Following the four day Christmas break, the Penguins (18-12-6) are back in action tonight looking to win their fourth straight game against a Detroit Red Wings (15-17-6) team that is more beat up than Mark Madden when he found out Big Ben Roethlisberger didn't win team MVP. Puck drop is set for just after 7pm from PPG Paints Arena.
Don't look now folks, but the Penguins are hot. They're 7-2-1 over their last ten games and looking to build off the momentum from their stretch where they played six games over the course of nine days (nice) leading up to the break, going 5-1 during that time. Three weeks ago we (myself included) wanted both goalies shot to the sun but now Mike Sullivan could start any one of them and I'd be happy. Over their last seven games, both goalies have combined to go 5-2 with a 2.14 goals against average and a .944 save percentage. For those wondering, yes, that's good. Very good.
The Red Wings are a team going through a rebuild right now. They currently sit 7th in the Atlantic Division with absolutely no hope of making the playoffs. Over the course of their last ten games, they're 3-5-2, most recently coming off a 5-4 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday. In addition to being bad, they're also pretty banged up. They may get forward (hopefully future Penguin) Andreas Athansiou back tonight after he missed the last two games due to an upper-body injury, however, they're still without Mike Green, Danny DeKeyser, Johan Franzen (I can't believe he still plays), Darren Helm, and Anthony Mantha.
Matt Murray will start for the Penguins tonight, going up against future Penguin Jimmy Howard.
Third jerseys tonight.
It's wing night, don't expect me to focus much on the game.
Jamie Oleksiak skated in a non-contact jersey today. He's still out after Tom Wilson beat the living hell out of him last week.
Bryan Rust could melt steel breams. He's currently riding a five game scoring streak.
Speaking of streaks, Red Wings center Dylan Larkin enters tonight on an 11- game scoring streak (5 goals, 14 points).
The Wings are 1-4-2 over their last seven games and a source close to me confirmed that those numbers are #not good.
The Pens are 8-2-1 over their last 11 games. That's pretty good.
Trevor Daley returns tonight. I miss him. The Penguins should send Jack Johnson to the sun.
Apparently Jim Rutherford said he doesn't like Malkin and Kessel together. Are we watching the same game, bud?
#JustinSchultzWatch is underway. Hopefully he starts skating soon. He's due back some time in February.
JuJu Smith-Schuster was named team MVP by the Steelers today, sending notorious lard, Pittsburgh media personality, and overall jackass Mark Madden into a tizzy because it was not his buddy Ben.