Jeffrey Sent Down; Curry remains with Team
The Pittsburgh Penguins return to the ice tonight on the road against the Ottawa Senators after a short holiday break. The Penguins who are the first team to reach 50 points face an Ottawa team that has been mirrored by inconsistent hockey and lackluster play in 2010.
Ottawa who was the No. 5 seed last season, are on the outside of the playoff mix as the season approaches the new year.
Pittsburgh enters tonight’s action with the most road points 12-4-1-(25pts) in the NHL, while Ottawa (15-17-4-34pts) is under .500 at home (8-9-2) this season.
The Penguins begin a busy stretch with four games in six days, highlighted by the Winter Classic on January 1, 2011.
The game is being anticipated by some in the media as the greatest the regular season game from a “hype” standpoint.
The weekly events are setting up to potentially be a magical event but the concern for NHL officials will fully center around the weather which is projected to be very bad.
The forcast for Friday is 46 degrees with a “few showers” and a low of 35, while the forecast for Saturday is worst.
According to weather.com, the forecast for Saturday is 52 degrees with showers and a low of 36.
One NHL official told me
the concern is with the rain not the forecast being projected in the upper 40’s, lower 50’s. The warmer than expected weather will still be very manageable for crews to keep the ice playable.
The hope though is that there will be little to no rain on Friday. A lot of rain, the day before will cause serious problems. It will be interesting to see if the weather will lead to some of the events on December 31st not being played.
The Penguins have re-assigned Dustin Jeffrey back to Wilkes Barre/Scranton who did not travel with the team to Ottawa.
However, goaltender John Curry remains with the team as Brent Johnson is still recovering from a groin injury.
Arron Asham (lower body) is questionable for tonight.
Marc Andre Fleury will start in goal.