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Pens Points: Zac Rinaldo Is Still a Menace to Hockey

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By now you've all seen the happy news that Pascal Dupuis will return to game action for the first time in about 11 months tonight against the Dallas Stars. [PPG]

Geno's season is charging full-speed ahead. He's on a 3-game goal-scoring streak which coincidentally aligns with the Pens win streak. Likes to play close games, and wants to ignite his linemates. [Penguins]

A pretty cool article about the Penguins-Stars rivalry that exists off the ice. I enjoyed reading this one. [Bombulie -Trib]

Ian Cole is at the top of the list for blocked shots, something he likes to do naturally and isn't afraid of. Good for him, because I'd be ducking all over the place. [PPG]

Marc-Andre Fleury plans to continue to build on last year's excellent season, and keeps working on technical aspects of goaltending with Mike Bales. Where might he (and the Penguins) be if he'd had a real position coach in his first 8 season. [Penguins]

Why do most in-season hockey changes happen? These people didn't suddenly forget how to coach. The reason, more often than not, is found in the net, as terrible goaltending woes have sent many a good coach to the broadcast booth. [CBS Sports]

Which other coaches could be on the hot seat, and how warm is Mike Johnston's (hopefully Flower will keep doing his thing). Obviously the next guy to get axed will be Claude Julien because Tuukka Rask didn't get the memo, but he if he thinks flashy Pastrnak is the problem we'll gladly take him off your hands. [Grantland]

A pretty interesting article about the rivalry existing between Dan Bylsma and Mike Babcock and its new chapter as both coaches are now in the Atlantic Division with teams in a rebuilding phase, and supposedly a few years down the line should both be good (well Buffalo will). [Sportsnet]

Raffi Torres is gone for half the season, but noted tool Zac Rinaldo is taking care of things, this time charging Sean Couturier, already squeezed between a Bruin and the boards, and just nail him for no good reason. Watch and guess how many games he gets. Another suspension won't change him. [Pro Hockey Talk]

When you talk about bad NHL contracts, this isn't necessarily the name that comes up top that often, but Travis Yost argues that Dan Girardi belongs on this not-glorious Mount Rushmore. [TSN]

Meet next year's consensus first overall pick for the NHL draft. Not from the great north, Auston Matthews' mom is from Mexico, his dad from California, and his family lives in Arizona where they took the little kid to Coyotes games and he got his start in their youth hockey programs. [USA Today]

Tonight is Hockey Fights Cancer night, and sadly hockey and the Pens in particular have had their share of cancer. Most recently, a year ago Olli Maatta's thyroid cancer was caught early and he was successfully treated. He reflects on the past year and how he dealt with this scare. [Penguins]

Top-line winger Phil Kessel was diagnosed with testicular cancer back in 2006 as a 19-year-old rookie with the Bruins. I dug this up from the archives as a reminder to please be vigilant about changes in your health, lumps or masses, and when in doubt, call the doctor. [Ottawa Citizen]

For the end, the guys were shooting their annual Pens & Paws calendar to benefit the Animal Rescue League so they had puppies and kitties and even a cute little piggie named Truffles as guests yesterday. Warning - the video contains many adorable images. [Penguins]