When deciding on what to do for my first post I thought what better way to start then telling everyone about my first experience at the brand new Consol Energy Center. So here we go. These are my notes and observations from the Pens pre-season game against Columbus.
Let's start with the arena itself...
- The place is more than fantastic. The place is immaculate.
- There is so much more space to walk and the bathrooms are massive.
- Definitely doesn't feel as big as the Mellon.
- There is not one bad seat in the place.
- Getting around can be troublesome since there aren't many maps to help.
- Noise is a huge issue here...for the opposing team.
- The new scoreboard is so big it almost distracts you from the game.
- So nice that the teams no longer have to cross to reach the locker rooms.
- The food vendors are still working out the kinks. Long, slow lines. Should improve with time.
- The nachos are still amazing and RC Cola could really catch on.
- Yes, the prices are still very high but the food is very good.
- This building is the premier arena in the NHL and no one comes close.
- One negative: After the game I felt rushed out of the building. I wanted to look around but the ushers kept directing us out. Hopefully they loosen up.
Now let's take a look at the game...
- The Pens hit a homerun with the "Ultimate Home Game."
- The Pens were definitely still working off some rust. They seemed to get their groove in the second period.
- Columbus could be a surprise team out West.
- This make shift Pens team could win 40 games.
- Fleury was the biggest bright spot for the team. He played out of his mind. If he plays like that consistently, watch out.
- Brett Sterling and Eric Tangradi both played solid games.
- Tyler Kennedy had a great game.
- Steve Mason looks to be returning to rookie year form.
- Arron Asham can shoot the puck and isn't afraid to get dirty.
- Crosby showed no signs of pain or problems with that hip flexor.
- Brooks Orpik looked like he was playing against a bunch of kids.
- Malkin looks like the Malkin we know and love.
- Don't know if it was the refs or lack of discipline, but the Pens couldn't stay out of the box.
- On that note, the penalty kill was solid all night.
- Good to see the Pens driving the net and getting dirty goals.
- After showing rust in the first period the Pens turned it on. This team can hang with anyone.
- It's great to have hockey back.
Miscellaneous notes and observations...
- Pascal Dupuis is the most under-rated pick up by Ray Shero in his time as GM.
- Michalek will be worth every dollar they pay him.
- Rick Nash is still an elite player. He deserves a better team.
- Nash may be elite but that didn't stop him from being beat down by Malkin.
- Kris Letang can fight too.
- He may not have the most talent but no one will ever give more than Tyler Kennedy.
- Brett Sterling deserves a chance.
- Godard should be the most feared enforcer in the league.
- Watch out for Marc-Andre Fleury.
- I believe Tangradi will be on the opening day roster.
Fantasy Tip of the Week...
- If you're looking for a solid reserve goalie for your team consider Steve Mason. Kid could have a solid year.
That's all I got for now folks. Hope you enjoyed my first article. I'm so grateful to have this opportunity. I look forward to reading your comments. Thank you all for reading and as always, Go Pens!!!!