Hellllllloooooo everybodyyyyy, tonight the Penguins (25-16-6) look to snap their two game skid when they travel to Arizona to take on the future Quebec Coyotes (21-22-3). Puck drop is set for 9pm from Gila River Arena.
The Penguins are looking to right the ship after losing 5-2 to both the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks earlier this week. Their answer - acquire forward Joseph Blandisi from the Ducks in exchange for center Derek Grant. That's right, just when you thought Jim Rutherford had been tucked into bed and sleeping for hours, he much like John Cena, came out of nowhere. The trade was announced shortly after midnight on Wednesday, so essentially early Thursday morning. Blandisi is expected to skate on the fourth line tonight and can apparently 'stir the pot' with his play so that's good.
The Coyotes are a weird team. In reality, they're pretty average as far as their record indicates, however, they are quite streaky. This may surprise you but the Coyotes beat the Sharks convincingly a day after the Penguins lost to them. Since the calendar flipped to 2019, the Yotes are 4-2-1 and prior to losing to Calgary 7-1 last Sunday had won three straight. So in reality, I have no idea which Coyotes team will show up tonight.
Patric Hornqvist could return tonight or this weekend. Yesterday, he dawned a non-contact jersey before putting on the regular black sweater indicating that he was able to take contact. Honestly, the dude has had five concussions since 2014 so if I'm the Penguins, I proceed with caution. Expect Matt Murray to oppose Darcy Kuemper in net.
If you see a lot of empty seats, don't be confused, it's not "dress like a seat night." Arizona just doesn't have any fans.
Per the Penguins website, Blandisi will wear #36.
Apparently the Penguins are probably going to trade Derick Brassard before the deadline. We encourage everyone to make fake Twitter accounts of 'insiders' to rustle the jimmies of other fans.
I forgot Marian Hossa was traded to the Coyotes for cap reasons and because the NHL sucks.
Arizona already made their trip to Pittsburgh, the Penguins beat them 4-0 back on November 10th.
Shane Doan was never good.
Entering tonight, Kris Letang ranks 7th in points among NHL defensemen with 39 (11G,28A).
Phil Kessel is currently riding an impressive 10 game scoring streak. During the stretch, he has 14 points (6G,8A).
Apparently Evgeni Malkin pretty much admitted that he has sucked so far this year. He's not exactly wrong but honesty goes a long way.
I wish Michael Grabner was a Penguin. He's out tonight after suffering an eye injury way back in early December.
Honestly, I'm just looking forward to facing MAF and Ryan Reaves tomorrow. #IsItSaturdayYet