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Pens Points: Oilers Game Day

Malkin returns. Cooke is done for the season. Hockey is back on ESPN.

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Good morning one and all,

The Pens are in Edmonton and these western Canada road trips are always so interesting to me. Great fans, great energy, great interviews. We have lots of good links for you today, so off we go.

First off, all indicators are that Geno is likely to make his return to the lineup tonight after putting in several solid practices in a row. [PPG]

Seth Rorabaugh chats with recently departed ex-Penguin and new Oiler Rob Klinkhammer about the life of a journeyman player and winning shootouts. [Empty Netters]

David Perron is in the opposite situation, having just traveled the other way. He talks to the Oilers media about acclimating to his new team as fast as possible.

One thing Perron says he can't afford to do if he is to play on Sidney Crosby's line is to stand around watching him, which he sometimes catches himself doing in practice. [Edmonton Journal]

Recommended read of the day from Kevin Allen, who explores Sidney Crosby balancing his life on the ice and off, and manages many new insights into a tired topic. A great read that underscores how amazingly level-headed this guy is. [USA Today]

Kris Letang's new contract kicked in this season, and his play has stepped up to another level as well. We've debated his value in this space often, but so far at least he's worth every penny. [The Pensblog]

Let's welcome a fresh new voice in the analytics landscape. A granular look at the Penguins that I found very interesting and informative. [Null Hypothesis Hockey]

The Pens have never scored fewer goals in the Crosby era. Certainly worth a read, and hopefully the team's thinking brains are looking at extinguishing the root causes of this. [Trib]

We all think (hope and pray actually) that this is not the team they plan to ice in the playoffs. But can the Pens make more trades to improve scoring depth some more? [Hockey Buzz]

On to the minors. Matt Murray was excellent for WBS Penguins in a 4-0 shutout of the Springfield Falcons. Andrew Ebbett, Bryan Rust, and Scott Wilson each had multi-point nights and have been tearing it up lately. [Highland Park Hockey]

Over in Minnesota it looks like Matt Cooke might be done for the season with a lower body injury suspected to be sports hernia. The injury may require surgery, thus ending Cookie's year. [Star Tribune]

Devan Dubnyk of all people has breathed new life into the Minnesota Wild with a shutout of the Blackhawks, who've now been shut out in two consecutive games. (Exhales deeply. It's not just us, folks.) [ESPN]

The highlight of the LA Kings' trip to the nation's capital was the visit to the White House. They proceeded to play lifeless, dispirited hockey in a 4-0 loss to the Capitals. Hmmm, this sounds familiar. [LA Times]

Winnipeg Jets scratched Evander Kane against the Canucks in front of hometown fans. He's certainly had his struggles this year, but he's too good a player for that. Something's gotta give. [The Hockey News]

We have ourselves the save of the year, folks, courtesy of Carter Hutton. The Predators sent the Leafs to their 10th straight loss in the process. [CBS Sports]

The Predators are very good again, which we saw with our own eyes not three days ago. A good piece from James Mirtle about one of the best teams in the league right now. [Globe & Mail]

Hockey will be back on ESPN, which won the broadcasting rights for 2016 World Cup of Hockey, beating out NBC Sports and Fox. [Sporting News]

I regretted the time I spent reading this, but it's out there and George Parros recommends it so FWIW here it is. Brandon Prust on why he thinks fighting makes hockey safer. Sigh. How about the league tells the refs to enforce the rules so we can all leave the Wild West for good. [The Players' Tribune]