Given that I'm here for work, a certain amount of corporate schmoozing comes with the territory, but Thursday night I escaped everything and bolted to the Blackhawks game as the Coyotes were in town. Hockey is a lot more fun when you don't care about the outcome. I promise I didn't rip anyone's helmet off.
It was a great game. 4-4 in regulation/OT and then shootout, won by the Hawks, tying the two teams in points at 28. I love the way the Yotes play. What would Dave Tippett do with the Pens roster, Shero? Sigh. [ESPN]
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks front office was busy too, acquiring Kris Versteeg from the Panthers. Get this: Florida retains half his salary for the remainder of his contract. [SBN]
Clearly I was attending the third-best game of the night. Stars beat Flames 7-3. Tyler Seguin had 4 goals and Jamie Benn had 6 points, 1 goal and 5 assists. The Benn-Seguin-Nichushkin line basically generated the whole shebang. [SBN]
Kari Lehtonen didn't seem overly worried about the Flames, so he spent quality time chilling on top of his net. [SBN]
Over in St. Louis, the Blues routed the Avs by the same score. Another couple goals for Steen. Somehow Giguere looked human again. [NHL]
The Avs and the Oilers took a similar route to their rebuilds. So why have their results been so different? [Grantland]
LA Kings goalie Jonathan Quick has a strained groin, which could sideline him for 6 weeks. I'm beginning to worry about Team USA goaltending group in Sochi. [Inside the Kings]
The Pens are set to face Nashville tonight. Our guys are clearly struggling right now, but still they got nothing on the Predators. Paul Martin is probable for tonight. [PPG]
The Pens have some major scoring woes at the moment. They seem to correlate with their face-off wins (or as was the case Wednesday, losses). [PPG]
Dan Bylsma met with Peter Laviolette to go over Team USA scouting duties because he finds himself with a lot of time on his hands. Apparently, Seth Jones is on their radar. [PPG]
The March 1, 2014 Stadium Series game between the Pens and the Blackhawks has been moved from NBCSN to NBC. It will be the first scheduled prime time (8 pm) game on NBC since they acquired NHL broadcasting rights. Not that it matters to me as I have no plans to watch it on TV. I will be back here in Windy City freezing my tail at Soldier Field. [Times Union]
And lastly, the 2013 class is in. Down Goes Brown looks at who's next for the Hockey Hall of Fame. [Grantland]
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