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Pens Points: Pens Keep Tenuous Hold on WC Spot

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Good morning one and all,

The Pens emerged from a busy weekend with two more points and continue to hang on to the last WC spot.

After backing up Flower yesterday in Buffalo, Matt Murray is going back to Wilkes-Barre. Boo. [Penguins]

There is always going to be that one game in which Kris Letang loses all his marbles and flips out, and it happened on Saturday. I'm sure the guys had him chant "woosah" for the next 20 hours and it showed. Focused on actual hockey, there are very few guys better at it. [Trib]

Bottom six forwards have been pretty decent lately, considering they are mostly recent callups. Those guys are miles better than some of our recent bottom-sixers, and it shows. [Penguins]

Scott Wilson has been particularly productive of late. I always thought that as Malkin, Fehr, Bonino and Bennett start to come back he'd be one of the first ones to go back, but his play is not making that an easy decision by any means. [PPG]

It's "everything must go" time in Toronto, but still somehow Lou Lamoriello managed to unload Polak and Spaling to the Sharks for TWO 2nd-round picks and Raffi Torres. (Can we try to trick someone into giving up a 2nd rounder for Zatkoff?)  [CBS Sports]

This is an interesting question. On the surface of it, Shea Weber is still in the conversation for NHL's best defenseman. But what do we find if we look at his advanced stats? [Today's Slapshot]

*But speaking of NHL's actual best defenseman, this guy will always win the Norris and it's hard to argue that what he brings to the Sens is really impossible to replicate. [Sportsnet]

*This article takes a comprehensive look at how conflicts of interest and outright horrible people destroyed a junior hockey organization and threatened the future of Flint Firebirds and their young players. [TSN]

*1997 draftt was the first one I watched after moving to the US and still remember Craig Patrick plucking this guy near the very end. After nearly two decades and > 800 games played, Andrew Ference is ready for life after hockey. So long, Ferknuckler. [ESPN]

Grab bag featuring Wideman, Maloney, stories of deadline deals gone bad, and the sad end of the North Stars. [Down Goes Brown]

*Jaromir Jagr, the ageless wonder with great hair, is now sitting in 3rd all time for goals. He did score more goals in the past 5 seasons (96) than Gretzky did in his last 5 seasons (91). [Globe & Mail]

This is a pertinent conversation as we just celebrated another hockey weekend across America. Keith Olbermann (yeah I know but his passion for hockey is real) talks about the growth of hockey in the United States. [Sportsnet]

And for the end, 36 years ago today a squad of no-names took down the Red Machine in Lake Placid. Regardless of who you cheered on, it was undeniably a watershed moment for USA hockey. [YouTube]

*Another great article from Eric Duhatschek, absolutely worth your time. 50 years ago the NHL expanded and hockey was forever changed. [Globe & Mail]

This just in, and it would appear that SKA St. Petersburg has dismissed captain Ilya Kovalchuk from the team just as Gagarin Cup playoffs commence. Interesting. [KHL]

Which, this being Kovalchuk, is probably all tied to financial self-interest, given the financial troubles of the KHL. Is a return to the NHL in the stars? Who knows, but there is a loophole he could exploit to do that, in theory. [SI]