Hockey, for all its speed and simplicity, can be slowed to a crawl when studied schematically.
There hasn't been a fleeting moment since the calendar flipped that Evgeni Malkin hasn't been the NHL's premier player. His totals for 2018: 24 goals, 25 assists in 30 games.
NHL coaches obsess over obtaining every possible point. NHL coaches seldom instruct anyone on how to play three-on-three.
So I've learned that Derick Brassard's got a loud laugh. Louder, even, than whatever cacophony might have been coming from his mouth in maniacally celebrating his first goal.
Derick Brassard's debut in a Penguins uniform didn't end in victory but the center showed why he can be a valuable contributor in the months to come.
Derick Brassard has been a very good No. 2 center, but he could make the Penguins great as a No. 3 behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
With Willie O'Ree, the first black player in NHL history watching, Ryan Reaves scores the biggest goal in the Penguins' latest win.
Defense, as with most sports, is generally about effort. Except when it isn't.
The Penguins power play is clicking at 26.7 percent, which if it holds up, would be the second-best in nearly 30 years.
Seriously, Matt Murray was telling us the other day that he doesn't play hockey. He plays goalie, he insisted.
On a night, and really in a season, where little has gone right for the Penguins, it all just sounded and felt so ... wrong. The Penguins and Kris Letang...
It's not possible to describe in any detail the overtime goal Sidney Crosby deflected Monday night, the one pushed the Penguins past the Flyers, 5-4, without delving into the past.
Phil Kessel's shot "comes off his stick a little different," as Mike Sullivan has recited countless times, and others have echoed.
To be clear and fair, NHL officiating is awful across the board, no different for any of the league's 31 member teams.
"It's not about effort. It's never been about effort." Those nine words from Matt Murray followed his 29 saves and the Penguins' 4-0 shutout of the Canucks.
Jake Guentzel is 22 going on 2, judging by that baby face and boyish enthusiasm in pinballing all over the rink.
The Penguins' hearts and minds might have made it out to the ice Tuesday night, but their legs never left the locker room.
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are bound for the NHL's All-Star Game, but they'll leave behind Phil Kessel, the man who just might be most responsible for reigniting both careers.
I knew Sidney Crosby wouldn't agree. "Am I getting more space out there? Really?" the captain came back in basically repeating my question.
Be nice to Tuukka Rask, Pittsburgh. If it weren't for him, there'd be no Patric Hornqvist around here and, thus, no fourth Stanley Cup.