Well, the season is finally upon us. The Pens start camp tomorrow at the Consol Energy Center and – drum roll, please – it’s open to the public…and free. Practice runs from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. This is definitely worth checking out if your schedule is clear.
Here are some things to keep an eye on throughout camp:
- How will Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek fit in on defense?
- Will any of the young players, including 2009 1st-round pick Simon Despres, impress enough to make the opening-day roster?
- How will the power play look without Sergei Gonchar?
- Who will join Crosby and Kunitz on the first line?
- With Jordan Staal out of action, how will the lineup shape up?
I touched on Staal’s injury briefly in yesterday’s post. What will/should the Pens do in his absence? In my opinion, they have two options: 1) Keep Malkin at center and surround him with the two best wings available until Staal returns; 2) Stick to the original plan (if it was the original plan in the first place) and move Malkin to wing and hope Mike Comrie, Max Talbot and/or Dustin Jeffrey can hold the fort at center until Staal returns.
Whatever the Pens choose to do, Staal’s injury and the effect it has on the lineup will be the story of the preseason.
“Destiny Has a New Home”
What do you think of the Pens new marketing campaign? With a rather obvious nod to the new arena, it definitely has a nice ring to it. Let’s just hope the “destiny” part rings true soon. No pressure, guys.