Third Off-Day Thoughts: 11/29/2016

Hi! I’m throwing this out there as we wait for Wednesday, when the Penguins will be playing in Brooklyn’s terrible hockey venue against the listing Islanders.  The Islanders are tied with the Arizona Coyotes for the worst record in the League, and yet somehow their head coach, Jack Capuano, is still employed whereas the Florida Panthers just fired their head coach Gerard Gallant — literally kicked him to the curb, in fact — regardless of their middle-of-the-Atlantic-division record.  As for the Isles, they are 3-4-3 in their last 10, though they did snatch a 2-1 overtime victory over the Calgary Flames last night.  Former Penguin Thomas Greiss has played three of the last four for New York, so in spite of the Penguins having seemed to have figured out their Jaroslav Halak problems, it stands to reason that Capuano might tab Halak for the start tomorrow night.

Everyone’s new favorite punching bag, Derrick Pouliot, has been recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after his conditioning assignment.  He was a -1 with six shots in his three-game stint with WB/S, which is just as mediocre as one would expect.  Patric Hornqvist is still day-to-day, but his and Pouliot’s return will probably signal Steve Oleksy’s return to WB/S.

Going around the blogosphere briefly, Pensburgh has their monthly “Ups and Downs” article posted; six green up-arrows to six red down-arrows sounds a little cynical when the team obtained sixteen out of a possible twenty-six points, and a couple of those green arrows (Murray, Crosby, Kessel) are really carrying the mail right now.  Over at The Pensblog, Stephen S.’ 2016 holiday print is available for preorder and, unlike the Black Friday Nintendo New 3DS, you can rest assured that you can get it by Christmas.  However, like the New 3DS, it is handsome and relatively inexpensive; 8.5″x11″ will run you $13 right now, while 22″x17″ is $30 instead of $60.

The impending end of November usually indicates the quarter-way mark of the season, and sure enough every team has played twenty games.  It also means that teams are starting to find their identities and general managers are going to start angling some trade bait into the sea.  If I were a betting man (and as I’ve mentioned, I’m terrible at trade prognostication…call me Dop-eklund), here’s who I’d be watching out for in terms of activity:

  • Nashville, 5th in Central, 8pts. off the lead: they’re 7-3-0 in their last ten, and it appears that Pekka Rinne has found his way.  He’s allowed ten goals in his last eight games, a 7-1 record for him and the Preds in that span.  They’ll be looking for someone to fill the void former Penguin James Neal is leaving as he was injured against the Jets on Sunday.
  • Columbus, 4th in Metropolitan, 5pts. off the lead: Sergei Bobrovsky finds himself in 5th on’s Goalie Power Rankings, and the Blue Jackets look dangerous as they sometimes do, fourth League-wide in goal differential per game.  Don’t sleep on them as long is Ser Bob (my newly-minted Game of Thrones nickname for him) and the rest of the team are healthy.
  • Ottawa, 2nd in the Atlantic, 5pts. off the lead: Craig Anderson has carried the Senators through an offensively-challenged first-quarter, as he sits second on the aforementioned power ranking, seventh in save percentage, and ninth in goals-against-average.  In spite of this, the Senators have an even goal differential, meaning they need to find some offense…just like the rest of the teams on this list.

I guess this is all the damage I can do for today.  Have a pleasant Tuesday, everyone!