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Tuesday Pens Points: Many Happy Returns

Lazy, Kuni, Beau and Tanger are all back at practice. What is the outlook for Letang? Matt Stajan returns after two harrowing weeks.

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Bruce Bennett

Good morning one and all!

The luck of the Irish rubbed off on the Pens yesterday, with Kris Letang, James Neal, Chris Kunitz, and Beau Bennett all returning to full practice with the team. Their anticipated return to the lineup will help team chemistry, not to even mention skill level.

On the order of most to least shocking, Letang's return to practice 7 weeks following a stroke is at the top. His actual return to the lineup remains uncertain. This is an excellent and insightful article on Letang really worth reading.

Matt Stajan returned to the Calgary Flames yesterday, two weeks after he and his wife went through the ultimate nightmare of losing their newborn son shortly after birth. He and his family expressed heartfelt thanks for the support of the entire hockey world.

The latest NHL power rankings are out. The Blues are in the lead, with the Bruins closing in fast, having earned their 9th straight win last night against the Wild.

Despite the recent slump of the Canadian dollar, total league revenue is still expected to hit a record $3.6-billion (US$) this season. Also, continued expansion talk is another sign of the league's success.

There are a few teams in a bit of a March slump, Pens and Ducks among them. Let's not put too much stock in a post-NHL trade deadline hiccups.

The Devils may or may not make the playoffs (I hope not for our sake), but it's still possible for them. If it happens, Adam Henrique will lead the way. There are few players I like watching more than him, so I really enjoyed this 1-on-1 feature and interview.

This is a few days old and it kind of got lost in the shuffle, but probably worth noting. There were no Earth-shaking outcomes from the annual meeting of NHL GMs - they recommended a few obscure tweaks, but one that is not so inconsequential is an attempt to curb faceoff cheating in a really ill-advised way. Talk about solving one problem and creating another three. I really hope the Competition Committee takes one look at this and says, Um, no.