Pens Points Thursday: Letang Expected Back Friday

Justin K. Aller

Pens D-men: trade or keep? Letang expected to return Friday. Brutal violence mars another game involving the Buffalo Sabres. Ottawa visits Alfie's new digs in Detroit and trashes the place, led by the new captain. Greatest goalie goals. And that trade with Dallas is now officially a laugher.

Not too many Pens-related news today. Kris Letang took in a full practice yesterday and is expected to be back Friday. Depending on what ends up being the final decision on Olli Maatta, Meesh at THW looks at the logjam we may end up having, and evaluates each defenseman on the roster from the "trade or keep" perspective.

Lots of goings-on around the league, though. Sabres and Bruins supposedly had a rivalry game last night, which got completely overshadowed by a brutal hit on Loui Eriksson by Sabres' John Scott, who was ejected from the game, and was already informed he's in trouble and there will be an in-person hearing. To be honest, the Sabres are so horrible they aren't even worth talking about hockey-wise, given that the only ways in which they make headlines are violence-related. Slap whatever suspension you want on Scott, but until they start punishing the clubs and the coaches (like that sniveling weasel Rolston), thing won't change because worthless goons like Kaleta and Scott think they have a mandate.

Mario Lemieux wrote an open letter about this to the NHL Board of Directors in 2011, but it was viewed as hypocritical because at that time he was also signing Matt Cooke's paychecks. Lemieux actually specifically said that the Penguins would be among clubs punished that season if his suggestions were to be acted on. I agree with Mario. Have the team lose a roster spot for the duration of a repeat offender's suspension, and see how they like it. Then move on to taking draft picks away. Trust me, the appetite for this would diminish instantly.

Alex Goligoski is now the Deryk Engelland of the Dallas Stars. Lindy Ruff plugged the struggling blueliner into the fourth line at practice yesterday, and commented that "patience has run out on those two [Goligoski and Gonchar]". I wanted to say something snarky but then I remembered we shipped them Gogo for Nealer and Nisky, then they gave Sarge a contract with a $5M AAV 3 years after his "best used by" date. Oh man.

The Ottawa Senators visited Detroit last night and for the first time faced their old captain in a different uniform. Things didn't go well for the Wings, who got hammered 6-1. Watch this great save Anderson made on Datsyuk. The new Sens captain Jason Spezza dominated the old one, no doubt to the delight of Don Cherry. So the question is, did Daniel Alfredsson make the right decision by leaving Ottawa?

PK Subban wows to not let his contract status affect his play this season. Another big question is will he make the final Canadian Olympic roster? I loved the part in the middle where he prattles on about his own greatness.

How many times did you rewind that Mike Smith goal a few nights ago? I'm pretty sure I watched it at least 10 times. From Grantland, here are the greatest moments in goalie goal-scoring history.

While we're on goalies, Cory Schneider will again start in the net for the Devils against his old team tonight. While Marty Brodeur isn't exactly happy about not playing, he understands that Schneider is in the net to stay.

I seriously, seriously hate that I wasn't able to go to New York on Tuesday and meet Bobby Orr. My copy of Orr: My Story is in the mail, though.

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