The Pittsburgh Penguins (25-20-3) in the second Eastern Conference Wild Card spot are in San Jose for the third, and final leg of the west coast swing. The Sharks (24-14-6) have overachieved this season after losing Patrick Marleau to free agency. THeir in third place in the Pacific division, but have fewer points than the two wild card holders (Dallas, Colorado).
The Penguins have won six of eight games, but still only lead the Philadelphia Flyers by one point in the Wild Card race. The Flyers have two games in hand.
Carl Hagelin has a five-game scoring streak (hat tip to our own Jake Holmes for correctly predicting Hagelin about to heat up, and diagraming how, last week).
Sidney Crosby’s string of five straight multi-point games ended against L.A.
Mario Lemieux dominated the Sharks, yet the Sharks hold an 18-14-3-2 all-time advantage over the Penguins. Those numbers are, of course, regular season only.
Lemieux scored 49 points in just 14 games against San Jose. (Go ahead, take a moment, I’m laughing at that number, too! Ridiculous how good he was).
Jumbo Joe Thornton, or as some Pittsburghers may remember him, shirtless Joe Thornton has goals in four straight games.
Educated guesses: Daniel Sprong will draw back in, Ian Cole will not. No, we don’t get the Cole situation, either.
J.S. Dea drew in against L.A. but played sparingly. Head coach Mike Sullivan figures to return to his center “rotation,” in which Jake Guentzel will be the third line center for about 12 minutes, and Sidney Crosby will absorb an extra five to six minutes with the third line.
The Guentzel at center experiment was blown up, Thursday, as Guentzel was a far more dynamic (thus useful) on the wing.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now has beaten the dead horse, but GM Jim Rutherford needs to solve the situation, and a deal most likely will not be on his terms.
For the first time in several games, Chicago does not have a scout at a Penguins game. Perhaps they realized they would not see Ian Cole?
Boston and Tampa Bay are the only scouts in the building tonight. Boston could be a team to watch. As we reported over the summer, Bruins GM Don Sweeney and Rutherford discussed a deal for a center, but Pittsburgh Hockey Now was told conflicting tales of which side was not interested.
Forgive the lack of content this weekend–I am still down with the Flu. Jake Holmes did a great job filling in on Friday. Shelly Anderson will be at practice, Monday.