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Saturday Pens Points: It's Val's World

Stars rookie is phenomenal. We have a goalie fight after all, as Deslauriers fights Gibson. Outdoor hockey in LA.

Derek Leung

Good morning one and all!

Pens are in Dallas today, about to take on one of the hottest teams in the NHL. Here's the game preview from Penguins Sauce. Many individual stories in the subplot, such as a reunion with old friends Sarge and Gogo, and Lazy and Nisky return to Dallas at the top of their game.

The most exciting thing for me will be watching extraordinary Stars rookie Val Nichushkin, continuing to marvel that he lasted until pick #10, and picturing what he's going to do for team Russia in Sochi and against the rest of this league going forward. Like Corey Pronman says, it's not a steal if people walk by a gold watch, ignore it, and someone else picks it up. Read this excellent feature on him by Dave Lozo.

From Dave Molinari, is James Neal the same player we acquired from Dallas 3 years ago?

An article that explores if maybe we're taking the wrong approach when thinking about defense. It touches on several points we've discussed recently in regards to Kris Letang. Lots of food for thought.

The other day Marc-Andre Fleury nearly got himself a fight, and last night Wilkes Barre's Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers did actually fight, John Gibson of all people. The Norfolk Admirals still got a win. Oh, and as it turns out, Peter Budaj isn't the second coming of Bruce Lee after all. Apparently the rumor of martial arts training was entirely false, and Flower wold have lived.

The Capitals main problem is scoring, thinks the Washington Post. Who would've thought?

Here are the top 5 plays from last night. I watched the Wings-Habs game, and I'll believe the Wings aren't a playoff team when in fact they don't make the playoffs. The Habs, well, things are getting ugly. Crankshaft is even bigger and slower than before, and pairing him with PK Subban produced Wings goals and much laughter in my house.

A lot of great hockey today. The outdoor game between Kings and Ducks at Dodger Stadium will be the highlight of the day. For many players and coaches, it will be a return to childhood. Just think about it - an outdoor hockey game in LA featuring two excellent California teams - and you'll realize how far this league has come.

Of course, we also have the Pens in Dallas tonight. Don't forget to make your pledge for sick kids based on anything that happens in this game (don't let Stars fans win this one, they're pledging stuff here). Say $5 if Kris Letang has 0 turnovers, or $10 if Marc-Andre Fleury pitches a shutout, or if you're pulling for the Stars $10 if Sid has 0 points, in which case your money is probably safe! Turns out the Red Wings might need help getting in the playoffs, so Wings fans are pledging for Pens wins over their division opponents. Good stuff, and all for a good cause.

Lets go Pens!