--If you haven't heard (and you're lucky if you haven't), the seemingly annual "Penguins make a major trade to Los Angeles" rumors have kicked up. The Pensblog did a good job debunking why it won't happen, but here's another.
Back in 2006 everyone knew that Jonathan Toews, Nicklas Backstrom, Jordan Staal and Phil Kessel would probably be solid NHL players. All of those mentioned have higher offensive skill and ceiling than Staal. Given his choice of the lot, Ray Shero took Staal. And quite honestly (and salary cap aside), I don't think he trades Staal straight up for any one of them today. He likes Staal; plus he's got Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to be the skill centers.
Now that Staal is under contract until 2012-13, it's even harder to imagine the Pens would deal him. He's 21 and a dynamic two-way center that's coming into his own more and more.
Further, the Pens are 19-9 and near the top of the standings of the Eastern Conference, even with their beat up team. Why the need for a major shakeup that would bring new players into the lockeroom and change the chemistry by removing popular players?
A major trade like that just doesn't make sense right now, so don't hold your breath -- unless of course you created that rumor in the first place...
--A couple weeks ago Alex Goligoski was sporting a mustache for losing a shootout competition. Then Ben Lovejoy had to go climbing all over Florida's arena in full gear. The mustache is back, and this time it's going to be Tyler Kennedy with the upper-lip caterpillar for the next month. Gotta keep things interesting over an 82 game season, eh?
--Quirk in the schedule: Pittsburgh has been idle since Monday night's game against the Rangers. Last night Colorado had to play 65 minutes in Miami, then fly up to PA. Advantage Pens tonight? Not if they get too full of it: the Avs scored two goals in the final minute last night to tie the game. As the old cliche goes, Pittsburgh can't let up tonight and think they've got an easy win.
--No news on the injury path. Goligoski and Chris Kunitz are still off the ice. Kunitz was said to be out for two weeks almost three weeks ago, so his timeline may be close. Goligoski with his aggravation of his groin injury could be any length of time. Gotta get back to practice for a few days before game action, so both are probably doubtful to come back any time soon.
--Interesting stat that shows as Crosby goes, so do the Pens:
- In 19 games the Penguins have won this season: Crosby has 17 goals, 14 assists and a plus/minus rating of +20.
- In the 9 games the Penguins have lost: Sid has 0 goals, 2 assists and is a -12.
--Puck Daddy says Brooks Orpik "called out" Alex Ovechkin when Free Candy said: "To be honest, I thought he was getting suspended when he hit Kaleta from behind last week ... If you look at how he hits, it's all or nothing. He takes 10 strides before he hits guys."
Don't see this as calling him out, so much as telling the truth. After all, Orpik knows first hand what it's like to be the target of AO taking runs at guys (even if it's only 5 or 6 choppy strides before he hits him here).