Pens Points Wednesday: Wings Gameday, Letang's Return

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Pens face Wings in a likely playoff preview. Letang to return tonight. Vokoun to WB/S on a conditioning assignment. He'll car pool with Ebbett. Malkin cleared for light skating. Canucks, Leafs eliminated, leaving only one Canadian team in the playoffs. Ovechkin reaches 50 again.

Tonight's game against the Red Wings might very well be a preview of the first round. Pens can help shape their own playoff match-up, as any points taken from the Wings would go a long way toward steering them to the Bs.

Who would the Pens prefer, between the Wings, Jackets, or Flyers? This is really kind of a rhetorical question.

The team is expected to announce the return of Kris Letang to the lineup shortly. It will be so good to see him back on the ice.

Don't count out Columbus just yet, though. The Jackets won in dramatic fashion last night and will be watching tonight's Pens-Wings game with baited breath. Between the Pens and the Bruins, I'm pretty sure we all know who they'd rather face.

Marc-Andre Fleury is one of 6 goalies with the playoff spotlight about to glare upon them. It hasn't always been peachy for him, so let's hope he's done his best to forget the past and look to the future, as every playoff season is a new beginning.

The next chapter in Thomas Vokoun's career in the Penguins organization will come in the AHL, where he's going for a conditioning assignment to help gauge his readiness for a possible NHL return.

Vokoun can make the trip together with Andrew Ebbett, who was reassigned back to the baby Pens following a short stint with the big club.

Malkin has been cleared for light skating in an attempt to test the injured foot. Doesn't sound like he'll be ready for the actual beginning of the playoffs, but as long as he's ready at some point, his return would be huge.

The playoffs will be another sheet of clean ice for CEC, which hasn't really been a happy place in recent springs. My family and I are making a trip to Pittsburgh next month and we're hopeful, although not supremely confident, that the guys will still be playing by then.

The obituary of the 2013-14 Vancouver Canucks. It wasn't long after the formal playoff elimination that the heads started to roll.

The Toronto Maple Leafs were also elimibated from playoff contention last night following a meek 0-3 loss to Tampa. What's the problem, you ask? There are problemS. Seriously now, the players and their bad contracts aren't the only problem there.

And lastly, as of last night Alex Ovechkin is a 5-time 50-goal scorer. While he is the greatest goal scorer of the modern hockey era, he is also probably the prime example that goal scoring alone isn't even close to defining a complete hockey player, let alone a true difference maker who can put a team on his back and drag it to the playoffs. Another Rocket Richard for him, but rings a little hollow, if you ask me.

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