The Penguins snapped their five game losing streak on Tuesday and travel to Nashville today to face off against the Predators Thursday night. The Predators 17 ‚Äì 19 ‚Äì 3 are currently 14th in the Western Conference with 37 points. The Predators are struggling to score goals as forward J.P. Dumont leads the Preds in scoring with 32 points.
The Penguins end the half way point at 20-17-4 and are currently 9th in the Eastern Conference with 44 points.
Eastern Conference Standings
1. Boston ‚Äì 62 points
2. Washington ‚Äì 57 points
3. Philadelphia ‚Äì 51 points
4. New York Rangers 51 points
5. Montreal ‚Äì 50 points
6. New Jersey ‚Äì 49 points
7. Carolina ‚Äì 47 points
8. Buffalo ‚Äì 45 points
9. Pittsburgh ‚Äì 44 points
10. Florida 42 points
Washington is quietly moving up the standings and is within striking distance of the Boston Bruins. It appears home-ice may be a two team battle between the Bruins and Capitals the rest of the way. The Atlantic is too tough for the Flyers, Rangers or Devils to catch the Bruins or Caps. What to watch the rest of the way is to see if Florida can stay in contention. The team will have to make a decision on Jay Bouwmeester. During the All-Star break they are expected to make one last try to sign Bouwmeester to an extension.
Ruslan Fedotenko will under-go X-Rays, likely today when the swelling in his hand goes down. It is believed that he does have a broken bone in his hand. The Penguins cancelled their practice today and the status for Pascal Dupuis will be unknown until tomorrow‚Äôs morning skate.
The coaching staff has not ruled out going with seven defensemen/ Tim Wallace tomorrow night instead of making a call up.
If the Penguins are to make a call up it will likely be Chris Minard. What has been interesting is I‚Äôm told Pens management has discussed giving Luca Caputi some NHL experience during the second half if a player down for a couple games. Sort of the same situation they did with Alex Goligoski last season when he appeared in a few games during the second half. Keep an close eye on that.
What should we make of Michel Therrien making Alex Goligoski and Hal Gill healthy scratches the past two games?
A source tells me,
The reasoning behind Gill being scratched is to a light a fire under him. A trade is not in the works or anything although Pittsburgh is receiving some calls. Buffalo is showing interest. It’s believed Gill does have more value than Eaton and Boucher. Same story for Boucher. Anaheim, and Columbus are have made inquires.
LA and Pittsburgh have been scouting each other quite often the past couple weeks. A few weeks ago I was told the Kings have quitely pursuing Goligoski and may be interested in moving Alexander Frolov. Looking into it.
Sources expect Ray Shero and Predators GM GM David Poile to have a discussion tomorrow and those discussions will likely center around Martin Erat. Erat is available for the right price.
More to come
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