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Rossi: Can Pens wrap miserable Metro this month?

Another Hockey Day arrives with each Metropolitan Division club having lost the previous night. The Rangers, Devils and Flyers combined to score four goals in their defeats Monday night.

Not sure what, but it surely says something that the Penguins have the fewest points among current division leaders and the biggest lead. Among clubs beneath the Penguins in the Metro standings, only the Capitals have more wins than losses.

Their game against the Islanders on Tuesday night is one of 14 the Penguins will play to wrap up the 2013 calendar year. There are some tough ones, notably against San Jose (41 points), Boston (38), Minnesota (37) and Detroit (35).

Counting this one against the Islanders, though, the Penguins are set to play eight games against opponents that begin Tuesday without more wins than losses.

Six of those games are against Metro foes.

Two points from those games are not guaranteed, but the Penguins are set up to provide themselves a big, big, big lead by New Year’s Day.

 

 

>> The AM Skate from Nassau Coliseum is about an hour away, and I will pass along any updates on Twitter. @RobRossi_Trib… as if you didn’t know. (You did, right? #AffirmationWatch)

 

 

>> Chris Adamski had the club on Monday, and he turned out these reports:

*** JEFF ZATKOFF IS COMING ALONG NICELY, NO? http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/5178286-74/zatkoff-penguins-game

*** BILL GUERIN GOES INTO THE U.S. HOCKEY HALL, AND OTHER ASSORTED NOTES: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/5178288-74/guerin-penguins-weight#axzz2mLC4c0mb

*** TWO OF MY BEST BILLY G STORIES: http://blog.triblive.com/chipped-ice/2013/12/02/tribhky-insider-on-bill-guerin-whose-own-story-includes-a-place-in-the-u-s-hof/

 

 

>> The resignation of Comcast-Spectacor president Peter Luukko was a real stunner. Details here from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/flyers/20131203_Luukko_suddenly_leaves_Flyers__Comcast-Spectacor.html

Despite their on-ice rivalry, the Penguins and Flyers have in recent years become partners in some off-ice initiatives, specifically aimed at youth hockey in Pennsylvania. Also, both clubs have made it known that any outdoor game at Penn State’s Beaver Stadium should, in their minds, be an extension of the Commonwealth Cold War. (Though, neither club has agreed to surrender a home date for a neutral-site game, according to NHL officials.)

Luukko and his Penguins counterpart, CEO David Morehouse, had formed a very good business relationship. Not saying that business harmony between the Penguins and Flyers won’t continue with Luukko out in Philadelphia, but it is something worth noting after news of his resignation.

 

 

 

>> Via the Twitter Machine, @MJBeno asks about the toughest “non-Gretzky” NHL record to break? Have at it, but I don’t see anybody catching Martin Brodeur’s still-going marks for career wins and shutouts.

 

 

>> Did you see that crowd in Seattle for the NFL’s Saints-Seahawks game on Monday night? Did you hear it? Those people are like that for MLS games, too. The old SuperSonics’ NBA crowds were insane before that league abandoned a great market.

When serious talk about NHL expansion begins – and this is with all due respect to Canadian markets such as Quebec City and Toronto – Seattle needs to be a big part of that discussion. The first major indoor league back in that city will own it during the winter, and the NHL should beat the NBA to that loose puck.

 

 

>> Long Island is not the best place for a beat reporter’s health to take a turn toward congestion. Let’s leave it at that.

 

Be EXCELLENT to each other,

Rossi

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib

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