Helllloooooooooo everybodddddyyyyy tonight the Penguins (19-10-4) kick off a four game road trip beginning with the Calgary Flames (18-13-4). Puck is set to drop from the Scotiabank Saddledome Arena just after 9pm.
The much anticipated annual Western Canada trip is finally here. On the schedule this year, they'll start with Calgary tonight, head over to Edmonton for McDavid Part II on Friday, then over to Vancouver on Saturday, and conclude six days later against the Predators (yes, I know they're not form Western Canada but still). Pittsburgh's next home game won't be until December 28th when they take on the....you guessed it...Nashville Predators because the NHL's scheduling is absolutely awful.
That said, both the Penguins and Flames have played well as of late. The Pens are coming off a 5-4 shootout victory over piss-baby Drew Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. Bryan Rust scored two goals in the game as well as the shootout winner and Tristan Jarry robbed Anze Kopitar roughly 43 straight times. Pittsburgh has now won two in a row and seven of their last ten games.
If you live under a rock or want to be reminded again, the Penguins did not get Taylor Hall. Yesterday, Hall was finally moved. Somehow, someway, he went to the friggin' Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a conditional first-round pick and some prospects you've never heard of. Hall will likely test the free agent market this summer which is why he came relatively cheap. Below is the full trade:
New Jersey receives:
-2020 conditional first-round pick
-2021 conditional third-round pick
Onward to the Calgary Flames...a lot has changed with this club since the last time we faced them back on November 25th. For starters, they have a coach that isn't a racist scumbag. Bill Peters was relieved of his duties shortly following their loss against the Pens. Yeah, he was an asshole. That said, their new coach is Geoff Ward. No idea really who he is but he was an assistant coach with the Bruins back in 2011 when they won the Cup. As mentioned above, the Flames are good. They are 8-1-1 over their last ten games despite losing their last time out against the very fun Carolina Hurricanes. Calgary is led by center Sean Monahan, who has 28 points on the year (10G,18A).
Not that it needs to be said or mentioned but the Penguins will turn to Tristan Jarry again tonight. He's been absolutely incredible and why not? The Flames will go with Cam Talbot, which is a bit of a surprise. Talbot has played just twice over the Flame's last 12 games but he's posted victories in both games along with a .938 save percentage. Whatever.
Imagine this on acid - video via Caillouteletub123
Put 'O Canada' on loop baybayyyyyy.
Both Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust are game-time decisions after Jack Johnson infected them with AIDS.
Malkin has missed the last two games since Johnson decided to breathe on him.
If Malkin does play, he's still one goal away from 400 for his career.
Sidney Crosby resumed skating on his own recently. No timetable for his return. I mean they're winning without him so maybe they should consider moving him at the deadline???
Jake Guentzel, who is a product of Sidney Crosby, has 36 points on the year (17G, 19A). Unreal.
Never, ever, forget when the Penguins went 5-0 on their Western Canada road trip last year. It really was one of the only highlights of the season.
Per the Penguins, since 2007-2008 season they've gone 19-4-4 on this trip. Per my intelligence which is pretty high, that's good.
The Pens are 6-1-2 over their last nine road games against the Flames.
Bryan Rust could be better than Mario Lemieux?
Of course, I chose Rust for the graphic before I found out Johnson infected him with Ebola.