The Penguins have four out of their final six games on the road as the team finishes their regular season schedule. On Wednesday, the Penguins faceoff against the New Jersey Devils (47-24-4, 98 pts) in a potential first round matchup. The Devils lead the season series 3-2.
Great players elevate their games at this time of the year and Sidney Crosby
did just that in the third period of Saturday afternoon‚Äôs game against New York, scoring the game winning goal and extending his point streak to 15 games.
Ruslan Fedotenko is currently in a third line role right now which is where he belongs. He appears much more comfortable against Calgary which was the first game he played with Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy and against the Rangers he had a three point night, ending a 15 game scoreless streak.
Inconsistency has plagued Fedotenko all season and Fedotenko will have to take a significant paycut and settle for a contract in the range of
$1.5 million per season for the Penguins to have any interest in re-signing him.
Give credit to interim coach Dan Bylsma for not putting Philippe Boucher in the lineup against the Rangers. Boucher did not practice well on Thursday, Friday and that was the main reason he did not get back into the lineup. Boucher‚Äôs hands are not at game speed and he has been very indecisive running the second power play.
The Penguins got solid performances from their role players against the Rangers which prevailed them to a 4-3 win. Max Talbot looked like the player he was last spring, Ruslan Fedotenko produced three points and Rob Scuderi had a phenomenal game.
The Penguins were very worried about the ice following the short turn around from the Britney Spears concert but the ice held up. Sidney Crosby and Max Talbot were not complaining following the game. Both players showed great bursts of speed in the neutral zone to blow by the opposition.
Marc Andre Fleury was among three players to attend the concert.
There‚Äôs a lot of pressure on agent‚Äôs including Allan Walsh right now. A few notable players Walsh represents are Martin Havlat and Petr Sykora.
There is a ton of pressure on Walsh from other agents for him to get over $3 million per season for Sykora and over $5 million for Havlat, if the two sign before free agency. The Hawks are believed to be offering $4.5 million per season.
With the uncertainty of the salary cap for next season and beyond, agents don‚Äôt want to set the market with a key signing before free agency.
Pittsburgh remains very active in pursuing college players. The agent for Tyler Bozka indicates over 15 teams are in on his client. Pittsburgh has been heavily scouting Boston University defenseman Matt Gilroy.
The Penguins had an off-day on Sunday and will return to practice on Monday at 11:00 a.m.