Who: Penguins of Pittsburgh (32-22-8; 72 points, 5th place in the metropolitan division) @ Blue Jackets of Columbus (35-23-3, 73 points, 3rd place in the subway division)
When: 7:00 pm Eastern Time
How to watch: AT & T Sportsnet in the Pittsburgh Observation Area, Fox Sports Ohio, ESPN +
Opponent Track: Columbus has won his last two games, and both by shutout. They defeated Ottawa 3-0 on Friday, then shut out the mighty San Jose 2-0 on Saturday. Oh, and it was the most active team on the deadline, with forwards Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel, defenseman Adam McQuaid and goaltender Keith Kinkaid.
Refresh Pens: lost last place and was found with a 4-3 OT defeat at Philly on Saturday. 1-1-1 in the last three games while the inconsistency persists.
Season Series: This is only the second game of the season. The Pens beat the CBJ 4-2 in Pittsburgh on November 24th. After tonight, there will surely be a crucial home series on March 7 and 9 for the end of the four games. (This too seems far away, but it's only in nine days).
SBN Team Counterpart: Cannon Jackets
Tale of the band
-Columbus is a very good team, with only two bruises among our tracking stats. One is a bad game of power, which is apparently comparable to that of a franchise that has always struggled in this regard.
– The other is really a mediocre goalkeeper … What? It's hard to believe since in his six seasons with the CBJ, Sergei Bobrovsky has been a contender in Vezina four times and has won twice. It is hard to say that there has been a better goalkeeper in the league during this period compared to Bob.
-But it has its worst regular season in a contract year and after an average savings of 0.926% over the last two seasons, it reaches 0.908% this year. It's very difficult to determine or predict the goalkeeper's performance and Bobrovsky was no different.
-The Pens PK has experienced a crater in recent weeks, rising from the top 5 or 10 of the best performing units of the year to the end of the season.
"And despite all the talk about" we need better goalkeepers ", it's still very good considering the numbers. Maybe a more consistent big game situation saves on easy shots? Sure. But overall, keeping goals is not the biggest problem of Pens.
"To give up a ton of shots against was a major problem and to fall to the 28th place of the championship is a new low. This is another reason why the unfortunate Pittsburgh has brought gasoline to fight the fire in the form of Erik Gudbranson, one of the worst defender of the league against the hit / luck / suppression goals.
Player statistics at a glance
via hockey db
-Duchene has 60 points on the season, Dzingel 44. Two big additions at the end of the season.
– Atkinson is quietly one of the top scorers that does not really attract attention. Since 2016-17, he has scored 35, 24 * and now 34 goals and more. He * was injured and on the right track for a season of 30 goals. He does not get a ton of press, but still being a guy of 30 goals is very impressive.
– Do you remember the time when the Jackets had been outclassed by Dubois when he was ranked third overall in 2016? It is in its second season in the NHL and has already performed well. At just 20 years old, he looks to be a force for years to come.
Possible lines (from Monday practice)
Artemi Panarin – Matt Duchene – Cam Atkinson
Nick Foligno – Boone Jenner – Josh Andersen
Ryan Dzingel – Pierre-Luc Dubois – Oliver Bjorkstrand
Brandon Dubinsky – Riley Nash – Eric Robinson
Markus Nutivaara / Seth Jones
Zach Werenski / David Savard
Scott Harrington / Dean Kukan
Injured Reserve: Ryan Murray
– We'll see if McQuaid, newly acquired, appears immediately, probably in the third pair on the right side.
– This group of the 9 most forward countries looks powerful, balanced and balanced.
-I mean, in the history of the Columbus franchise, what are their most qualified centers? Derick Brassard? A young Ryan Johansen before he was traded? Duchene is huge because he offers them the kind of point-by-match talent they have never had before.
Excitement a new feeling in 'Lumbus
Say what you want, but dude, adding Duchene, Dzingel, McQuaid and Kinkaid, the jackets are go. This is a bold new direction and very unexplored waters for this franchise. From Athletics:
Four players were acquired – all unrestricted free agents – in exchange for seven draft picks, including two first-round picks (one conditional) and two second-round picks.
These are two very expensive players – Bobrovsky and Panarin, also UFAs – who are not in danger of signing extra time this summer. They are therefore likely to leave for nothing this summer.
Until this year, the Blue Jackets had never used a from their first round choice as a currency to a trading deadline. Until this weekend, the Blue Jackets have never been one of the focal points of the NHL, as the season begins to get interesting.
Well, the 2018-19 Blue Jackets are going to get him. It might be foolish – time will tell – but the months will be captivating.
"Jarmo … that's what I like at home," said John Tortorella, Blue Jackets coach. "He has jam. He wants to win. He tells the team that he wants to win, and the team of course said he was working on improving the alignment, and that's definitely an improvement. "
In a way, it kind of reminds the team of pens of 2008. They had a decent young nucleus, but were not considered big competitors. But as the property is determined to spend a lot of money, management has taken aggressive steps to add Hal Gill and Marian Hossa to the detriment of several key future assets.
Of course, there are real differences between 201J CBJ pens and 2008, but the general feeling of being "just happy to be in the picture" and being really daring is similar. Over the last decade, the Pens have been propelled into the league's dominant team, winning three Cups and the longest series of consecutive playoff series. Columbus will need more work on the back end to keep some of these UFAs on hold, but there is no doubt that they are hoping for the same.
And now for pens
Check the game notes, huh bud?
Infographic courtesy of Penguins:
Jake Guentzel – Sidney Crosby – Patric Hornqvist
Zach Aston-Reese–Evgeni Malkin – Phil Kessel
Jared McCann– Nick Bjugstad – Bryan Rust
Garrett Wilson– Matt Cullen Dominik Simon
Jack Johnson / Justin Schultz
Marcus Pettersson / Chad Ruhwedel
Juuso Riikola / Zach Trotman
Expected streaks: Brian Dumoulin (concussion), Kris Letang (upper body)
Injured reserve: Olli Maatta (upper body)
Held at the customs: Erik Gudbranson
"The good news is that the Pens did not want to put Dumoulin or Letang on the injured list, which might suggest they could be back in the next Pittsburgh game (Friday, @Buffalo). Of course, this could also be exaggerated, but that is the reason for a level of optimism that neither of them could be away for too long.
– The bad news is that you have your eyes on this defensive line. It would probably be a medium term in the AHL with these players (besides Schultz). And they have to resist a very powerful Columbus team. Strange things have happened, but it's not nice to see.
– Gudbranson will probably not be available until Friday's game as well, because he has the paperwork in order, as a Canadian citizen working in Canada and now in the United States.
-An underestimated problem and a consequence of the consequences of the trade deadline and a breakthrough mean that the pens are somewhat weak. Ignore Kessel and Hornqvist about the drought (they know quantities that will eventually do) and now you have guys like Wilson and Simon who really matter to play well. The team announced it would bring in Teddy Blueger (sent to the AHL for alignment reasons), but that could be a big demand for him as well. Pens probably need a little more of their new acquisitions in Florida, which are not really new.
Look at the ranking
Well, easy to see why this one is so big. CBJ keeps a match in hand at Pittsburgh, but the Pens pass them with a regulation win tonight. Or the Pens may be three points behind Columbus (who will always have that extra game) with a regulation defeat. Or somewhere in between with an OT / SO result.
Last night, there was only one important game to note for Pens. He was beaten in favor of Pittsburgh, Montreal having lost to regulation. Buffalo has also lost in regulation, but they have virtually fallen out of the race at this point.