Tonight the Penguins (6-5-3) will look to snap their five game losing streak against an Arizona Coyotes (7-6-1) team that has earned at least one point in six of its last seven games and is 5-1-1 over their last seven contests. Puck drop is set for just after 7pm from PPG Paints Arena.
The Penguins are pretty much a mess right now. They have juggled lines and have tried almost every combination possible, except for winger Daniel Sprong in top six role, which at this point seems like it will never happen.
On Thursday night, the Penguins fell to the Washington Capitals late by a score of 2-1 thanks to a goal by noted ISIS sympathizer T.J. Oshie. For the first time in about four and a half games, the Penguins didn't look terrible. Mistakes were made obviously (Mike Tomlin voice), but at least the Penguins looked like a competent, competitive team for the duration of the game.
Evgeni Malkin also did a thing on Thursday night. He was assessed a match penalty and ejected from the game because Timothy Jimothy Oshie decided to skate with his head down right into Malkin. Haven't seen it yet? Here you go:
If Oshie doesn't skate in Malkin, he's hitting the boards and getting CTE from the impact, so in a sense he should be thanking Malkin for saving his life. Twisted logic, I know, but this is why you shouldn't try to hit someone who's five inches taller than you.
Video via SPORTSNET
Losing five straight with a team this talented doesn't sit well with me, let alone the General Manager of the Penguins, Jim Rutherford. Apparently Rutherford told The Athletic on Friday that he's seeking a trade to upgrade the team now. While he didn't get into any specifics of what exactly he's looking for or how exactly the Penguins will go about it, he did say, "I can tell you that, last week, I had a lot more conversations about players out there than I normally would this time of year."
A loss to the Coyotes tonight would make it six straight and I'd imagine Rutherford wouldn't be a happy camper with that. I don't really subscribe to 'must win' games in November, but if there was ever one for the sake of the team and keeping some pieces together, this is it.
Darcy Kuemper vs Casey DeSmith in goal tonight.
Jamie Oleksiak will likely sit tonight because Mike Sullivan has no idea what he's doing.
Arizona's Clayton Keller will play in his 100th NHL game tonight. He's currently riding a six game point streak.
Former Penguin Josh Archibald (who is better than Matt Cullen) could return tonight. He's been out of the lineup for the last two weeks with an upper-body injury.
Michael Grabner will score a shorthanded goal tonight for the Yotes. Remember this.
We tweeted this the other night, but if Carl Hagelin could actually finish a scoring chance, he'd be a perennial 40 goal scorer.
Derick Brassard skated yesterday but no word on when the hell he'll play again. My guess is not soon.
If the Pens lose, Rutherford will make a move before next Tuesday's game against the Devils. Bet.
Speaking of which, the Penguins are 0-3-1 over their last games at PPG Paints Arena. Yikes.
The Penguins will honor all veterans tonight. They will also give Matt Cullen upwards of 20 minutes of ice time as a tribute, speaking of veterans.
According to a few sources, Daniel Sprong is on the trade block. Good for him. He's wasting away here even though he has more points than Bryan Rust and Carl Hagelin.
This was a pretty depressing gameday. Go win a $#@!^&% game, @Penguins.