Good morning one and all. Puck drops on the season one week from today!
Preseason game #5 is on the books. The Pens snatched out a SO win over mostly AHLers on the Blackhawks roster. Matt D'Agostini is listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury, but otherwise everyone made it out unscathed.
Jeff Zatkoff had a strong game, and he is likely to see NHL action backing up Marc-Andre Fleury sooner rather than later. While there are still some unsigned netminders out there, it seems probable Pens will try to make do with Fleury and Zatkoff rather than explore other options. Also, THW look at the best goalie tandems in the NHL.
No real news on Tomas Vokoun, who is still recuperating from the blood clot scare on Saturday afternoon. In an excellent piece, Mike Colligan explores how Vokoun's injury impacts Pens' salary cap situation.
The fallout from the eventful weekend continues. Zack Kassian gets 6 games for breaking Sam Gagner's jaw. Dale Weise gets 3 games for a hit to Taylor Hall's head. The Oilers woke up on Monday morning and decided that somehow Steve MacIntyre is the answer to this problem, so they claimed him off waivers.
David Clarkson gets the automatic 10-game suspension for leaving the bench Sunday night during a fight, and Phil Kessel has a phone hearing at 4 pm Tuesday to determine his punishment for the musketeer-worthy performance. No word yet on John Scott. The NHL's resident talentless goon (with a grand total of 5 points in 180 games) has re-opened the enforcer debate yet again. Cam Charron's got an excellent take on it. Let me reiterate something: neither side is right in this whole ugly saga. This whole thing is just varying degrees of wrong. The Maple Leafs are going to be in a bind following Clarkson's suspension, even after signing Mason Raymond to a 1-year contract. The goon culture they've supported over the years is coming back to bite them when they can ill afford it.
Brenden Morrow signs with the Blues. Here is what he brings to them. Good luck to him as a note with wings (which is how my husband used to refer to the Blues when I first met him and he had no idea what teams' names were and I had to use flash cards to teach him).
Annnnnd done! I wavered for a while trying to decide whether it made sense to spend SuperBowl money for a ticket to see the Pens and the real Blackhawks face off at Soldier Field on March 1, but then I realized you only live once. I've never seen an outdoor hockey game before, so bring it on!