With the Flyers' half of our first monthly Predictions & Prophecies segment complete here at OBG, it's time to jump right into the Penguins half.
Here are your October Predictions & Prophecies for the Penguins:
10/2 vs. Rangers: I trust that the Penguins and their fans will be feeling more than energetic when they celebrate their championship and raise their banner. The question is whether or not they'll be focused enough to channel that energy into the game. I've come to expect this sort of focus from the Penguins, but a summer of celebrating a Stanley Cup can change that. Penguins strike first, but Rangers make a hard-earned comeback, and win it 4-2.
10/3 at Islanders: I know I'm going out on a limb here, but with Crosby nursing an injury, two games in two nights will be a lot. The Penguins will get upended yet again, and I get the feeling this night will belong to the Islanders' number one overall pick, John Tavares. He gets his first NHL goal, and the Penguins lose 4-2 yet again.
10/7 vs. Coyotes: Nothing like a team in a massive financial pickle to get you back on your feet. A convincing 5-0 win for the Penguins.
10/8 at Flyers: The rivalry renewed! The Flyers are going to be driven to do anything they can towards amending their Game 6 embarrassment from the year before. This time, the Flyers take the lead and don't look back, taking this one 4-2.
10/10 at Maple Leafs: This one ends up being a close game that goes into shootout, with a 2-2 score. In the shootout, the Penguins take the extra point thanks to a clutch shot by Sidney Crosby. He's baaaaack......
10/12 at Senators: This isn't a good year to be a Senators fan, plain and simple. Marc-Andre Fleury earns his second shutout in four games. 3-0 is your final score.
10/14 at Hurricanes: The 'Canes are undoubtedly embarrassed after getting swept by the Penguins last year, and they have a lot of motivation to get some revenge. They turn the tides on the Penguins thanks to a gem of an effort in net by Cam Ward. Carolina wins it 4-1.
10/17 vs. Lightning: Wouldn't it be interesting if Anterro Niittymaki played in this one? Okay, maybe not, but in a blog about the Flyers and Penguins rivalry, it would pass as eyebrow-raising. That being said, let's assume Niitty plays. I still don't think the Lightning will win this one, even though it would make for a good story. Penguins take this one 6-1.
10/20 vs. Blues: The second game of this five-game home stand goes just about as well as the first. Penguins win again, 4-3.
10/23 vs. Panthers: A bit of an off night for the Penguins, as they get a bit too complacent after a couple strong outings. Panthers win it in overtime 4-3.
10/24 vs. Devils: Marc-Andre Fleury and Martin Brodeur have a brilliant goalie duel, but Fleury is able to edge his elder, and the Penguins win in overtime, 2-1.
10/28 vs. Canadiens: The brand spankin' new Canadiens look great, making for a blockbuster matchup that will be made even more interesting by Hal Gill's return to Pittsburgh. Canadiens take this one 5-3.
10/30 at Blue Jackets: It isn't a long trip to Columbus, so the flight home won't be a long one figuratively or literally after the Penguins take down the Jackets 5-1.
10/31 vs. Wild: Another homecoming, this time for Petr Sykora. He'll score a goal or two but the Penguins will still win by a final score of 3-2. They go into an early November road trip feeling upbeat...
Penguins' October Record: 8-5-1
Player of the Month: Evgeni Malkin
Player Most Likely to be Injured: Sergei Gonchar
Surprise Contributor of the Month: Ruslan Fedotenko
Disappointment of the Month: Sidney Crosby
Most Goals: Evgeni Malkin
Most Points: Evgeni Malkin
Goon of the Month: Matt Cooke
Penguins' Overall Monthly Grade: B-