This is the last time the Rangers scored a goal against the Penguins. It was more than nine months ago in the fifth and final game of a first-round playoff series.
The Penguins are a completely different team since then. Only seven of the 20 players from that game are expected to be in the lineup tomorrow night at Consol Energy Center. Also, the overtime hero has switched jerseys.
I asked Carl Hagelin if he had to mend some fences when he joined the Penguins. After all, he did end their season last spring.
“(Chris Kunitz) wasn’t too happy. He was on the ice when it happened. He said he was going to jump me, but the season was over. A couple guys have mentioned it.”
Penguins manager of content Michele Crechiolo then asked if goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was one of the players he talked to about it. Hagelin said he didn’t remember.
“Oh, that guy. He doesn’t know yet, but he’s going to pay at some point.”
Given Fleury’s reputation for practical jokes, Hagelin better watch his back.
Couple other notes from today’s practice:
— Coach Mike Sullivan said the Penguins will keep Evgeni Malkin out another week with his lower-body injury. It doesn’t strike me as an odd course of action. I don’t have any firm info on this topic, but you’d have to imagine we’re talking about a knee here. As long as it’s not the type of injury that requires surgery — and there’s no reason to believe it is — the more rest and rehab he gets, the better the chance of a lack of lingering effects when he gets back.
That said, the lack of a reasonable injury disclosure policy in hockey leaves room for rampant, irresponsible speculation, so have at it.
— The Penguins, obviously, have been fine without Malkin the last two games, but it reminds me of a story Michel Therrien told me one time.
If Celine Dion gets sick and her understudy has to step in, she might sound great for one song. She might even sound great for one concert. But eventually, the tour isn’t going to be as good without Celine.
It’s not an all-time great analogy or anything, but Therrien’s French-Canadian cultural references are always awesome.
— Otherwise, Matt Cullen and Kris Letang had the day off for maintenance, but they’re expected to play tomorrow.
Bye for now,