I have always been a fan of Ty Conklin. The good news for a fan like me is that if the Penguins can manage to lose their next game, I guarantee
* that Ty Conklin (career statistics
) will get to play in game 4. I'm not saying Fleury is to blame (although that Stuart goal in Gm. 2 shouldn't have gone in), but a team down 3-0 in a best of seven series needs to change something, and the goaltender is an obvious place to start.
This is a bit of an awkward segue, but looking back at the 2005-06 season, I find myself unable to criticize Lowe's decision to begin the season with the Conklin/Markkanen tandem. Prior to the lockout Conklin had gone 17-14-4, 2.42GAA, .912SV% to cover for Tommy Salo who had taken to spontaneously combusting in net. Similarly, Jussi Markkanen
entered the season coming off an MVP-calibre year in the RSL, and had three prior seasons of solid NHL numbers. There was no reason not to believe that one of the two would be able to carry the load, or that together they could form at least a league-average tandem. It was a good plan, and the only criticism I have of Lowe is that he waited too long to correct it- as soon as Conklin was hurt I would have been evaluating the options out there. It nearly cost the Oilers a playoff berth, and that beautiful run to the finals.
Going back to the Penguins, I have to concur with Black Dog's assessment
that Malkin is injured; despite what various commentators will tell you, failure to perform at key points in the playoffs is far more likely to be a result of injuries than an indication of a flawed character. Also, Sidney Crosby has been great thus far; especially in game two he showed more than any other Penguin. Beyond that, Roberts had a good game as well, in limited ice time. Finally, yes, Osgood looks like he's imitating annual Oscar candidate Dominik Hasek's routine, but if my team were down 2-0 that isn't where I'd point my finger if I were Michel Therrien.*Guarantee may not have any actual value whatsoever. Any attempt to hold the guarantor financially accountable for the above statement will be considered not applicable.