Good morning one and all!
The Pens are conducting their game-day skate as we speak, and Neal and Crosby are not present (no official explanation thus far). This season Crosby's TOI is increased by roughly two shifts per game, so that might have something to do with his absence (fingers crossed). Pascal Dupuis is skating with the team in the early sign he might, in fact, get to play tonight.
After a scary boarding by Max Pacioretty on Thursday, which resulted in his being carried off on a stretcher, Bruins' Johnny Boychuk will miss 3-7 days with a lower back sprain. Loudly exhaling with relief, because that looked very, very bad.
After a scary puck to the eye on Thanksgiving, which came with a vision loss that has since gradually receded, Shea Weber is returning to practice and wearing a visor. One would think it shouldn't take a puck to the eye to learn a simple lesson (especially after what happened to Marc Staal a few months back), but I guess some people just like to learn the hard way.
Good interview with Jussi Jokinen, Pens' universal remote, by Josh Yohe. Jussi will play his second game at center, filling in for injured Evgeni Malkin, tonight.
Which is the best defensive pairing in the NHL this season? Neil Greenberg makes a case for Subban-Markov, and though I don't really watch the Habs all that much, their offensive numbers are off the charts. What remains to be debated is, you know, the defensive part.
For the end, check out the best Friday night's play, Jonas Gustavsson making a Nedo-like save on Adam Henrique. That was amazing, though didn't Fleury do something similar (though not quite as spectacular) earlier this season?
Besides Pens-Bruins, we have a couple of regional battles tonight: Ontario, Hudson River and Alberta each have two NHL teams. Which one is not like the others?
Let's go Pens!