Helllooooooooo everybodyyyyyy...following a much needed three days off, the Penguins (14-9-4) are back in action tonight when they take on the St.Louis Blues (18-5-6) yet again, this time in Pittsburgh. It's a WEDNESDAY NIGHT RIVALRY AADJFJAFJAJSFJKADKF so puck drop will be just after 8PM on NBCSN.
If you thought the mini-break would mean players would get healthy and things would get better, you couldn't have been more wrong. The Penguins lost another player due to injury, this time suffered in practice which is just absolutely comical at this point. Patric Hornqvist is expected to miss upwards of a month with a lower-body injury after falling on Monday. In addition to Hornqvist going down, it was announced that defenseman Brian Dumoulin underwent successful ankle surgery to repair lacerated tendons. He's expected to be out a 'minimum' of eight weeks. Center Jared McCann summed it up best saying, "At this point, you just have to smile. I mean, well, shit."
Realistically, I don't even know who plays for the Penguins at this point. It was announced earlier this week that they signed forward Stefan Noesen who was down in Wilkes-Barre. Per the Penguins, the two-way deal runs through the end of the season with an AAV of $700k. Apparently Noesen (because I'll never claim to follow the Baby Penguins) was absolutely tearing up the AHL. He had 14 goals and 8 assists through 22 games, I guess that's pretty good. He'll make his regular season debut tonight and per the lines used in practice yesterday, could find himself playing with Alex Galchenyuk and Jared McCann.
The Blues, because we haven't played them in forever, enter play tonight first in the Western Conference with 42 points. They are riding a four-game winning streak after beating the lowly Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 on Monday. Robert 'Ya Know' Bortuzzo returned from his four-game suspension and as a corresponding move, the Blues sent Derrick Pouliot back to the AHL. You just love to see it. David Perron continues to light it up for St. Louis. He has 28 points in 29 games (11G, 17A).
I fully expect the Blues to turn to Jordan Binnington again tonight. He was sharp against the Penguins, making 29 saves on 31 shots and he did not play Monday against the Hawks. Sadly, the Penguins will likely turn to Matt Murray, who gave up 5 goals on 27 shots Saturday in the loss against the Blues. Murray has now given up 4+ goals over his last 4 starts and his save percentage has now dipped below .900 as he's currently sitting at .897. Yikes. Honestly though, at this point who cares who's in net...really.
Daily Face-off sucks. I wish Adam Johnson was playing alongside Kris Letang instead of Jack, but it's whatever.
Per the Penguins website, Stefan Noesen will wear #14.
Jake Guentzel has scored in six straight home games. This ends tonight because I wrote it.
Another streak that will end tonight because I'm writing about it: Kris Letang. He enters play having recorded 4 points over his last 4 games.
Pittsburgh is 6-0-2 over their last 8 home games which dates back to October 29th against the Flyers.
Evgeni Malkin is currently riding a three-game point streak with 8 points (2G, 6A) during that stretch. He currently sits at 397 goals for his NHL career.
The third-pair defensemen for the Penguins could be Riikola / Ruhwedel tonight.
Thank god the Penguins are giving away a 'Stress Relieving Coloring Book & Colored Pencil Set'
I already have stress looking at this lineup and the game is still almost 9 hours away.
Apparently Justin Schultz and Bryan Rust are skating. Schultz rejoined the team for practice and should play sooner rather than later, but in reality he'll get hurt again and nothing matters. Eat Arby's.
Speaking of getting hurt again...Patric Hornqvist man...He's signed for three more years after this season with a cap hit of $5,300,000. Yikes.
I miss Sidney Crosby, FWIW.
Check out the Penguins and Paws Charity Pet Calendar. My dad did all the graphic work for it (not a bigggggg deallllll).
Phil Kessel comes to town Friday. That's all I care about. Imagine that video tribute.
Never forget when Blues forward Ryan O'Reilly drunk drove through a Tim Horton's.