Penguins – Blue Jackets
Home ice in round 1 on the line tonight.
A regulation win tonight will put the Penguins three points up on the Blue Jackets with three games to go. The Penguins like any team want home-ice, especially the coaching staff who always want to play at home.
“We’re fighting for home-ice,” Mike Sullivan said.
The Penguins see tonight’s game as an important one but it’s a bit more important for the Blue Jackets. Whether the Penguins get Kris Letang back or not (considered doubtful) for Round 1, home-ice is instrumental for the Blue Jackets to get in a series vs Pittsburgh.
Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella over the last couple weeks is trying to pump into his club’s head that they belong to be considered among the NHL’s elite with the season they’re having and he wants them to play with an ‘arrogance’ that they belong.
Columbus is coming off back-to-back competitive losses to Chicago and Washington who get as elite as it comes. Now comes Pittsburgh.
The Penguins could get blown out tonight 7-1 again by the Blue Jackets like they did in December and it won’t matter to them. The Penguins will still come back next week against Columbus fully confident they’ll beat Columbus over a seven game series.
The Penguins without Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang have the opportunity tonight to put some doubt into the Blue Jackets head tonight. That’s still a team over there that hasn’t won in the playoffs yet.
Source: Kris Letang dealing with pressing nerve
[Daley expected to play this week]
[Concern emerging on Malkin?]
Mike Sullivan expressing confidence last Wednesday that Kris Letang would play for the start of the playoffs might have just been coach talk at this time of the year.
Today Sullivan said everyone is status quo.
“Where they stand is status quo,” Sullivan said. “Obviously the guys that are joining the team in practice, that’s a step closer to game action. Everything at this point is status quo until we tell you otherwise. That’s where it’s at.”
Letang has had no significant setback with his back injury but there’s also been no progress at all. No one involved has an idea when he’ll return or if the injury will hold up if he can return at some point.
Per a source close to the situation, Letang has a he Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"