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Pens Points: Predators Game Day

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Good morning one and all,

Yesterday was team picture day, Geno skated, Bryan Rust won Team Rookie of the Year award, but was then announced to have suffered a day-to-day injury and Oskar Sundqvist was recalled again. [Trib]

The Pens host the Nashville Predators tonight at Consol. Last time they were here, they shredded us 4-0. Old friend "Real Deal" James Neal has just eclipsed the 30-goal mark and the Preds now have two 30-goal scorers (Filip Forsberg is the other). [CBS Sports]

Phil Kessel was voted most overrated played in the NHL by his peers (hey no one ever accused NHL players of being geniigeniuses), but he's been on a hot streak lately. Has he changed anything in his approach? [Globe & Mail]

It's no secret that Kris Letang, winner of Team Defenseman of the Year award, is playing the best hockey of his excellent career. Hall-of-Famer, 14-time All-Star, and 3-time Norris winner Paul Coffey knows a truly elite d-man when he sees one. A great read. [Penguins]

In 2009 Brooks Orpik gave us The Shift, and in 2016 Kris Letang gave us The Shift 2. Seen through the eyes of Justin Schultz, who was the next d-man to hop over boards after Letang made a change, the wait seemed, well, long. [Trib]

Speaking of Justin Schultz, what do we think about his performance so far with the Pens? I still cringe every time the puck and he are in our zone at the same time, but he and Cole are settling into something resembling a pairing. [PPG]

The Flyers hosted the Caps last night and came away with a shootout win, solidifying their hold on the #2 WC spot and thus more games against the Caps pretty soon. Steve Mason was super-solid, and Braden Holtby is stuck on 46Ws. [CBS Sports]

The Caps power play isn't as ridiculously scary without Mike Green at the helm. They have two options for his role, John Carlson and Matt Niskanen, so who should man the top PP unit? [Today's Slapshot]

Bob McKenzie weighs in on the Jimmy Vesey saga. Did he tell the Preds, what was going on with Toronto, how he ended up in Boston (he is a MA native and was at Harvard for 4 years, doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out). [TSN]

It's going to be tough for the Rangers to fit in Keith Yandle's new contract under their cap structure going forward. They will have to get creative. [NY Post]

Duncan Keith was offered an in-person hearing for his latest stick infraction. I like how they say offered, like it's an optional sales promo. Buy 5 games, get another 5 games free? [Chicago Tribune]

Anaheim Ducks scored 8 goals against the Flames last night, keeping hold of the top spot in the Pacific. I'm not sure that's a good thing for them, cause they'd be playing Preds or Hawks instead of the Sharks, but hey, not my problem. [OC Register]

NHL email archive unsealed during the concussion litigation has shed so much light on the inner workings of the league. There are so many good articles, especially in the Globe & Mail, so peruse at your leisure.

All Canadian teams have now been officially eliminated from the NHL postseason. Awww. But the Blue Jays are about to start, so that should be fun, eh? [CBC]