Mike Darnay, the managing editor of Pensburgh, and I exchanged some questions. You can read mine over at his fine website and check out the answers to my questions to him below! Fun!
Q: Now with (mostly) the healthy(ish) Penguins squad together, how has the team looked — eye test wise?
A: Eye test wise: they look good. They look fast, built with the team speed that I’m sure you remember from the SCF. They had six games to start the season without Sidney Crosby, and missed Kris Letang for a few games as well, but have looked good nonetheless. They’ve had a few games in which it took two periods for them to get their shit together, but ended up storming back in the third and end up winning the game. That’s not a good habit to form, but in October and November, I don’t particularly care.
Q: What's the deal with Olli Maatta?
A: I honestly don’t know. I think he’s still getting back to speed from his hip/lower back injury from last season. He seems to be a step slow with his foot speed. Or maybe questioning his own speed and finding himself in that ‘no-man’s land’ of indecisiveness and caught a step slow.
Q: The Penguins extended Matt Murray recently — what's the goaltending future of this team?
A: I think this season we’re going to see a 50/50 split. And then, the Pens will have two options. The first option would be to trade Marc-Andre Fleury and be able to protect Matt Murray in the expansion draft. If that doesn’t come to be an option, the Pens will likely need to trade an asset to Las Vegas so that they don’t pick Murray.
Q: This seems like a group that can continue to compete for a Cup the next three years. Is there a sense around Pittsburgh that they need to win another to further "validate" Sidney Crosby's legacy?
A: I don’t feel that way, and I don’t get that sense either. All of the playoff failures that came after winning the Cup in 2009 -- getting Halak’ed in 2010, blowing a 3-1 lead to Tampa in 2011, the embarrassment against the Flyers in 2012, getting swept in 2013, and blowing another 3-1 lead in 2014…after putting it together and winning the Cup in 2016, two Cups for this franchise era of Crosby and Malkin, I am content and at peace with whatever else happens
Q: On a scale of 1-10 how concerned are you about Crosby's future with the team given his most recent concussion?
A: At the moment, I’m really not at all. I know that no concussion is ever a good thing, and that you can’t categorize them as ‘minor,’ but seeing how he bounced back this time, and didn’t seem to be missing practices or missing time with the media…it seems like he learned how to manage his symptoms and the process to returning much more than the past incident.
Thanks again to Mike for participating!