Helllllllooooooooo everyboddddddyyyy tonight the Penguins (28-20-7) conclude their abysmal three game road trip when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers (25-23-7) from the landfill known as Wells Fargo Center. Puck drop is set for just after 7pm.
Stop me if you've heard this before...the Penguins are looking to get back on track following a loss. Well, here we are again. The Penguins fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night by a score of 5-4. As per usual, the defense (mainly Jack Johnson) sucked and the offense, especially Phil Kessel missed a few key chances to capitalize. The Penguins now find themselves barely holding on to the second wild card spot, one point ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes with 63. Over the course of their last ten games and pretty much since the All-Star break, the Penguins have sucked. They are 3-6-1 over that span and with a loss tonight would drop five straight.
The Flyers on the hand, sucked pretty much all season and then they fired their GM Ron Hextall and later head coach Dave Hakstol. Now, they've appeared to figure their shit out considering they are 9-0-1 over their last ten games and currently sit just six points out of a playoff spot. This was hard to believe considering the Flyers were 18 points behind the Penguins in the standings as recent as January 13th. The Flyers still have two games left against the Penguins following this game including the outdoor game on 23rd so buckle up.
The Penguins may be getting some key pieces back sooner rather than later. Evgeni Malkin, Justin Schultz and Zach Aston-Reese were full participants in the morning skate. Expect Matt Murray to start which is rare considering it's a big game and the Penguins need a good goaltender in net.
Update - Malkin will play tonight. No Aston-Reese or Justin Schultz but I assume one of those two if not both play Wednesday night against Edmonton.
Mike Sullivan sucks. I would scratch Matt Cullen in favor of Teddy Blueger but here we are.
Bjugstad skating on Malkin's left wing. Bold strategy cotton.
Holy shit. Marcus Pettersson is practicing with the first power play unit. Someone call the cops or something.
Mike Sullivan is Dan Bylsma 2.0.
The Penguins are 0-3-1 over their last four games and I don't think that's good.
Sidney Crosby has a five game point streak against the Flyers so that's really the only bright spot about this one.
Kate Smith sucked.
The Penguins get their first look at rookie goaltender Carter Hart tonight. Expect a shutout.
Honestly, just get us to the Stadium Series game.
The Flyers are 6/15 on the power play during their four game home stand. I expect this to get v bad tonight.