Before the Penguins can enjoy the great outdoors on Saturday in their Stadium Series game, they have some business to attend to at home. The San Jose Sharks swim into town this evening for their annual visit to PPG Paints Arena, and it sure would be nice to head east on the back of a third-straight victory.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcasted on AT&T Sports Network.
Forget about the winter weather and enjoy this morning’s Pens Points...
Through two-plus seasons in the NHL, Jake Guentzel has shown time and time again just how good of a player he is. His playoff performance speaks for itself and he has becomes a reliable winger for Sidney Crosby. Now may be the perfect time to give Guentzel a little more responsibility and place him on the top power play unit. [Pensburgh]
So far, the Jack Johnson experiment does not seem to be working out for the Penguins and the numbers are there to prove it. Don’t tell that to general manager Jim Rutherford though as he mounted a strong defense of his big free agent signing from last summer. [Trib Live]
Ever since signing Johnson in the summer, Rutherford has defended his decision at every turn. While there is no issue in standing up for your players, all signs point to Rutherford being flat out wrong about the on-ice performance of Johnson this season. [Pensburgh]
With the trade deadline approaching and the Penguins rumored to be in the marked for added reinforcements, general manager Jim Rutherford laid out his plan for the trade deadline in a meeting with the press on Wednesday morning. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Not that this should come as any surprise but Rutherford also made it clear on Wednesday that the team has every intention of resigning defenseman Marcus Pettersson. The 22-year old is set to become a restricted free agent this offseason. [CBS Sports]
Starting the season in the AHL is not exactly what Zach Aston-Reese had in mind but he worked his tail off and earned a deserved call up. Since then, Aston-Reese has established himself as a full time NHL player and believes this is where he belongs. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Since acquiring Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann from the Florida Panthers, both players have been making their presence known on the score sheet. For McCann, the move from Florida to Pittsburgh was met with new expectations, something he embraces. [Penguins]
Saturday will mark the fifth time the Penguins have played outdoors since the NHL began taking games outside on a regular basis in 2008. In their four previous outdoor appearances, the Penguins have gone 2-2-0 and created some good memories along the way. [WPXI]
If you recall the 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field, you’ll remember how rain played a role in turning the ice to garbage. Based on the weather outlook for Saturday, we could be in for a repeat performance if the forecast holds. [AccuWeather]
Everyone loves Mike Lange and his infamous goal calls and now you have a chance to add one of your own goal calls to the legend’s repertoire. Lange is currently accepting submissions for a new goal from Penguins fans so send yours in today. [Trib Live]
News and notes from around the NHL...
If there is one thing in common between each of the Stanley Cup champions since the lockout in 2004-05, it has been their ability to make a move at the trade deadline, bringing in pieces that help propel them to the ultimate prize. [The Hockey News]
Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas has been suspended two games by the NHL DoPS for a high sticking incident against Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. The suspension will force Gudas to miss Saturday’s Stadium Series contest against the Penguins. [Broad Street Hockey]
In what was likely to be a precursor to another move ahead of Monday’s trade deadline, the Capitals placed winger, and major proponent in Washington’s 2018 Stanley Cup win, Devante Smith-Pelly on waivers, clearing $1 million in salary cap space in the process. [The Washington Post]