Penguins Hope To Ride December Rebound Into January

Grove: Crosby's Had A Real Good Chemistry With Guentzel From The First Time They've Played Together

The Cook & Joe Show
January 02, 2019 - 12:24 pm

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

(PITTSBURGH - 93.7 The Fan) - Fan Penguins Insider and Pens Historian Bob Grove joins the Cook and Joe Show for his weekly spot and the first thing he discussed with Ron was the Penguins having a great December and entering 2019 on a winning streak.

"It still comes back to Sidney Crosby for me," said Grove. "This whole run really started right around Thanksgiving when he returned from injury. He's just been playing at an incredible level every single night."

Bob also says the goaltending and the penalty kill have also been key in the turnaround.

"The goaltending has been spectacular between Murray and DeSmith during this run," said Grove.  "They've both been really solid, focused, cutting down on rebounds and making saves they aren't supposed to make."

The penalty kill has become one of the top penalty kill's in the league with Sidney Crosby playing more on it and the Penguins are just playing more solid defesively.

Ron and Bob also discuss how effective Crosby's line has been with Guentzel and the tandem of Aston-Reese and Rust on the other wing.

"He's had a real good chemistry with Guentzel from the first time they've played together," said Grove. "I love the way they read off each other when they're playing along the wall, battling for pucks."

The two also discuss Phil Kessel starting to shoot the puck more and score more goals while Evgeni Malkin is still getting assists, but is struggling to put the puck in the net.

"He's (Malkin) is on pace to have between 80 and 85 points which is not a bad season," said Grove. "The biggest issue for me is, his slump is typical in a lot of ways, but atypical in that it's been going on for so long.  When we say slump, I'm talking about Malkin as a goal scorer not a point producer."

Bob points to the guys he's playing with and how much they are producing when you discuss how much production or lack there of the team is getting from Malkin.

Ron and Bob wrap up the conversation taking a look at the Metropolitan Division Standings and are the Tampa Bay Lightening the clear best team in the Eastern Conference at this point in the season?

Listen to the full interview with Fan Penguins Insider Bob Grove below:

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