TIOPS Thursday Rundown

1. Scott Wilson gets opportunity on top line

The concussion to Jake Guentzel has led to Scott Wilson getting a look on Sidney Crosby’s line tonight, though, it remains to be seen how patient Sullivan will be in keeping Wilson there.

The Penguins have had a revolving door where when an injury pops up, another player takes advantage of an increased role.

“These guys just embrace any challenge that we give them on a particular night, so that certainly makes the coaches job a little bit easier,” Sullivan said of his resilient club. “We move guys up and down the lineup. Sometimes they play their off wings or their off-sides. I think it’s a testament to the character of the people that we have. We have good players, but they’re great people, and they’re good teammates. They’ll do anything to win.”

Depending on how the game goes, one option the Penguins could go to is loading up a top line of Sheary – Crosby – Kessel for some shifts here and there if they are in need of a spark.

Even with Guentzel out, the coaches are planning to keep Sheary on right wing.

In the short-term as in tonight, Kessel will go back to left wing with Matt Cullen and Patric Hornqvist.

2. Senators Anderson turning in impressive season

Senators goaltender Craig Anderson who has dealt with the illness of his wife and going back and forth in leaving the team to be home with his family, has turned in a fantastic season.

Anderson is 22-9-2 with a 2.29 GAA, .928 save percentage and 4 shutouts. The Penguins will avoid seeing him tonight as the Senators will rest Anderson and start Mike Condon (18-12-6, .914 SV%).

Guy Boucher who Penguin ownership was interested in hiring during the summer of 2014 deserves a lot more coach of the year consideration than he seems to be getting.

3. The New York Islanders off a big win last night against the Rangers are already in Pittsburgh’s for Friday night’s tilt at PPG Paints Arena.

Jaroslav Halak has been recalled and tomorrow’s goaltending matchup is expected to be Halak vs Fleury, two goaltenders who have been at the forefront of the goaltending trade market.

4. Rumblings: Jagr on the outs in Florida?

45 year old Jaromir Jagr with 14 goals and 41 points on the season, is expected to return in 2017-2018 for a 23rd NHL season.

The scuttlebutt around the league is Florida wants Jagr back but at half of what he’s making this season and that could prompt Jagr to shop himself around this summer, league sources say.  Jagr has a base salary of $4 million this season.

5. Hutchison stumbles again for Pirates

The Pirates are basically trying to hand the No. 5 job to Drew Hutchison and all he continues to do is throw opportunity after opportunity away.

Hutchison was lit up this afternoon, allowing 5 runs in the first inning and finishing with a line of:

4.2 IP, 10 Hits, 6 Earned Runs, 2K/2BB, 87 Pitches (55 strikes)

Hutchison faced 25 batters.

Facing most of the Red Sox MLB lineup, seven of the first eight batters reached base in the five run first inning.[/hide]