Good morning one and all,
Following a not-so-stellar weekend trip to Jersey, the Pens find themselves out of first place in the Metropolitan Division courtesy of Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. To be frank, considering their play, the Pens have no business being a first-place team, weak division or not. Speaking of weak divisions, a lot of people expected the Caps to fall flat on their faces once out of safe confines of their former cupcake of a division. On top of that, former southeast cellar-dwellers Tampa Bay Lightning have widened their lead in the new Atlantic Division.
The Pens quietly placed Dustin Jeffrey on waivers sometime over the weekend, presumably hoping nobody would notice. Whether they really needed him or just wanted to get something from the Penguins for free, the Dallas Stars claimed him and now have to include him on their NHL roster and make other moves to fit him in. Dustin Jeffrey is a good player and a great guy who unfortunately never found his niche on this team, so here's hoping he finds his place under the sun. Happy trails DJ!
Speaking of good players who never found a way to belong in Pittsburgh, former Pens defenseman Ben Lovejoy is in town with his new team, Anaheim Ducks. He opened up to Josh Yohe about his struggles to learn the Pens system and trying hard, but never really succeeding, in finding a regular spot in the lineup. I'm really happy he found a team to call home and a coach in Bruce Boudreau who believes in him.
So today the Pens welcome the Ducks and their departing legend Teemu Selanne for his last game at the Consol Energy Center. Your official game preview is here, and we all hope for a better showing in all facets of the game.
In search of a sparkplug on offense, the Pens have re-called forward Brian Gibbons from WBS Penguins. He's currently third in the AHL in scoring with 22 points in 15 games. Here are some Brian Gibbons highlights. He's kind of little (and mind you he's 25 already so he won't get any bigger), but looks to have wheels and a scoring touch. He'll wear #49.
And we are back in bryzness! Ilya Bryzgalov was re-called from OKC to Edmonton Oilers. I don't think it's as big of a gamble as everyone else seems to. Bryz is a good goalie, might be good to have a friendly Russian-speaking face around Nail Yakupov and, frankly, things in Edmonton have nowhere to go but up.
For your other NHL news, The Score has it all: Scrivens-mania, Ovi-Steen showdown, and many other nuggets.
At this morning's skate, the Pens have switched the lines around: Kunitz-Crosby-Bennett, Dupuis-Malkin-Neal, Jokinen-Sutter-Gibbons, Glass-Vitale-Adams.