Who: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Columbus Blue Jackets
When: 7:00pm start
What: The 6th of 6 preseason games for the Pens (we made it!)
How to watch: you can’t! No but seriously I don’t think it’s being broadcast.
Roster: The Pens have released the lineup of the following players:
1 Casey DeSmith
35 Tristan Jarry
2 Chad Ruhwedel
3 Olli Maatta
6 Jamie Oleksiak
8 Brian Dumoulin
50 Juuso Riikola
58 Kris Letang
12 Dominik Simon
15 Riley Sheahan
17 Bryan Rust
19 Derick Brassard
38 Derek Grant
46 Zach Aston-Reese
59 Jake Guentzel
62 Carl Hagelin
71 Evgeni Malkin
72 Patric Hornqvist
81 Phil Kessel
87 Sidney Crosby
Another full lineup, basically speaking. Defenseman Justin Schultz (hand) and forward Daniel Sprong (knee) are officially “day to day” and being held out. In Schultz’s case he is expected to be available for the start of the real season on Thursday.
In Sprong’s case, the Pens general manager just told Josh Yohe, “we expected a little bit more from him.” This marks the second time in less than two weeks a member of Pens brass has had as much, with assistant coach Mark Recchi saying virtually the same thing.
Sprong finishes his uber-important pre-season with no goals, 1 assist and 7 shots on goal in 4 games. He got a lot of work early in the camp with Sidney Crosby but apparently hasn’t impressed much. And now he picked up an injury late in the last preseason game. At this point, the non-existent betting odds on him playing in the opening night lineup would have to be a longshot. Is this a bump in the road? Or a failed opportunity that will lead to being shuffled out of plans? Only time can tell but what was supposed to be a big training camp ends with a dud.
One far from dud performance in camp is everyone’s darling Juuso Riikola. He should be playing tonight in his 6th preseason game, the only player to even come close to playing in them all. The staff is clearly very enamored with this player, and for good reason, he’s played solidly in every opportunity.
All the big guns are also in the lineup tonight and gee you just hope no one gets hurt, this game gets forgotten about quickly and we all move on.
Penguins lines/pairs:— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) September 28, 2018
Interesting to see Riikola on a pair with Olli Maatta. With Jack Johnson a healthy scratch. Wait is this preseason or a fast-forward to February?