So here we are, at the end of the year that started with hockey still in lockout. A few days into the new year, the players and the owners finally worked out a new CBA and we started pushing through an abbreviated season.
Pens played their first game here in Philadelphia on January 19, winning 3-1, and will end it in Newark, where they have been bedeviled so much lately, to the tune of 2-9-1 in their last 12 games at the Rock. I sat through more losses there than I can even remember, they all blend into one giant disappointment.
Brian Dumoulin and Harry Zolnierczyk have been assigned back to WBS. Olli Maatta will probably be a healthy scratch today, so expect Despres back in the lineup. Malkin is not quite there yet, although he practiced with the team and on his own yesterday. Here is the game preview.
On the Devils side, from their blog Fire and Ice, Brodeur will be in net (welp), Volchenkov probably will not play. Ryan Clowe is out with a concussion, and Sid has extended him advice on his own experiences with it.
Check out Empty Netters, as always, on all the action and goings-on around the league.
Tomorrow, 1 pm, the Big House. The Winter Classic will surpass all previous NHL attendance records. 107,000 people will be at a hockey game. It will be awesome.
The Pens sit atop the NHL man-games lost to injury list quite comfortably. Yet, they also sit atop the Eastern Conference.
Since it's the end of the year, time for lists. Best hockey fights of 2013. Best weird and wild moments of 2013 (relive that condor on ice fiasco!). Best saves of 2013. Worst jersey fouls of 2013.
For the end, Puck Daddy's list of 10 best players of 2013. Despite having played in over 80 games this year (which in and of itself is the best this year brought us), Sid's not at the top - as another guy produced more when it mattered most, and is again breathing down Sid's neck.
We're headed to Newark shortly. Have a happy and healthy 2014, Pens and their fans!