Pens Points Friday: Olli Is Wildly Good

Justin K. Aller

Pens beat Wild. Cookie comes back. Olli Maatta. Hertl gone for a month. No extra discipline for Wilson.

I'm sure by now everyone noticed that SBN sites and servers were down for a considerable period of time, which also precluded this being up earlier. Anyhow, another great game and 2 points by the Pens, who now lead the NHL in wins.

The game last night had many interesting story lines, such as:

Return of Matt Cooke. Cookie had a quiet game, and the best moment was this in-game tribute video and a standing O that followed. We love you still, Cookie Monster.

Olli Maatta's mom visits and Olli has his best game yet. An assist and a great penalty shot goal, only the second ever by a defenseman in Penguins history. He won't win the Calder, but he's still awesome. Job well done, Olli's mom and dad.

The top line combines for 5 points, including two goals by Chris Kunitz. There are only 4 players ahead of Chris Kunitz in goals scored, and three of them aren't Canadian, so unless Team Canada plans to accomplish something other than scoring goals, it seems obvious Kunitz has stated his case loudly and clearly.

Brooks Orpik passed his baseline concussion test and has rejoined the team for practicing. He says that Thornton has reached out to him and was very regretful, and says he's always considered him a friend. Orps, take off your skates and go lie down, man. You are still concussed.

The Pens practiced this morning, and are spending the afternoon at Pittsburgh Children's Hospital, making some very sick kids very happy. And again, the first star of the day is Despres' stache. And this, this melts your heart but also wrenches it.

Matt Niskanen is back at the top of the +/- category in the NHL, following another excellent game. I mentioned it on the thread last night, but so far I've heard crickets regarding his consideration for Team USA. American defensemen are falling left and right. Somewhere in there may be an opportunity for Nisky. Sorry to Matt Ryan, but Matty Ice is a totally different guy.

AROUND THE NHL

San Jose Sharks may have lost Tomas Hertl for a month or even longer, following this knee-on-knee by Dustin Brown.

The case agains Avs goalie Semyon Varlamov has been dismissed and charges dropped because the prosecutors couldn't prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.

There will be no supplemental discipline for Tom Wilson following his charging demolition of Brayden Schenn. I'm good with words, but I don't have any words good enough for this.

Aww, poor Jonathan Bernier also got injured on the Megna collision. That was all his idea, he didn't have to clip Megna the way he did, causing him to lose 6 weeks.

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