Pittsburgh Penguins (3-2-2) @ Minnesota Wild (2-2-1)
TV: ROOT, Versus, TSN2
Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, MN
In case you missed it, Kris Letang has been suspended for two games.
The Penguins' last regular season game against the Minnesota Wild was like watching paint dry with thumbtacks firmly implanted in your eyes. Tonight there will be no Crosby, no Malkin, no Kennedy, no Orpik, no Letang and no idea what the game is going to look like.
The Wild are pretty much half of last year's San Jose Sharks coached by Mike Yeo. Is this real life?
Season Series: 0-0-0
Last Meeting that counted: January 8, 2011. Penguins lost 4-0.
What we said in our recap:
Sometimes, without warning, hockey can turn into something very ugly, as if you just woke up with it in a Snuggie. And that is what the Minnesota game can be summed up as: Ugly. Balls-to-the-wall, don't-tell-your-friends-what-you-did ugly.
Know Your Enemy: The State of Hockey News
What they're saying:
The nugget of information had to do with Pittsburgh's lineup. According to the hosts (and I'll admit, I'm not sure which group was doing their show), they had received a Twitter update having to do with tonight's top line center. It was not going to be Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin both of which are dealing with old (or new) injuries. No, tonight's #1 center for the night would be none other than former member of the Minnesota Wild, Richard Park. Yes, you read that correctly. One of the hosts figured he hadn't been a first line center since his days in junior with the Belleville Bulls.
Pittsburgh Penguins Notes:
Brian Strait has been recalled from WBS due to Letang's suspension.
"Injured Guy Might Return Soon." What a headline.
Minnesota Wild Notes:
Remember Nick Johnson? He'll probably score a hat trick tonight.
Mike Yeo may coach a successful power play tonight too.
Something about Dany Heatley.
Favorite Wild-Related Image, Photoshop or Gif:
Pittsburgh Penguins lines aren't on Penguins.NHL.com so we're guessing:
Steve Sullivan - Richard Park - James Neal
Chris Kunitz - Jordan Staal - Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke - Mark Letestu - Arron Asham
Steve MacIntyre - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams
Paul Martin - Deryk Engelland
Matt Niskanen - Zbynek Michalek
Brian Strait - Ben Lovejoy
That's not pretty.
This could be a tough one. The Pens will have to be even "grindier" than usual.