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Pens Points: No Crosby-McDavid Matchup This Season

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Good morning one and all,

The Pens are in Vancouver where they face the Canucks. It's also a homecoming for Nick Bonino and Mike Johnston. [Pens Inside Scoop]

Chris Kunitz has missed two consecutive practices. The first absence was termed a 'maintenance day' and the second time around Mike Johnston said he was banged up and he wasn't sure if he would dress in the Vancouver game. Always good to have an extra healthy F. [Trib]

*Sidney Crosby searches for answers in midst of goal-scoring drought. He states that his focus will be on continuing to generate scoring chances. Great article and good video. [CBC]

Goal-scoring issues for teams like the Ducks and the Penguins, which were expected to feature high-scoring offenses, are not restricted to those teams alone, as goal-scoring is down in general. A very good look across the league. [CBS Sports]

*Episode 17 of Garage League Podcast is out and the talk centers around the recent winning streak, Fleury, and Tocchet's comments. [SoundCloud]

Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts has a fantastic nugget on Marc-Andre Fleury and how much his teammates love playing in front of him. [Sportsnet]

Ryan Wilson is comparing Fleury's phenomenal start to the season so far to past seasons and puts it in context of his career. [HockeyBuzz]

Season is in full swing and injuries are a staple on daily updates. Another few sadly occurred last night, including Connor McDavid, who crashed hard into the boards with two Flyers in hot pursuit. This article has the video of the injury. [CBS Sports]

The injury is officially listed as upper body, but is suspected to be a broken clavicle and he will be out for a while. Let's just hope there's no further damage to his shoulder. That didn't look good. The Pens play the Oilers on Friday, then again three weeks later, so we won't see Crosby vs. McDavid this season. [ESPN]

An even more gruesome injury happened to the Bruins' Chris Kelly, who fractured his femur on a non-contact play and will be out long-term, about 6-8 months. [Sportsnet]

The Bruins lost Kelly to injury, and then the game to the Stars, which included Tyler Seguin registering a natural hat trick against his old team. [Defending Big D]

*Hockey Hall of Fame ceremony is in a few days and will feature a long overdue induction of American hockey great Phil Housley. He is the highest-scoring defenseman (and second only to Modano overall) among US-born players. [ESPN]

*Another fantastic article from one of my favorite writers on the incredible combination of luck and instinct that led Christer Rockstrom and Neil Smith to unnoticed D prospect by the name of Nicklas Lidstrom. [The Province]

Mike Babcock will coach Team Canada at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. That's really not news, more like stating the obvious. [Sportsnet]

*The number of hockey fights is down considerably, and something that once was perhaps an integral part of the game is now merely an afterthought. Excellent article. [CBS Sports]

*Fighting is not only pointless but concussions caused by it will destroy your health and your life. Another heart-wrenching first-person account from a 12-year-pro who registered over 100 fights and sustained numerous concussions, Sasha 'Pit Bull' Lakovic. [CBC]

Sidney Crosby's Little Penguins program is back for another year and there are only a couple spots remaining, so if you're in the Pittsburgh area and have little ones who'd like to try hockey, get them signed up so they can tumble around the ice with Flower! [Penguins]

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