Originally posted on The Pensblog  |  Last updated 1/16/13
  We've already looked at the Goalies   Good God.   We've said it for almost three years now. When will we finally get to see Malkin and Crosby healthy and in monster mode together at the same time?  Every duo has that magical season. 66 and 68 went off for a combined 310 points in '95-'96.   If there's ever been a time for it to happen, it is this year. Malkin returns as the reigning MVP, Crosby's been working out for like 300 days in a row.     If the stars align, we could potentially see both these stars hitting 75+ points. via some dude on Tumblr.  Probably a big A-ha fan.   But if there's one thing we've all learned over the past half-dozen years, if one of them does go down, the other can certainly handle the pressure.   The other forwards on the team, we're previewing 'em.   Last season's top 10 scoring lines (even strength): Dupuis-Staal-Sullivan accounted for 30 points? ****.   Joe Vitale This was like the first pic for "Joe Vitale" on a Google search.   Last Season: Vitale's biggest contribution was that hit on Briere that started the Flyers/Pens brawl. This Season:  Vitale will get about 10 minutes a night and try to "grind people down." He'll lead the team in times you hear his name called when you are getting food out of your fridge because you don't want to watch his shift.   Craig Adams Last season: Killed penalties okay in the regular season then **** himself in the playoffs, along with the rest of the Pens. This Season: Already has helped bring the lockout to an end.  Perennial fan favorite. Tanner Glass Last Season: Played in Winnipeg and probably did Evander Kane's laundry for him. This Season: Will probably score some strange big goal against a rival. He can hit and can actually skate, which is a definite upgrade over the Pens' "enforcers" in the past.   Tyler Kennedy Last season: Battled some injuries and played 64 games.  Would've had 16-17 goals in an 82-game season. This Season:  Kennedy misses more shots than an alcoholic blind guy, and it's become a running joke, at least with us anyway.  This season is one of them good ol' contract years for TK.  Gonna be an intriguing situation.   Suttertron Last Season: Played in Carolina, shut people down, won face-offs. This Season: Huge shoes for Suttertron to fill, as he'll anchor the third line and kill penalties. He'll be tasked with shutting down the opposition's top lines. Really looking forward to watching him play.   Matt Cooke Last Season: It was the introduction of the Zen Matt Cooke.  It took the edge from his game, and it was bizarre at times watching him play.  It's definitely worth noting that he had some unexpected chemistry with Crosby after Sid's last comeback. This Season: We get it; he doesn't want to be dirty. But, Jesus, get under someone's skin again.   Chris Kunitz Last Season: Solid as ever.  He undoubtedly led the league in disallowed goals.  Probably should try to keep track of it this season, but we won't. This Season:  He'll be creating room and winning puck battles for Crosby.  He's the perfect complement to The Count.   Pens should probably watch him closely, especially this season.  It's World War III for him every night, and the abuse on his body is gonna catch up to him.   Pascal Dupuis Last Season: Best year as a Pen, putting home 25 goals, the majority coming without being on Crosby's line.  He is currently riding a 17-game poi... This Season: ...nts streak. It would take an injury to pry him off Crosby's line.   James Neal Last Season: Monster season.  Got paid.  Went for 40/41 last season with Malkin.  This Season: Neal is the trigger man, and it's not unrealistic to envision him putting home 25 this season at least.  During the off-season and a half, Neal has worked out like a mad man.  Malkin/Neal are poised to officially take over the NHL.   Evgeni Malkin Last Season: MVP of the league, Art Ross, Pearson, MVP of the WC's, Gold medalist in WC's.  Got it. This Season: Malkin has a step up on the majority of the league. In nearly 40 KHL games, he recovered from a slow start and eventually tore it up (65 points in 37 games).  Biggest position battle going is that coveted spot alongside him and Neal. He'll have so many people gunning for him, Usher will name all of his paternity suits the time he got Malkin'd.  Gets it.   Sidney Crosby Last Season: A couple of emotional comebacks.  An F-yeah.  His 25 points in the final 14 games of the season put him at a pace for 148 points over 82 games.  We did the math.  But the lasting image in our minds is him getting wrecked by Giroux in Game 6. This Season: Crosby has had his career derailed.  Best-case scenario, the extended layoff due to the lockout may end up being what puts it back on track. He was finally able to catch up and gets his body where it needs to be.  We forget who it was, but someone said during those lockout practices that they could hear how ready Crosby was to play when his skates dug into the ice.  Gives you chills.      
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