College Football has a dead week, so I guess you would call this week for the Pittsburgh Penguins, dead week. No Games, just a lot of practicing and some injury updates and additions. Also, a familiar site on the ice. No, he is not coming back!
From the Pens Report(Sam Kasan, Official website), Martin and Park both practiced for the second day in a row. They are still day to day, but both are expected play on Friday when the Pens face the Rangers. Though Asham and Dupuis are also both day to day, but did not practice. Once again, not a big deal because they have time to heal. Dustin Jeffrey was back on the ice, prior to practice for a warm up, and Robert Bortuzzo who is recovering from a concussion also had a pre practice skate along side Jeffrey.
Here were the lines that skated this morning.
Just so you know, pretty sure you will not see Granato out on the ice for the Pens on Friday. Just a hunch. Maybe behind he Bench.
The Penguins are coming up on a big stretch in the season. They have a 5 game layoff that they are currently in the middle of, but that is followed up by 4 games in 6 nights starting with a Rangers team that is not only really good this year, but seem to have the Pens number. Followed by a rematch of the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. The Penguins then play the 3rd of a 3 game stretch of home games against the Ottawa Senators. They will then finish that stretch with a road game the following night against the Caps. As mentioned, it will be a tough stretch, and with the Rangers streaking, and the Devils playing much better hockey, the Pens need this time to not only heal but to get things right.
This Penguins team has struggled giving the puck up at the blue line, giving up easy scoring chances leaving their goalie on an island by his lonesome. Not to mention and as I have written, the Stars need to start coming out. Malkin needs to start scoring goals and Neal needs to continue his hot play. It is great to out shoot your adversary every night as a team, but they need to start burying the puck in the twine. Too much talent to not score goals.