Good morning and welcome back to the swing of things!
The Pens held a morning skate today. Jayson Megna and Beau Bennett were there before the team hit the ice. Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang were practicing with the rest of the team, both on the 2nd PP unit. No official word yet on either player's status for tomorrow's game against the Rangers. Chris Conner has missed practice.
Speaking of the Rangers, the Pens claimed forward Taylor Pyatt off of waivers from the Rangers.
Dion Phaneuf has resigned in Toronto for 7 years and $49 million. He says it was an easy decision. Clearly, the Leafs are hitching their wagon to him and Kessel for the Cup hopes.
USA men's and women's hockey teams for Sochi 2014 were announced yesterday at the conclusion of the NHL Winter Classic in Ann Arbor. Two reporters were made privy to the endless meetings and conference calls of the Team USA selection committee, and both Scott Burnside and Kevin Allen have published their behind-the-scenes pieces.
So after you've read those, I guess many whys will be answered. It seems like the coaches had a significant input, and that was, in the end, the reason behind the Oshie over Ryan selection. Either way, they could have just cut Keith Yandle and Bobby Ryan and moved on. Brian Burke didn't have to humiliate them in the process.
Clearly there are many opinions on the makeup of this team, and here is Chris Peters's excellent evaluation of the team we have. Any other players would only get a spot now if there is an injury to an already-named player.
The World Junior Championships are at the quarterfinals stage, and lo and behold the defending champions USA have already been eliminated, losing 5-3 to Russia early this morning our time. Russia will take on the winner of Sweden-Slovakia and Finland will take on the winner of Canada-Switzerland for the right to go to the finals.
And for the end, here's this little nugget (btw Thornton has decided to drop his appeal):
Tuukka Rask wearing a "Free Thornton" T-shirt in the Bruins dressing room. That guy is a beauty #BruinsTalk— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) January 2, 2014