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Pens Points: A Fresh Start

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Facing much uncertainty on and off the ice, the Penguins drop the puck of their 2020-21 season tonight.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

Over five months since they bowed out of the Stanley Cup playoffs in humiliating fashion, the Pittsburgh Penguins will begin their 2020-21 in earnest today against the Philadelphia Flyers. This will be the first game of 56 on the schedule that will make up a Penguins season unlike any other we have seen before.

Game time is set for 5:30 PM and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network.

Here’s everything you need to know before puck drop...

After a shorter than normal training camp, the Penguins trimmed down their roster to 23 players that features many old faces mixed in with some new. Along with the roster, the team also announced a six-man taxi squad. [Pensburgh]

It’s been almost a year since fans piled into PPG Paints Arena to see the Penguins play and they will have to wait at least until February for their next chance. No fans will be allowed at home games due to Pennsylvania government restrictions. [Pensburgh]

No one expected Bryan Rust to be an (almost) 30 goal scorer last season but his play was one of the highlights of the season. Now a new season is upon us and we can make some picks for who will the be surprise player this time around. [Pensburgh]

As you likely already know, the Penguins will open their 2020-21 season on the road against the cross-state rival Philadelphia Flyers later today. Our friends over at Broad Street Hockey spoke with our fearless leader Hooks to gauge expectations. [Broad Street Hockey]

If you wish to become better acquainted with the Penguins first opponent of the season, Broad Street has a breakdown of the Flyers roster as well. Remember, they play all division opponents eight times so it never hurts to learn who these guys are. [Broad Street Hockey]

While some Penguins fans might be down on the Penguins chances this season, there is still reason to have hope. From the superstars being superstars to the infusion of youth during the offseason, there is plenty to get excited about. [Penguins]

Time is ticking on this era of Penguins hockey and the Stanley Cup window is starting to close. With Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the roster expectations will always be set at Stanley Cup and Malkin is hoping for one more skate with Stanley. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Entering his 16th season in the NHL at the age of 33, it’s fair to ask exactly how much Sidney Crosby still has left in the tank. Given his work ethic and desire to win, it won’t surprise you learn he believes he still has a lot of hockey left in him. [ESPN]

News and notes from around the NHL...

First and foremost, familiarize yourself with the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming season. Something tells me you may be hearing a lot about them in the coming weeks and months as the season gets going. [NBC Sports]

In news that should have been news years ago, the Boston Bruins announced they will retire Willie O’Ree’s No. 22 that he wore when he broke the NHL color barrier in 1958. A ceremony will take place on February 18 at TD Garden in Boston. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]

After halting all team activities due to a COVID-19 outbreak, the Dallas Stars returned to practice on Tuesday afternoon. The Stars have already seen their first three games postponed meaning the earliest they will play is January 19th. [NHL]