(AP photo) The Star’s Must come out tonight as the Penguins host the Hottest team in Hockey in the Boston Bruins. Boston comes into tonight with a 13-0 and 1 record in there last 14 games. And they must do it without Letang, Michalek, and now Engelland. Significant Defensive deficiencies going into a game like this.
The Bruins on the other hand, come in healthy, scoring goals and playing good solid defense with as good a top six as you will find in Hockey. The top 6 defenseman for Boston include Chara, Boychuk, Seidenberg, Corvo, Ference, and McQuaid. To go along with that, as mentioned, their two scoring leaders are Tyler Seguin and Mylan Lucic. Both among scoring leaders in hockey, and are on a roll.
As for the Pens tonight, they will have Jordan Staal in the lineup after he needed a bunch of stitches in the Carolina game this past Saturday night. Staal has put himself in the conversation as one of the best penalty killers in hockey, not to mention that he is on pace to score 30 or more goals this year for what will be only the first time in his career. He has not scored that much since his rookie season, when he tallied 29 goals of which 7 of those were short-handed goals for the Pens that year.
Because of the Pen’s defensive shortfall tonight, they have called up Picard from Wilkes Barre. He actually was just sent down over the weekend, but with the rash of injuries in the defense, there were really no options. They had to pull the trigger and bring him back up. The best part about calling up a player from the Baby Pens squad, especially in the case of Picard, he has played up here for some extended time and all the minor league teams that the Pen’s are Affiliated with, play the same system. That is something that Bylsma installed when he took over, and it has served them well through the last couple of years with this teams rash of Injuries.
Both Crosby and Malkin had assists in the game against Carolina on Saturday and they will need even more production tonight. It will be tough though, going against what could be one of the best one two goalie punches in the the league, with Tim Thomas and Rask as the Back up. This is a game that Boston is looking forward to and I know the Pen are too. With Boston being the Defending Stanley Cup Champions, they are getting the best of every team they play, night in and night out and that will certainly be the case tonight.
As an additional note, Engelland’s injury is being called a lower body injury and it is day to day and Park is a game time decision.