Jason Mackey's Penguins chat
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Jason Mackey
1:39
Hi folks. Gonna be a little bit loose on the time here because it's a gameday and have to tie up a few things, including Facebook Live with colleague Sam Werner. In any case, we're open. Leave your question, and I'll get to it ASAP. Looks like plenty of room right now, even though I do answer about 99.9 of what I get.
Jack Straw
1:40
How does management feel about Kasper Bjorkqvist's Freshman season in Providence. His numbers in Jr.A Liiga were great but last year seems like a dud. Just learning NA ice sheet, some pro game growing pains? Great coach in Providence hopeful for a good Sophomore season. Any info would be excellent
Jason Mackey
1:41
Jack, thank you for the question. Not going to lie to you: Kasper Bjorkqvist has not been on my radar. With the playoffs, injuries, etc., everything going on with the NHL club, my attention has been there. Ditto for many in the organization. We'll hear more, but the offseason will be a better time for that.
Birdie
1:43
Fleury played a super CBj series will there ever be anything he can do to stop haters. If pens lose it will be all his fault to haters. He's a great goalie an a wonderful person your thoughts
Jason Mackey
1:45
Birdie, thanks for the question. Fleury's relationship with this fan base has been ... interesting. I'm not sure I've ever seen anything like it. He was very good against CBJ, although I actually think he could have been better at times. Not Game 5, obviously, but Games 3-4 his rebound control was worse than it has been historically. I also get the folks who are down on Fleury because of his playoff history. The quote Clint Hurdle, that's real. But I can also say that I've meet few quality humans like Marc-Andre Fleury in this business, that's for sure. What I see: Fleury is comfortable and enjoying the heck out of this. That's a good combination.
Marnie
1:55
Pens talk a lot about faster starts. We saw little of that against Columbus. They won the series so it worked out but it's hard to score if you are playing defense. Is it lack of urgency? Is it being overwhelmed by the other team? Or just a general methodical approach to the game - trying NOT to ride the emotions of the game, rather staying even keep throughout. or something else?
Jason Mackey
1:58
Good question, Marnie. Starts will be really important in this series. I think Columbus came hard and wanted to disrupt the Penguins. They did that. But they didn't complete the second part: finishing. I think the Capitals are much better equipped to make the Penguins pay for a poor start. A lot of it is a mindset, knowing that you probably can come back. Some is also the other team; if Columbus is flying around like crazy, it's absorbing checks and still making the right reads and falling into their game. Can be a lot of things, honestly.
Juan
1:58
Simple question, complex answer: Who ya got in this series?
Jason Mackey
1:59
I have Penguins in six. I think Fleury plays really well. I think the Penguins stars are better than the Capitals stars, and I think the amount of experience the Penguins have versus what the Capitals don't turns out to matter quite a bit.
Matt in Cleveland
1:59
if Malkin is in top game-shape, which he should be close, I think he is the deciding factor in this series. If Sid's line and Backstrom's line play even, I don't see any way the Caps can match a fully functioning Malkin line. Who do the Caps match against Malkin's line?
Jason Mackey
2:00
Good questions. Malkin said yesterday he expected to draw Kuznetsov's line. We'll see. The way Malkin has been playing -- and that line has been clicking -- I think it would also make sense to deploy Backstrom, an underrated defensive center, against Malkin's line. Malkin easily could be a deciding factor in this series, without a doubt.
Carl
2:00
Say Fleury posts a shutout tonight. If Murray miraculously came back for Game 2, do you leave Fleury in?
Jason Mackey
2:01
Absolutely. Wouldn't think twice. At this point, I think Fleury has to play himself out of the crease. I also don't think Murray is close. Saw him walking around yesterday. It was not the walk of a guy who's going to be playing playoff hockey in a couple nights.
Kevin
2:01
Do you expect the ice condition to be an issue tonight?
Jason Mackey
2:02
I don't. Honestly, the ice is never terribly good here. It's always a struggle in multipurpose buildings. I know the Wizards played last night, but that sure isn't the first time the Capitals and Wizards have played on back-to-back nights. It'll be similar to what we always see here, with plenty of bouncing pucks.
Ralph in Blawnox
2:02
Why isn't more made out of countrymen Malkin and Ovi going against each other
Jason Mackey
2:03
Not sure, Ralph. Malkin was asked yesterday how the rivalry is portrayed back in Russia, Malkin said it's still Crosby and Ovechkin. The cool thing about this series, to me, is you have several talented Russian players -- Malkin, Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Orlov. All pretty good friends, too.
