The All-Star break may be coming at a bad time for the Penguins. The Penguins have won three of their last four games and on Sunday the Penguins won back-to-back games for the first time since Nov. 15. The All-Star break will be a blessing for players Brooks Orpik, Sidney Crosby, and Max Talbot who are nursing injuries but the Penguins have some momentum right now. The Penguins host the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday and then don‚Äôt play until Wednesday January 28th
Janne Pesonen‚Äôs fourth stint with the Penguins didn‚Äôt last long. Pesonen was a non-factor against the Ducks on the Friday and did not dress against the Rangers. The Penguins re-assigned Pesonen following yesterday‚Äôs game.
As expected the Penguins have lost Mike Zigomanis for the season who opted for shoulder surgery last week.
The Front office¬†is exploring all options in regards to replacing Mike Zigomanis. The team has been pleased with the play of Dustin Jeffrey. I have yet to receive confirmation from sources in the Penguins organization whether the Penguins are actively trying to re-acquire Adam Hall. Reports have linked Hall to the Penguins within the past week.
The Penguins do have some tough personnel changes to make when Pascal Dupuis and Max Talbot return. Paul Bissonnette, Bill Thomas and Chris Minard will all be candidates to be re-assigned.
Bissonnette doesn‚Äôt play much but he has provided a physical presence that the Penguins lack. The players have been stressing the importance of a player like Bissonnette has in a game.
Minard scored a goal scorers goal against the Rangers and has played well the past two games. Minard likely stays in the lineup for the time being.
Bill Thomas has been a surprise during his latest two game stint with the Penguins. He‚Äôs the kind of player you won‚Äôt notice much but he plays his role well and has been solid on face-offs– (3-2) against the Rangers.
Sidney Crosby was at the facility getting treatment on his knee today. Crosby seemed a little sore today but is expected to play against the Rangers. Crosby did participate in the Penguins optional skate. Crosby is believed to be undecided about playing in the All-Star game. There is a lot of pressure for him to play with the Game being hosted in Montreal and Crosby being the league‚Äôs top vote getter.
Brooks Orpik will not play tomorrow. The Penguins are expected to go with the same D-Pairs and Alex Goligoski will be scratched for the second consecutive game.
Pascal Dupuis will be a game-time decision against the Hurricanes. Dupuis skated again this morning and is no longer on IR.
Max Talbot was also on the ice but he won‚Äôt be activated until after the all-star break.
Michel Therrien is expected to keep Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby together on the same line for tomorrow‚Äôs game.