At the 1:28 mark of this post-practice interview from yesterday, watch how James Neal responds to being reunited on-ice with Malkin.
It’s like his first day back at school, seeing that girl he had a crush on last year.
In actual hockey news (sigh of relief), it looks like James is going to play the un-point on the Pens power play to start the season. He’ll be “roving” the ice near Letang’s regular station at the blue line. [link]
Errr, okay. As much as Neal & Letang next to each other could probably reverse the Earth’s magnetic poles, Nealer’s about the wrist shot. It’s dazzling. It’s accurate. Seeing him just behind the faceoff circle, waiting for the drop pass… it makes me weak in the twine.
He’s not going to score a lot from the blue line. The idea seems to be for James to play “everywhere” and feed the puck to Crosby and Malkin (or back to Letang). It sounds like a dream strategy, unless the guy you’re taking the puck away from is the reigning NHL-leader in PPG (Neal had 18 last season).
Photo Credit: kdkitty127
Alas, this is a problem I want to have. Embarrassment of riches! Trust in Disco Dan! (And pre-season optimism.) With guys like Crosby and Malkin on the sides, let’s hope some middle lanes open and James gets the puck. I don’t care who scores ’em.
Wait, I do. I didn’t fantasy draft Sid or Geno, dammit.
I wish we could do a preview of every team for the upcoming season, but there is no time. Also I’ve forgotten where everyone was traded to or signed. Saturday is going to be like Christmas morning, where I open every broadcast after guessing what’s inside and find a bonus Staal or Nash.Tags: dan bylsma, Evgeni Malkin, james neal, Kris Letang, Sidney Crosby