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3 Questions with... Pensburgh

Jim Rogash

Tonight's game might not happen, but in case it's Hooks Orpik about the Penguins:

1. So, how has Iginla been? It's not like we're jealous or we thought we had him or anything, just you know...wondering...

Iginla's been pretty good (2 goals, 4 assists in 8 games) but he definitely has the look of "wow, this guy spent a really long time with one team and now has to learn to fit in a completely new system with new teammates". In that regard, Brenden Morrow went through the same thing- looking almost lost out there, but he's turned it around (8 points in his last four games, including two straight 2-goal games). I would hope that Iginla is in turn for a similiar breakout as he continues to get comfortable. Of course, getting a superstar center or two back in the lineup to feed him pucks will help too. Crosby went down right after Iginla got acquired and they played Malkin+Iginla together for a few games, without much real chemistry showing through.

2. Is the phrase "Jagr plays the Penguins for the first time in a _____ uniform" sort of white noise for you at this point? Or do you still feel a twinge? What's the trick to getting him to salute?

Personally, it's still a twinge for me, but I hold Jagr in more reverence than most of my fellow Penguins fans. But we've also see Jagr wear a Flyers jersey and practically break the Pens backs in Games 2 and 3 last season in the playoffs. The only parallel I can think of that would compare for Boston fans would be Johnny Damon wearing pinstripes- but Johnny Damon isn't the 2nd best player in Red Sox franchise history, either. It's bizarre, especially since Jagr will be back in a familiar black/gold colors. But hey, that's how it's gone for well over a decade now and he's played for probably the 3 biggest rivals Pittsburgh has (Flyers, Caps, Rangers) so what's another new team?

It looks like one of the Jets, Rangers, or Sabres will make the playoffs. Which one would you rather face, assuming the Pens keep up this "winning all the time" hooey?

I'm of the thought that NYR (even though they've been flawed and inconsistent all year) still has a great goalie, recent playoff experience, deep defense and Stanley Cup winning coach which makes them a better than average 8 seed. So I'd prefer to see Winnipeg sneak up or somehow the Islanders slink down, but it's seemed to me that the Rangers and Pens have been on a collision path in the first round for a while now. Pittsburgh still matches up well, and honestly should be the favorite no matter who they play, but the Rangers still give me the most concern just because a hot goalie and great defensive effort is how the Pens got beat in 2010 and 2011, and Lundqvist is a lot better than Halak and Dwayne Rolson.

Thanks again to Hooks for doing this!