Did the Penguins really show something has changed against puck-possessing San Jose? Also, is it too early to start thinking about Orpik’s contract?
Greetings, hockey fans:
It’s unfortunate that I must report the news that Evgeni Malkin is out of the lineup tonight. Watching the mighty Sharks take on the Penguins and all their star power won’t be as much fun without Malkin in the lineup. He has, after all, produced 19 points in his past nine games. Not a bad total.
The Penguins have some interesting lineup decisions to make with Malkin out.
San Jose is quite a hockey team, as you may see tonight. Should be interesting.
Here’s all the information you need to know. Malkin’s injury doesn’t sound serious, but then, the Penguins might not yet be sure what the problem is. Check out the article below.
Tonight’s probable lines and defense pairings:
Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis
Jayson Megna-Jussi Jokinen-James Neal
Chris Conner-Brandon Sutter-Andrew Ebbett
Zach Sill-Joe Vitale-Craig Adams
Olli Maatta-Kris Letang
Brooks Orpik-Deryk Engelland
Simon Despres-Matt Niskanen
I will warn you all, I’m totally guessing with these line combinations. Malkin’s injury did not take place until following the line rushes, so it’s difficult to say precisely what Dan Bylsma will do tonight. Personally, I’d love to see Crosby and Neal on the same line for game. But then, we don’t want Team Canada seeing how that would look, eh?
I’m assuming Jokinen will center that line. Certainly seems logical to me. But, we’ll see a number of different looks tonight.
Aside from the Malkin injury, there is some significantly good news to report. Defenseman Rob Scuderi has skated four times during the past week and is improving by the day. Bylsma said that Scuderi’s workouts have become more “rigorous” during the past couple of days and it sounds like the veteran has responded nicely. Also, Tanner Glass has been skating this week and is around a week from returning to practice, according to Bylsma.
It looks like Chuck Kobasew is good to play tonight, by the way, should the Penguins elect that option.
Watch For This N’ At
= The Sharks are a wondrously talented hockey team without an apparent weakness. Be prepared to be impressed. They’ve only lost three games in regulation, and two of their stars, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, have long been a thorn in the Penguins’ side.
= If you’re going to the game tonight, make sure you have your cell phone charged. The Penguins are asking fans to participate in their pregame, holiday video. Consol Energy Center is going to turn completely dark, with only the scoreboard and lights in the crowd creating some brightness.
= At the first TV timeout, the Penguins are going to show a video honoring for Stanley Cup champion Tyler Kennedy.
Enjoy the hockey game. Even without Geno in the lineup, there will be no shortage of star power.
What this Penguins’ victory might really mean in the long run, especially for goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Also, make no mistake, top-heavy scoring is how this club is built to win this season.