts in whether or not Crosby should have been awarded the captainship. Is he a talented player? Incredibly. But if he can't fulfill his responsibility as a captain in conversing with officials without picking up a minor penalty, then what good is it. Bear in mind, I can't say whether blame should fall on Crosby or the officials, who may feel someone as young as Crosby had not earned the right to second guess their calls.
Following the tread, the Avalanche took the lead later in the 2nd on a weak wrap around attempt that slipped through Dany Sabourin. And it stood at 3-2, as the Penguins decided to go ahead and just mail in the 3rd period.
Ryan Whitney left during the 2nd period with a groin injury and did not return. No word on his condition, but it's possible the Alan Nasserdine may see his first action of the season if Whitney is not available Saturday night when the Penguins will meet their Atlantic Division opponents, the New York Islanders.