Gameday 53: Nothing Romantic Here

The last stop on the Pittsburgh Penguins’ trip to California is in the Silicon Valley to face the San Jose Sharks for the second of the two games between the teams this season. Their previous meeting was just two weeks ago, a 6-4 win for the Sharks featuring five points for Logan Couture, including the game-winning goal and an empty-netter. Tonight is the first game back at home for San Jose after an eight-game trip out east, and after a quick trip out to Vegas on Thursday they’ll spend the next few weeks at home. Pittsburgh meanwhile will head back east after tonight, getting a few days off to rest before a crucial game against the New York Islanders on Friday.

Not much to say about this one, other than it is one game closer to the trade deadline and there has yet to be any serious chatter involving the Penguins and trades. Pittsburgh sits between two teams in the Metropolitan Division, the New York Islanders and Rangers, which have made moves to improve their teams, and that only increases the pressure on Penguins’ general manager Ron Hextall to do something useful to keep pace with the Joneses. While it would be nice to think the team will come back east with a fancy souvenir from San Jose (Timo Meier?), it doesn’t strike me that Hextall will go big like that. Meier would be a great addition to the top six for any team, let alone Pittsburgh, but Hextall would likely have to bet the farm on the RFA with a $6 million salary. The Penguins having so few quality assets, they’d basically have to spend them all, which could make the deal work, but would that acquisition alone be enough to push the team into a more serious conversation about the Stanley Cup?