Penguins' chat with Shelly Anderson

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beerman0303Should the fact that Sid did not play in the all star game lead us to think his knee is worse then he is letting on or was he just playing it safe?

Shelly Anderson: Maybe both, judging from Sidney Crosby's intense desire to play and contribute, and given the fact the Penguins desperately need to reel off some wins to get back in the playoff picture. Remember, last season he pushed to come back from the high ankle sprain, had to take more time off, then returned for good -- and probably played with at least some discomfort for all of the playoffs. So we know Crosby is willing to play with pain -- and the guess here is that he will be playing in pain for at least some time. The key now with his left knee injury probably has to do with whether doctors think he can play without causing further damage. It was only smart of him to skip the All-Star Game. Unless he skips games, he won't get that many days off in a row again until after the season.

Bones: How often do you see Garon getting the start in goal?

Shelly Anderson: That probably depends a lot on starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and how well he plays. Coach Michel Therrien doesn't seem reluctant to give Fleury a heavy work load as long as he's playing well. There might be a time when he gives Fleury a night off during back-to-back games or a busy stretch and goes to Mathieu Garon, who was acquired earlier this month from Edmonton. Or, if Fleury struggles and Garon gets in there and does well, Therrien might very well give Garon more time. That's one of the roles the Penguins seemed to want from Garon when they got him -- to push Fleury.

Nataila: Is Evgeni Malkin really as humble as he comes across in interviews? He seemed to be much more willing to interview this past weekend. Do you think that part of Malkin is happy that Crosby takes some of the media pressures away from him? Regardless, it was great to get to see his personality come through this weekend!

Shelly Anderson: You are right -- center Evgeni Malkin seemed to have a breakthrough weekend in Montreal during the NHL All-Star festivities. He seemed to enjoy talking to different players from around the league more than the past two seasons, and especially had a good time with the other Russians. Although Malkin is shy and softspoken, just as he appears, he does have a personality, and it is coming through more now that his English is getting better and he's more comfortable with it. He did media scrums with a lot more ease. He even helped Alex Ovechkin with a skit-like routine during the breakaway challenge.

Bones: How much does the fact that Malkin and Ovechkin are now BFFs cool the Pens-Caps rivalry?

Shelly Anderson: With any luck, the rivalry will be better. Although it seems that Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk brokered a truce between his fellow Russians, Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin, during the All-Star weekend, they remain competitive players of the highest caliber. Throw in Sidney Crosby of the Penguins, and we could see tremendous games between the Penguins and Capitals for years to come -- better than what we've seen with the personal feud between Malkin and Ovechkin leading to the type of hits that waste their talent.

LunaticHockey16: What type of role, if any, do you see Alex Goligoski playing the rest of the season, especially once Sergei Gonchar comes back, Goligoski looks to be the odd one out. Do you think they'll send him to the AHL even though he's proven his capabale in the NHL?

Shelly Anderson: If you look at the numbers and the fact that Alex Goligoski won't have to clear waivers to be demoted, he would seem a likely choice to go to Wilkes-Barre when Sergei Gonchar returns from shoulder surgery. However, Goligoski has certainly been one of the team's best six defensemen, so that makes the scenario tougher, especially considering he has, surprisingly, been a healthy scratch at times. There always is the possibility of a trade, especially if a scoring winger should be available. I really don't know how this is going to play out.

Shelly Anderson: Thanks, guys. I'll chat with you next week from Montreal.



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