Ralph in Blawnox
2:03
What's today's chat soundtrack
Jason Mackey
2:04
Ha. Nothing actually. Don't know why. Need to change that. Thinking old favorite. I'll go Sunshine Daydream (8/27/72).
bob
2:04
no weird questions yet huh
Jason Mackey
2:04
Nothing yet. Still plenty of time, though, Bob.
Matt in Cleveland
2:04
When Hagelin comes back (seems like game 3 would be the latest he'd be back), I assume he goes on to Bonino's line -- scratching Wilson. Any chance the HBK line comes back? or does Sheary stay with H&B?
Jason Mackey
2:07
I could see Hagelin coming back as early as Game 2, honestly. But, yeah, Game 3 is definitely a safe bet. ... Some will depend on how the fourth line looks tonight. If it's effective, I would not disrupt 14-7-34, and I think those three have the possibility of being really good together. I like Kuhnhackl's game a lot in this series. I think he could have a big one. I'd scratch Wilson. As for HBK, I do think Hagelin and Bonino would be better with Sheary than Hornqvist, playing a speed game. Maybe the HBS line? Not quite the same ring to it, though. And I like Sid and the Kids. I would not hate this: 59-87-43 /// 17-71-72 /// 62-13-81 /// 14-7-34 ... although I do like Phil and Malkin together.
bob
2:08
which nhl player would make the best president
Jason Mackey
2:08
You mean other than Phil Kessel?
fish
2:08
In the expansion draft, do you figure the Pens protect 8 skaters so as to protect Maatta (in addition to Letang, Schultz, and Dumoulin), or do they go 7 F/3 D?
Jason Mackey
2:09
I'm not sure, but that's a really interesting debate, FIsh. I can see the logic behind it, sure. And don't forget about Cole, coming off a career year and a huge part of the team's identity. If you go eight skaters, you might lose someone like Kuhnhackl or Wilson. That would stink, but I'd be more OK with that than, say, Schultz.
Debi
2:09
Is Murray skating yet?
Jason Mackey
2:10
Not that anyone is aware of. Hasn't since before Game 1 against Columbus.
bob
2:11
who's better in goal, me or murray blindfolded
Jason Mackey
2:12
Do you have some film I could evaluate, Bob?
Peter
2:16
which penguin would be best at another sport and what sport is it
Jason Mackey
2:18
Peter, I'm not trying to duck your question, I swear. But the weird thing about the Penguins room is that there aren't many multisport athletes. Conor Sheary played baseball. Phil Kessel and Jake Guentzel played soccer. Sidney Crosby played baseball. Ron Hainsey and Crosby are both really good golfers. ... Crosby at golf would probably be No. 1, followed by Sheary at baseball, from what I understand. Matt Murray was also a decent basketball player. Forgot to mention that.
DJ
2:18
How frustrating is it to answer questions that are readily available with a simple search? (Sarcasm)
Real Q - Is it possible the Pens use their FWD depth as a way of "offsetting" the ability to defend in a traditional manner? And it has caused the "defensive" numbers to skew? SA/60, SA in general, GA, etc. Thanks
Jason Mackey
2:20
That's OK. That's what I'm here. I don't get mad. ... I don't think it has skewed any defensive numbers, but I would agree that the Penguins shots on goal numbers -- they led the NHL during the regular season -- are better because they usually have four lines with some element of offense. ... I also would argue about the Penguins defending in a non-traditional manner. You mean by blocking shots? They're fairly normal when they defend; Mike Sullivan's MO, though, is to not have to do it as much by transitioning quickly and playing a puck-possession game. If you have the puck, you're not defending. That sort of thing. Which includes forward depth, if that's what you're getting at.
Matt in Cleveland
2:20
What was your 1st concert attended? Mine was Ratt with Bon Jovi opening, 1985, Johnstown War Memorial Arena!
Jason Mackey
2:20
Aerosmith, Get a Grip tour. Was either 1993 or 1994. Star Lake.
Tom K.
2:21
If the ice is bad and it makes the fast Penguin players slower, does it make the slower Caps players even slower?
Jason Mackey
2:22
I don't think the bad ice impedes the players' skating to a noticeable agree. It makes the game less artistic to play. I also don't buy the narrative that the Capitals are a slow, unskilled team. That's simply not the case. Are they big? Yes. Do they want to hit you? Yes. But a fair number of the Caps can skate, too.
Peter
2:22
when will the caps ever break through
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