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The Race in the Eastern Conference is tightening. As things stand right now the 10th place Carolina Hurricanes are only 5 points out of the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference.
There are 6 teams battling for 4 spots and the Montreal Canadiens who failed to replace Robert Lang at the trade deadline will miss the playoffs.
Pittsburgh is a team that no one wants to play right now. The defending Eastern Conference Champions travel to Washington tomorrow afternoon to face off against the Capitals to end their 5 game road trip. Pittsburgh is 0-3 against Washington this season and Sunday is going to be a statement game for the team. They are playing at a level right now that they haven’t played at all season and the confidence level around the locker room is at a season high.
After the Boston Bruins failed to land Keith Tkachuk they tried to get back into the Guerin sweepstakes and were willing to offer more than the Penguins but it was too late. Boston was at the top of Guerin’s wishlist. The Bruins had to settle for Mark Recchi
Anaheim Ducks fans are having a hard time trying to embrace Ryan Whitney. The fanbase was not very happy with the team trading fan favorite Chris Kunitz. In four games with the Ducks, Whitney has one assist and is +3.
Sources tell me one player on the Penguins roster that is not happy

with his role right now is Pascal Dupuis. Dupuis thinks he’s a top 6 forward and the Penguins will look into moving his salary at the draft. Dupuis has two years remaining on his contrct with a cap hit $1.4 million per season. Signing Dupuis to a three year deal was another Ray Shero free agent signing that had people shaking their head. There were some insiders who believe Dupuis was close to be dealt at the trade deadline.
When free agency begins the most watched player is going to be Marian Gaborik. Will a team take a risk and offer him a big contract or will he have to settle for a one or two year deal worth $4 million per season which is what a lot of NHL executives believe he will receive. There continues to be speculation that the Kings and Canucks could be the two teams that take a risk on him.
It’s a good thing the Boston Bruins came to their senses and didn’t offer Phil Kessel for Chris Pronger. Forward Patrice Bergeron will be moved at the draft. Bergeron is a player Pittsburgh use to be really high on but with his injury history, cap hit, acquiring Bergeron would be a major risk.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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