by Kim Garafola
The Pittsburgh Penguins started the 2011-2012 season on October 6th with a win against the Vancouver Canucks.
After ending the 2010-2011 season with many injuries, Pens fans were excited to see this season start with what was hoped to be a healthy team. With a record of thirteen wins, six losses and seven games in overtime, three of which were won in a shootout, the Penguins lead the Eastern Conference with a total of 30 points. Points are earned by winning a game (2 points) or losing in overtime (1 point). The teams rivalry, the Philadelphia Flyers, trail right behind with 29 points. The season will end on April 7th at home against the Flyers.
After ten long months, Sidney Crosby, captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, played on November 21st. Crosby, number 87, suffered hits to the head in two consecutive games against the Washington Capitals on January 1st, 2011 and the Tampa Bay Lightening on January 5th, 2011. Due to suffering from a concussion, Crosby missed the rest of regular season play as well as playoffs. NHL fans nationwide wondered when and if Crosby would return. With great excitement, Crosby scored the first goal of the game followed by another and two assists. The Penguins won Monday night’s game in a 5-0 shutout against the New York Islanders.
Crosby, born on August 7th, 1987, is also known as “Sid the Kid” due to his age. From Canada, Crosby was drafted first overall by the Penguins in 2005. In the 2006-2007 season, Crosby won the Art Ross Trophy, given to the player with the most scoring points in a regular season, becoming the youngest player and only teenager to do so. He also won the Hart Memorial Trophy and the Lester B. Pearson Award during the same year, becoming the seventh player to win all three awards in one year.
The “Kid” became the captain of the Pens in the 2007-2008 season and the Pens won the Stanley Cup in 2009. Crosby became the youngest captain in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup. Crosby went on to win other awards as well as playing for Canada in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Crosby scored the game-winning goal in overtime against the United States.
Fans nationwide are happy to have Crosby off the sideline and on the ice. We are all excited for what he is capable of and what this means for the rest of the 2011-2012 season.
Evgeni Malkin, also known as “Geno,” was born on July 31st, 1986 in Russia. He was chosen as second overall in the 2004 NHL Draft, but due to an international transfer dispute, did not start playing with the Penguins until the 2006-2007 season. During this year, Malkin, number 71, won the Calder Memorial Trophy, which is given to the leagues best rookie. In later seasons, Malkin would go on to win the Art Ross Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy, the awards given to the top scorer in the NHL and the most valuable player to the team during the NHL playoffs respectively. Malkin has played in many World Championship games as well as two Winter Olympic Games for Russia and is currently an Alternate Captain for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Malkin’s debut for the Pittsburgh Penguins was delayed to October 18th, 2006 due to a collision with a teammate in a preseason game and consequently a shoulder injury. Malkin then set a record as the first player to score at least one goal in each of his first six games. Arriving in the United States, Geno spoke no English. With help from a fellow Russian teammate, as well as family members, he soon began to give short interviews. In 2009, Malkin helped lead the Penguins to the Stanley Cup and helped defeat the Detroit Red Wings to win it.
On February 4th, 2011, Malkin collided with a player from the Buffalo Sabres, in which he injured his left knee, tearing his ACL and MCL. It was later announced that he would undergo knee surgery and would be out for the rest of the season. Malkin practiced with the team in September and returned to the game on October 6th, 2011.