The Penguins only played two games last week — a 4-2 win against the Flyers at Heinz Field and a 3-2 loss against the Stars. That last one was weird, since Dallas has thrown in the towel on the season, but even good teams have hiccups.
With such a short week and very little happening on the trade deadline front (as of 12:05 a.m. Wednesday morning), instead of doing the same old routine in this space, we thought … why not do an extended mailbag? (Full disclosure: I do a national mailbag and most of the time it’s like pulling teeth, yet when I ask for one Penguins question each week to include here, I get like 20.)
I usually feel bad only grabbing one — even if seven are questions about penguins the animals and not Penguins the hockey people, which until a few days ago, seemed odd — so I will grab a bunch to answer for you this week. It will be fun. I promise.
That is a much better question. And in case you don’t get the reference, this happened right before the Flyers-Penguins game:
I feel like the NHL didn’t think this through. Live penguins on nearby ice during a Penguins game is great, but maybe don’t light off explosives next to their tiny heads. This is why you don’t bring dogs to Fourth of July fireworks shows. Some of them get freaked out, and I’m guessing all penguins get freaked out by nearby explosions. Lesson learned.
Anyway, the answer is Olli Maatta. Considering the health crises he’s had in his career, I don’t know how he gets out of bed in the morning without being terrified he will slip on a mouse and break his back.
In Maatta’s career, he has missed time for:
- Shoulder surgery (May 2014)
- Thyroid surgery, aka cancer (Nov. 2014)
- Mumps (Dec. 2014)
- More shoulder surgery (Jan. 2015)
- Hand surgery (Feb. 2017)
I assume Maatta flinches when a door slams and jumps at car backfires. I wouldn’t be surprised if Maatta had thought those fireworks were the end of the world.
Never let go…
Sidney Crosby and Marc-Andre Fleury.
Stadium Series = Playoff catalyst?
No. It’s a dumb outdoor game during the regular season. You won’t remember it in April and neither will they.
Now that the Perguins have Martin Hanzal, they are the clear favorites to win the Stalley Cup.
Penguins on the big screen
What about me makes you think I’ve watched a movie about penguins?
Yeah, blowing a 2-0 lead to the Stars is rough, but you have to wonder if the pressure of getting to 69 finally got to the Penguins. It would’ve been nice, that’s for sure, but getting to 69 would have been overrated anyway.
Ron Hainsey trade
No way. Ron Hainsey is solid. He’s about the same caliber as Brendan Smith and the Rangers paid more for him. Plus, with the way Penguins defensemen get hurt every year and their current state of health, Jim Rutherford had to do something. It was fine.
Is this about actual penguins or Evgeni Malkin?
They don’t try hard enough.
Hornquist … a Devil?
Why would you ever wish something so mean on Patric Hornqvist? What did he ever do to you? You know what? It doesn’t matter. No one deserves that at the trade deadline.
Who to resign? (That’s ‘re-sign’ not ‘make quit.’)
Nick Bonino. The Penguins have enough RFA defensemen they can re-sign or younger guys they can use in bigger roles. That third line of Bonino, Phil Kessel and Carl Hagelin needs to be kept together for as long as possible. That’s where I’d invest the money that isn’t mine. (Editor’s Note: Sorry, Dave. It’s Hagelin, Bonino and Kessel. BKH doesn’t have the same ring to it. –DL)
I would kick either group’s asses so it doesn’t matter. (Editor’s Note No. 2: The answer is rockhopper penguins. Look how angry their faces are. Kind of like how one would imagine Dave looks having to answer so many questions about penguins the animals. – DL)
Phil Kessel is a left winger I can get behind.
I don’t know.
The Paint Can
PPG Paints Arena? Moderately. All arena names with sponsors sound weird at first. You don’t think twice about Staples Center but an arena named after office supplies was weird as hell for a while. Just call it the Igloo. No one around here where I live calls the big stadium off the NJ Turnpike Met Life Stadium. It’s still Giants Stadium. You’re not getting any of the money for naming rights — which may just pay off — so call it whatever you want. Call it the Donut. Call it the Ross Geller Memorial Coliseum. It doesn’t matter.
And yes, Ross is dead, which is life’s eternal break.
Because that’s dumb.
Cut me, Mick.
(Editor’s Note No. 3: Dave, I feel like I’m doing a lot of the heavy lifting here this week. Clearly the answer is Burgess Meredith, who was also known for his role as Rocky Balboa’s cut man Mickey. But that wasn’t his best role, and, frankly, neither was Penguin. It was his work as Granpa Gustafson in Grumpy Old Men. – DL)
Because I taught him how to play goalie. I said, “Matt, stop pucks.” And now look at him. Come to my camp this summer.
The 40-year-old Cullen
How ever many more seasons are left in this one. That’s the answer.