After a month of seemingly endless hockey, the Pittsburgh Penguins are enjoying another extended two-day hiatus before returning to action against the New York Rangers in the Big Apple on Tuesday night. The rangers are only half of the weekly schedule. The penguins visit the New Jersey Devils later in the week for a couple.
It is also noteworthy that the penguins are out all week for a special reason. Starting Thursday, the PPG Paints Arena will host the NCAA Frozen Four 2021 for the second time. Minnesota State, St. Cloud State, Minnesota-Duluth and Massachusetts play for the title of national champion, which will be crowned on Saturday.
Drop the puck on your Monday morning with Pens Points …
The start of a new week means it’s time for another ranking review and it’s more good news for the penguins. With a split in Boston, the Penguins remain solidly third in the division, just two points behind the New York Islanders and four behind the Washington Capitals. [Pensburgh]
It appears that further reinforcements for the penguins are on the way if their Sunday roster moves are signs of it. The strikers Anthony Angello and Frederick Gaudreau are both back on the taxi team for the time being. [Penguins]
While Angello and Gaudreau have been reassigned, they can be accessed at any time, even if players return. Both guys could consider an important decision the penguins must make when building a fourth line for the stretch run. [Trib Live]
When the Penguins signed Cody Ceci in the off-season, many fans were vocal about the move given his track record with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Those critics fell silent when Ceci rejuvenated his career with the Penguins this season. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
News and Notes from the NHL …
Last week the Vancouver Canucks were paused because of positive COVID-19 tests on the team. Since the shutdown, the situation has only gotten worse, and more than half of the team have tested positive. [Yahoo! Sports]
To encourage vaccination against COVID-19, MLB and NBA are offering incentives to players who get the sting. With NHL players appearing to be more open to the shot, the NHL does not intend to go down the same route. [New York Post]
With the NHL trading deadline approaching, many players on the block could face a major lifestyle change in the coming weeks. Moving from one team to another can expose a player to severe culture shock that may require some adjustments. [Sportsnet]