MORNING PENS BUZZ
A new angle of the Kris Letang hit has surfaced and this angle from a fans view sure adds a new perspective.
NUMBERS DON’T LIE
The Penguins record and stats, at least from a goal scoring standpoint, are inflated by the first 6-7 weeks of the season.
Pittsburgh was 16-7 in their first 23 games (October/November). Since December 1, they are 26-28, with 19 regulation wins, 7 overtime or shootout wins, and 19 regulation losses, 9 overtime or shootout losses.
First 23 games (Oct 9 – Nov 29)
3.43 Goals Per Game | 2.34 Goals Against Per Game
Last 54 Games (Dec 2 – April 3)
2.37 Goals Per Game | 2.48 Goals Against Per Game
Injuries or not, the offensive numbers are stunning for the Penguins over their last 54 games.
— The Penguins are planning for Evgeni Malkin to be in the lineup for Tuesday night vs Ottawa with an outside chance he suits up Sunday vs Philadelphia. If Malkin plays Sunday, the Penguins will have to send Taylor Chorney back to the minors.
“We’re not going to force it,” head coach Mike Johnston said after Friday’s practice. “I’m sure he will be ready for Tuesday, but we’ll see how it goes for Sunday.”
“My skates don’t feel great,” Malkin said. “I didn’t push [too] hard. With a little rest I will be ready for the playoffs and back to 100%.”
— Christian Ehrhoff has amped up his individual on-ice workouts but has been ruled out for the weekend. Chance he returns Tuesday vs Ottawa if everything continues to go well over the weekend but the chatter right now is Thursday’s an internal target date.
— There is nothing new to report on Kris Letang at this point as this coming week will be telling on where things are headed. According to a source close to the situation, the best case scenario would be Letang is cleared to workout in the next couple days, something believed to be a possibility, and receives clearance for high intensity workouts by the end of next week to have any chance of being cleared for the start of the playoffs.