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Pens Points Wednesday: Penguins Then and Now

Your daily source of Pens and other hockey news. Should the Pens keep Flower on a short leash, or make Vokoun the outright starter? Sasha Barkov will surprise many people. Damien Brunner has a PTO with the Devils. Pens then and now - look at these head shots.

Vincent Pugliese

Good morning one and all! Here are today's news and opinions to digest with your breakfast.

THW think that the Pens' top 6 are poised to dominate the league. From your mouth to God's ears is what I think about that. Bottom 6 is another story. I'm not sure what else Dustin Jeffrey needs to do to earn himself a regular job. Now Chuck Kobasew may jeopardize even his "human band-aid" roster spot. In this excellent piece Dave Molinari explores whether the fact that he's been so versatile may have worked against Jeffrey's finding a permanent slot in the lineup. One thing he said really jumped out at me: "I am confident I can play every night in this league". Can he ever. Keep at it, DJ.

Joe Vitale may or may not have a broken nose following Sunday's fight. He never bothered with x-rays, but is back at practice.

Brooks Orpik's future in Pittsburgh is fairly questionable. He'll be a free agent after the season and while there may have been talks on the extension, nothing's been reported recently, and he has declined to comment.

I never, ever read the Bleacher Report and have never cited one of its articles here. My kids know way more about sports than most people who write on there. This guy, however, is pretty good and I've enjoyed a lot of his writing. We're both Arsenal fans so I know he's OK. He argues that Pens should go with Vokoun as starter.

In Toronto, only the fans are ready for the season to start. Both our teams' seasons ended with a loss to the Bruins, and even though ours was a surprising sweep, theirs was just utter, abject misery. Dave Nonis did every wrong thing possible in the off-season, then promptly got rewarded with an extension. It's going to be a long season in Toronto.

On NHL draft day I was among many who were surprised to see Aleksander Barkov get picked before Jonathan Drouin and Seth Jones. On second thought, I'm pretty sure we'll see great things from this guy, who is already impressing teammates and coaches alike. I still think Nashville made out like bandits.

Damien Brunner accepts a PTO with the New Jersey Devils. I think it could be a good fit. I'm actually pretty surprised he's lasted this long on the open market.

Ever since they acquired our favorite whipping boy Tyler Kennedy, we've been talking quite a bit about the San Jose Sharks. How much do their golden oldies have left in the tank? Will TK skate on their top line? May the force be with them.

Consol Energy Center will host the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects game on September 26 and the teams have been determinedFormer Pittsburgh Penguins Mark Johnson and Joe Mullen (possibly my favorite player ever) will each coach a team in the event, which includes 40 top American-born prospects eligible for the 2014 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Go Team Mullen!

Here's one of the best things I've seen in a long time: Penguins head shots then and now. Who do you think has changed the most? My favorites as always are the good souls Geno, Flower and Duper. Duper's always had that twinkle in his eye.