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Pens Points: More Grittier Not Enough for Caps

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Good morning one and all,

Some guys dressed like the Pens showed up at the Verizon Center and that's all we can say for certain. At least it was free pizza from Papa Johns since the Caps won by 4 goals. [PPG]

Recommended read of the day. Excellent thoughts on why power play doesn't work when everything is forced through Crosby. Stop doing that, make a simple play and find the open guy. [PensNation]

Before trading for Maxim Lapierre, the Pens supposedly made an offer to Toronto for Daniel Winnik, which Dave Nonis rejected. Boo. [Pro Hockey Talk]

For his part, though, Lapierre is eager to make his mark with his new team, by being fast, physical and killing penalties. [Trib]

Recommended listen of the day (audio). Mike Colligan talks the Goc-Lapierre trade with Pat Steinberg. [Sportsnet]

GM Jim Rutherford is giving the ownership and the fans the exact team they demanded in the offseason. "More grittier" and I didn't make this comparative up in mockery. [USA Today]

Somehow, while permanently residing in the penalty box, Steve Downie is the Pens' third most productive forward at 5-on-5. A good look at why the NHL's most hated players are never going away. [CBS Sports]

For now at least, Mike Johnston is satisfied with Downie's all-around play (and it's been great). It's anyone's guess whether he can keep walking the fine line between agitator and disaster. [Trib]

Mike Johnston is more concerned with how the team is playing than the outcome of games. Well, last night his team's play was egg-celent. [Trib]

One-on-one with Beau Bennett, who talks his Ironman streak and whether he prefers playing with Sid or Geno. Also a little about gearing up for the playoffs, for which, mind you, we haven't qualified yet, but hey #wearethePenguinsplayoffsiswhatwelivefor. [DKOPS]

The NHL has finally released the Zac Rinaldo suspension video. [NHL]

The reports of Corsi's death have been greatly exaggerated. We'll get new data, and better data, but the key is still going to be understanding the data. [Habs Eye on the Prize]

Cal Clutterbuck is the latest diver named and shamed by the league and levied a $2,000 fine. [USA Today]

It's unlikely that any Pens fan will miss Martin Brodeur. The dude was killing us consistently. To Marc-Andre Fleury, though, he was the cooliest. (My kids still watch Drake & Josh reruns.) [PPG]

Bill Guerin was honored this past weekend at the AHL All Star game in Utica, NY, where he served as honorary captain for the Eastern Conference team. Here is a great recap of his career beginnings in the AHL. [WBS Penguins]

A major announcement is coming today on the AHL, which will form a new Pacific Division to include the affiliates of the Kings and the Ducks, which will relocate to the West Coast. [LA Times]

A recent lawsuit between Erie Otters and Edmonton Oilers owners over an unpaid loan exposed the dirty underbelly of sports ownership. Hamilton, Ont. will for now keep their grimey paws off the Otters. [Globe & Mail]