Gameday #41: @ Tampa Bay Hurricanes




Tampa Bay Times Forum, 7:00 PM, Root Sports

Perhaps the only team more surprisingly bad than the Hurricanes has been the Tampa Lightning. Few teams have a more comprehensive collection of offensive talent, they traded away the frontrunner for the Calder Trophy, Cory Conacher, because they still had a bunch of top-6 type wingers. They have a good combination of grizzled veterans and skilled young defensemen, what they lack is goaltending, and coaching, and passion, and all the intangibles that make a team great.

It’s almost a shame, but not really, because the Lightning suck, Tampa sucks, and their jerseys are the weirdest shade of blue. For some reason I can’t explain I actually have a lot of respect for Steven Stamkos, but to put it into perspective, he’s still 6 points off from Sid’s total and Sid hasn’t played in a week and a half.

As per Josh Yohe Kris Letang has resumed skating with the number one power play unit. That does make it sound likely that the Lone Tanger will be back in the lineup tonight. You have to think that he will do his even strength skating with Brooks Orpik and the newly reconfigured (again) top power play will be Kunitz-Malkin-Iginla up front and Tanger and Nisky together on the back end. One of them will probably have to go the full two minutes, but that’s okay. Feels like a million years since the Pens last played so I’m sure MAF will go again tonight.

The Pens don’t have a lot to play for: they’ve already won their division, and a top two seed in the Eastern Conference. Of course winning the first seed in the East would be huge, we wrote last game about how big the advantage has become for the Penguins on home ice. A win tonight moves them closer to that goal.

Settle in. Go Pens.


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