A look at the seven Penguins playing in the Sochi Olympics:
Brooks Orpik, United States: 3 games, no goals, 1 assist, plus-3, 14:53 average ice time. Orpik’s role has increased since America’s first game. His positional play, physicality and consistency have exceeded Orpik’s performance with the Penguins. This is the Orpik the Penguins need in the playoffs. Grade: B.
Chris Kunitz, Canada: 3 games, no goals, no assists, even, 12:25 average ice time. Coach Mike Babcock couldn’t wait to drop Kunitz down the depth chart by way of appeasing Canadian hockey snobs who doubt Kunitz’s pedigree. Kunitz has played his usual game. For Canada, that was never going to be good enough. Grade: C.
Evgeni Malkin, Russia: 3 games, 1 goal, 2 assists, plus-2, 20:10 average ice time. Malkin’s points all came in Russia’s first game, a 5-2 win over Slovenia. But Malkin has seen lots of the puck and has 14 shots on goal, second on the team. His omission from the top PP in favor of Alexander Radulov is baffling. Grade: B
Jussi Jokinen, Finland: 3 games, 1 goal, 2 assists, plus-2, 15:39 average ice time. It’s a shame the Penguins can’t use Jokinen like Finland does. As a third-liner, Jokinen produces more than most and provides a solid two-way element. As a second-liner, Jokinen’s inconsistency can aggravate. Grade: B
Olli Maatta, Finland: 3 games, 2 goals, 2 assists, plus-2, 15:22 average ice time. Maatta performed better than any of his Penguins teammates during group play. As in the NHL, Maatta is exceeding expectations. Maatta is productive and minimizes mistakes. It’s difficult to believe he’s just 19. Grade: B-plus.
Paul Martin, United States: 3 games, no goals, no assists, plus-1, 17:28 average ice time. Martin’s style translates smoothly to international play. He performs well against the opposition’s top forwards. Martin provides excellent lateral movement while in possession, a solid first pass and (drum roll) puck on stick. Grade: B.
Sidney Crosby, Canada: 3 games, no goals, 2 assists, plus-2, 15:43 average ice time. Crosby, as always, has played slot to slot, setting a frenetic pace. Rotating linemates haven’t helped; Crosby prefers to be a creature of habit. He also needs more ice. Crosby must produce in the playoff rounds. Just five shots on goal thus far seems unthinkably low. Grade: B