Merry Christmas everyone! (Or Happy Holidays if you don't celebrate Christmas- we want to be politically correct after all!) I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and got everything you wanted, especially if you asked for Penguins and/or hockey related merchandise.
The Penguins are rolling, Crosby and Fleury continue to dominate, Malkin is back, and HBO's 24/7 is better than any of us could've hoped. I'd call that a pretty good end to the year. Not to mention the Winter Classic and Alumni Game are just around the corner. Is there a better way to close out 2010?
Christmas Day Games-
Boxing Day Games-
Toronto Maple Leafs @ New Jersey Devils
Montreal Canadiens @ New York Islanders
Washington Capitals @ Carolina Hurricanes
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Atlanta Thrashers
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Chicago Blackhawks
Nashville Predators @ St. Louis Blues
Detroit Red Wings @ Minnesota Wild
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Ottawa Senators
Phoenix Coyotes @ Dallas Stars
Edmonton Oilers @ Vancouver Canucks
Anaheim Ducks @ L.A. Kings
-Here's the exciting news for Pens fans- via Mike Colligan of TheHockeyWriters.com, Jordan Staal stated that he did NOT suffer a second break in his hand. He also hinted that he could be back in time for the Winter Classic! If he returned before or at the WC, THAT would be the best possible way to close out 2010/welcome 2011. Staal skated today in Ottawa. He didn't skate with any Penguins lines at practice but he took part in some drills and one-on-one work with the coaches.
-Injury news in Buffalo is not nearly as exciting for Sabres fans. Derek Roy, Buffalo's leading scorer, is done for the season with a torn left quadriceps tendon courtesy of Panthers' defenseman Dmitry Kulikov. Roy will undergo surgery sometime this coming week. His estimated recovery time is four to six months. This is a just a small dose of the misery Buffalo fans experience after season. Count your blessings, Pens fans.
-Red Wings fans didn't get off much better. Pavel Datsyuk broke his hand last Wednesday against Vancouver and will miss four weeks.
-Marian Hossa, who has not played since November 27 for Chicago, has been activated from IR, so we will see him in the lineup tonight against Columbus. Someone got their Christmas wish! Patrick Kane has taken Hossa's place on IR so he will not play, despite practicing this morning. He could return Tuesday, according to Joel Quenneville.
-Speaking of the Blackhawks, goalie Corey Crawford is sick and will not play tonight. Marty Turco will make his first start in net since December 13 against the Blue Jackets tonight.
-Tampa Bay goalie Mike Smith will miss another week (at least) with a sprained ligament. This may not be a #DanEllisproblem, but it sure is a #TampaBayLightningproblem.
-Taylor Pyatt has been placed on IR after sustaining an upper body injury after fighting Deryk Engelland on December 20th. Even worse news for the Coyotes is that Vezina finalist Ilya Bryzgalov is still out, also with an upper body injury.
-The underachieving New Jersey Devils dismissed head coach John MacLean and brought back a former New Jersey head coach; Jacques Lemaire. Three times the charm, I guess.
-Milan Lucic will not be suspended for his role in a scrum in the Bruins-Thrashers game last Thursday, which resulted in a match penalty. Following Lucic's disciplinary hearing, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli stated that Lucic will be fined $3,500 ($2,500 for a punch thrown during a scrum and another $1,000 for an obscene gesture aimed at Atlanta's bench. He will travel to Florida with the team and be able to play Monday against the Panthers.
Happy Boxing Day everyone! Go Pens.