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Pens Points: Letang Having Career-Defining Season

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Good morning one and all,

The mumps outbreak has now officially claimed Beau Bennett and a third person in the Penguins organization, an intern who works for the team gathering sound in the locker room. [Trib]

Chicago's Duncan Keith sat out last night's game with an illness. Everyone's thinking only one thing, but so far there is no indication what it might be. [The Score]

NHL teams are taking a prudent stance in postponing public appearances amidts of the outbreak, even if no one on that team is known to be affected. [USA Today]

Kris Letang is thriving in new coach Mike Johnston's system and his season so far is looking to define new heights for him. The Coffey family, Paul and his son Blake, also a defenseman, are huge fans and the Hall-of-Famer says he often watches the Penguins simply to see Letang play. [Trib]

Bobby Farnham is not for the faint of heart. The bruising winger is a bundle of energy, and when combined with new BFF Steve Downie, watch out. Feathers will fly. [PPG]

The Panthers and the Capitals made NHL history last night by staging the longest shootout ever recorded in the league. 20 rounds! Brooks Orpik had his first career SO attempt and scored on Luongo as if he'd been doing that forever. Bjugstad won it for the Panthers. Watch it all here. [Yahoo Sports]

Tod Berg was there as Epix put on the first episode of Road to the NHL Winter Classic. [USA Today]

The Detroit Red Wings, however, continued their shootout misery, by losing another one last night to the Blue Jackets. Wings fans can be very self-assured, so it's fun watching them squirm every time the shootout commences. [Detroit Free Press]

Jets' Jacob Trouba will sit out 6 weeks with an upper-body injury. Losing the outstanding young American defenseman until February is a big hit for the very decent Jets team. [ESPN]

So we all laugh at the Leafs when they play badly; we should suck it up and praise them for a 10-1-1 sequence since that infamous 9-2 shellacking by the Predators. [Globe & Mail]