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Pens Points: Improved Isles a Big Challenge for Pens

Duper a game-time decision tonight. Bennett started skating, return to full practice 7-10 days away. Leafs fans continue hurling jerseys to protest the early-season struggles. Can they lure Mike Babcock to Toronto?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Saturday everyone! Sitting through endless karate practices and French classes, so I thought I'd get you caught up with all the news before tonight's clash with the New York Islanders.

Saturday night game against the Isles and nobody is yawning or making other plans. The Isles became good in a hurry this offseason, and even down Mikhail Grabovski they will be a formidable opponent for the Pens tonight and all season. Should they win tonight, the Isles would start the season 5-0-0 for the first time in franchise history.

After years of bleeding cash while owning them, Charles Wang made his money selling the Islanders for $485 million after acquiring them for $187 million.

After getting hit by a 75 mph puck in the back of his neck, scaring the heck out of everyone and getting stretchered off the ice, Super Duper has truly shown his superhero powers by returning to the ice on the very next morning. He is a game-time decision for tonight.

Dupuis revealed that he indeed lost feeling in his extremities following impact but that the whole scary protocol was due to the medical staff taking every precaution and Geno yelling at him to not move and lie on the ice. You don't mess around when the big guy yells at you.

If Duper can't go, we might see more of Blake Comeau up with Geno and Suttsy, while Ebbett would presumably fill in on the fourth line.

Beau Bennett has started skating, and although there is no firm timetable for his return to the lineup, the latest estimate is that he could begin practicing in 7-10 days.

James Neal scored his first goal as a member of the Nashville Predators. It was a fluky one, but a goal's a goal. With the Preds set to host the 2016 NHL All Star Game, will he get to participate in it again? Once he looked like a perennial All Star. We'll see if that comes to pass.

The Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs are playing a home-and-home set on Friday/Saturday. Friday night in Toronto the Wings crushed the Leafs 4-1 with Henrik Zetterberg assisting on all 4 goals. Another Leafs jersey found its way to the ice. This is becoming an epidemic of disenchantment, so no wonder that all the talk was centered around the future of Mike Babcock and if he might end up in Toronto.

As the series shifts back to Detroit tonight, here is a fond remembrance of times spent at the a Joe Louis Arena, which will be demolished to make space for area development as part of the city of Detroit bankruptcy settlement. Always sad when that happens, but better loved, well used, and remembered for its rich history than built for a snazzy event and never used by local communities like all those venues in Beijing and Sochi.

Should a goalie get back-to-back starts? An age-old dilemma in the NHL, especially for teams with capable back-ups. Give them a chance.

Back to tonight's matchup. Sid is the first Penguin to score a goal in each of the first 3 games of a season. Also, his career assist total currently stands at 498, and it would be awesome if he could make it a nice round number tonight. Go Pens!