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Pens Points: Now it Counts

Monday is regular season eve and Pens Points is here to help get your day started.

NHL: OCT 09 Preseason - Penguins at Blue Jackets Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Saturday put a bow on the Pittsburgh Penguins preseason that saw them go 4-2-0 in the six game slate. Those games meant nothing outside of blowing off some rust and figuring out a few roster spots. Those final decisions will have to be made in the next few days before the team heads south to begin the regular season against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday evening.

Mondays are rough but Pens Points is here to help...

Preseason hockey is over and now it’s time for the real thing. With the regular season on the horizon, time is running out for pundits to squeeze in their predictions. For those that have, they seem to believe the Penguins are a middle of the pack team. [Pensburgh]

Saturday saw the Penguins cut another two players from training camp to reduce the roster down to 27 players. Juuso Riikola and Michael Chaput were both demoted to the AHL where they will join Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. [Pensburgh]

One of the most noticeable players during training camp was offseason acquisition Danton Heinen. He was an under the radar signing at the time, but he made the most of his preseason opportunity and made his impact felt throughout. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Saturday was not a good final impression for defenseman Mark Friedman who was ejected from the game for spearing. On top of the ejection, Friedman was fined for his actions but ultimately avoided any further discipline. [TSN]

While fans were hoping for wholesale changes at the goalie position this offseason, Ron Hextall and the Penguins front office went a different direction. Hextall held onto Tristan Jarry as the starter and instead made some behind the scenes moves. [Trib Live]

In a welcome surprise for both the Penguins and the fan base, Sidney Crosby was cleared to practice with his teammates for the first time since wrist surgery in early September. His status for Tuesday night’s opener remains unclear. [ESPN]

Saturday night was a final tune up for the Penguins and the final opportunity for bubble players to make an impact before the final round of cuts. For Chad Ruhwedel and Mark Friedman, the story of the game could spell their fortunes. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

News and notes from around the NHL...

There’s more than just the Penguins to watch this season, with 31 other teams spread out across North America. While any hockey is good hockey, some styles are easier to enjoy than others. Here’s how all 32 teams stack up in terms of watching them. [Yahoo! Sports]

Before everything gets serious this week, the New York Rangers took care of some business with one of their top players. Mika Zibanejad and the Rangers agreed to an eight year contract extension that will keep him in the Big Apple long term. [NHL]