What a difference a season makes. One year ago I personally had left Geno for dead after his knee surgery. Yes, I call me the pessimist. Yours truly hinted in the off-season that the Pens would even be better off without his albatross of a contract and less than motivated attitude, to boot.
Now, I am not afraid to admit when I'm wrong, but I'm dead in the water on this one. I once said that Geno has never looked the same since he held the Conn Smythe over his head 3 years ago. But dare I say he's making room in his trophy cabinet for a little more hardware at this rate.
I have a mighty big crow sandwich to get down, but I think I'm going to need a Malkin Milkshake to wash it down if he keeps this up. And I hope the taste never gets stale. 71 hasn't looked this determined in a long while-maybe, since his rookie breakout season. It actually looks like he wants to go through people rather than around them, as evidenced by his many faceoff tricks as of late.
One of the collateral advantages to Geno stepping up is that it seems that the whole team has taken on his likeness at times this season. In short, his play has been contagious. This can only be deemed a blessing for us as Pens fans in more than one way. Without Crosby’s glaring leadership abilities there is such a void.
But we now have what surely can only be an MVP season from Malkin, and with nearly 20 some odd games to go. This has given us new life into what was almost a lost season at one point.. With a little depth on trade deadline day and Sid's return and this will vault the Pens to the top of the heap again.
I don't think it matters where the chips fall in April. As long as we make it in, there can be no doubt where the season took shape and where it all began. I had Fleury as mid season MVP, but I'm a bit of a homer on that one. 7+1=8 and as long as the Pens are in the top 8 it's because of 71 and I'm riding this wave all the way.
So thanks for making me a believer again and every bite I get down of this sandwich will remind me just how lucky we truly are. Let's hope we see more of the same today against Buffalo. Oh, and we can also breathe easier now that his favorite linemate Real Deal is locked up for another 6.