Columbus Blue Jackets
The Penguins begin their quest without Evgeni Malkin today as they travel to the crappy state of Ohio to battle the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The best thing to come out of Ohio is...well...it's...ok I got nothing. Maybe Rick Nash. He is nasty.
Jordan Staal will take over for Geno on the second line and Craig Adams will move up to play the third line for the Penguins today. Chris Bourque will also be in the lineup tongiht since half of the Penguins team is on the shelf with an injury. Chris Conner will also be on the fourth line with Rupp and Godard. Conner is a fast player but is rather small. Hopefully he can compliment the grit of Rupp and Godard.
To be honest these lines are just going to be guidelines for people. We are going to see all kinds of different line combinations so that Disco can see what he likes best and what gives them the best chance to win. I am sure Staal is going to see some time with Sid and those lines will be all over the place.
The power play is something that will look a lot different for the Penguins. With Sarge and Geno out the power play will be a little mix and match just like the other lines. Disco did say that Staal is going to get a lot more opportunities on the power play so take it for what it's worth.
This will be the third back to back games the Penguins will take a part in so far this season as they travel back to Pittsburgh to host the Wild tomorrow night.
What does that mean? Brent Johnson gets the start in net tonight. Johnson has been pretty solid in his first two starts and gives the Penguins a chance to win. It is not his fault that the Penguins don't score when he plays. He is 1-1 with with a 1.95 ERA. Not too shabby.
On the flip side the Blue Jackets come in with a 6-5 overall record and a 3-1 record at Nationwide Arena. Consequently the Penguins are perfect on the road with a 5-0 record. Should be interesting.
Rick Nash has 15 points on the season (6+9) and leads the team in goals. The other Jacket who is double digit in points is Antoine Vermette with 10 points (3+7). Vermette is pretty good defensive guy and is great on the PK.
Should see Steve Mason in net tonight. He is 5-4 with a 3.57 GAA in the nine games he has played. Mason is is a very good goaltender and if he is on it could be a long night for the shorthanded Penguins.
Here are the lines for the Penguins per the Penguins website.
Disco is going to have his work cut out for him these next couple of weeks. especially with back to back games this weekend and next weekend. How do you juggle things without one of the leagues best players and the captain of your power play? I guess its not so bad after all we signed Jordan Staal.
Disco is the man. The Penguins are good. Lets do this.