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Pens Points: Time to Say Goodbye

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Pens gather for final time before heading out for offseason. Rutherford gives glimpse at offseason plans. Kessel and Brassard reveal injuries. Guentzel reflects on historic playoff scoring pace. Plenty of well deserved R&R on tap for battered and tired players. Memories made from time on top will last a lifetime.

Pittsburgh Penguins

I typically save this section for game previews or recaps but I guess I don’t have to worry about those anymore this season. The Penguins did hold their team breakdown on Wednesday where players clean out their stalls and say their goodbyes before heading into the offseason.

Season is over but still plenty of news in Pens Points

Today was breakdown day for the Penguins, marking the last time the team will get together before going their separate ways for the offseason. General manage Jim Rutherford, head coach Mike Sullivan, and several players spoke to the media before heading out for some much needed R&R. [Pensburgh]

Team Russia announced through their official Twitter that Penguins superstar center Evgeni Malkin will not be joining the team in Denmark for the World Championships due to a knee injury he suffered during the playoffs. Malkin will join fellow superstar teammate Sidney Crosby in skipping the tournament. [Pensburgh]

No specifics were released during breakdown day but Jim Rutherford did concede that forward Phil Kessel was battling a rash of injuries all season long that eventually caught up to him during the playoffs. [Trib Live]

During his press conference with the media, Rutherford clearly stated that changes to the roster will be coming during the offseason but the veteran general manage was mum on what exactly his plans are. He also made clear that he has no plans on stepping down from his role as general manager anytime soon. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Kris Letang had an up and down season where the downs seemed worse than ever before. Coming off major next surgery a season prior, Letang was never able to find his game after a long layoff. There is a lot of discussion about his future in Pittsburgh but the Penguins might be best off betting on his resurgence next season. [NBC Sports]

Now that the Pens have dispersed for the season, it’s time to turn our attention to the offseason and what the team may do to improve for next season. Jim Rutherford gave us a brief glimpse into his head and while moves will be made, it seems more reloading than anything too drastic. [The Hockey Writers]

It may be a bitter pill to swallow that the Pens season is over but there are positives to come out of the defeat. It was clear many of the players were running on empty and lost their legs down the stretch. Having a long summer break will give them a chance to recharge the batteries and prepare for another run. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

A long summer also means players will have a chance to get away from the world and take time for some self care. What that means exactly is up to the individual players themselves but time away can be good for the body and soul. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

One player who did not have a disappointing playoff performance was Jake Guentzel, who exits the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs as the league leader in goals and points. [Trib Live]

For almost two consecutive years, the Penguins were on top of the hockey world as back-to-back Stanley Cup champions. When we look back, we’ll not only remember the wins and the celebrations, but also all the great memories we made along the way thanks to the great Pens fans we surrounded ourselves with. [Pensburgh]

NHL News and Notes

Apparently the NHL made itself clear when it warned Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand about his on-ice behavior. Marchand plans to clean up his act going forward to prevent himself from facing any further discipline for his actions. [ESPN]

Through two rounds, Marc-Andre Fleury leads the league in every statistical category for goaltenders. Frankly, it’s not even close among himself and the remaining goalies in the field. Fleury is posting one of the best playoff seasons in NHL history to this point. [FiveThirtyEight]