HOW WILL PENGUINS APPROACH GAME VS FLYERS?
The Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings lost Friday night, meaning the Blue Jackets remain in the first wildcard spot with one game to go. The Flyers control their destiny to clinch 3rd place in the Metropolitan Division. Philadelphia can clinch 3rd place with a regulation or overtime win vs the Penguins Saturday afternoon.
A shootout win over Pittsburgh won’t clinch 3rd place for the Flyers.
You can turn on any talk show in town and hear fans fretting about a Penguins – Flyers first round matchup.
A big question has been how the Penguins will approach tomorrow’s game vs Philadelphia. Word is the plan coming into the week from the coaching staff has been for the Penguins to play close to a full lineup vs Detroit and Philadelphia, then rest a number of key players in the regular season finale on Sunday vs Ottawa. That doesn’t appear to have changed as all signs point to the likes of Sidney Crosby, others playing vs Philly.
“We’re going to try to win the game tomorrow that’s for sure. Not looking at it as a rest situation,” Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma.
There’s arguments that can be made form both sides whether the Penguins should sit players or not.
On an individual note, getting Marc Andre Fleury to 40 wins this weekend is something I’m told that is very important to Fleury and to some in the organization, notably the coaching staff.
— Evgeni Malkin continues to go through individual on-ice workouts, the team says, though he’s barely been around the past couple weeks. Normally with injured players you’ll always see them around watching practice, getting treatment, ect, but not with Malkin who has been kept out of the media’s eye. Those close to the situation remain confident that Malkin will be ready to practice by Monday or Tuesday.
— The Penguins recalled Harry Zolnierczyk who is expected to play tomorrow afternoon.
— If the Penguins and Blue Jackets do meet in the first round, one player the Penguins won’t have to deal with is Nathan Horton who is sidelined for six weeks due to abdominal surgery.