Oct 17, 2011, 11:12 AM EST
Good thing Winnipeg hockey fans are still just happy to have the Jets back or they might be disappointed with the line-up the visiting Penguins will be icing tonight at the MTS Center. Pittsburgh will be without Evgeni Malkin (knee), Sidney Crosby (concussion), Brooks Orpik (abdomen) and Dustin Jeffrey (knee).
Fortunately for the Pens, James Neal is still healthy. The big left winger has five goals in six games, a “thank the lord” start after scoring just once in 20 games last season following a trade from Dallas.
“Like I keep saying, coming in with a fresh start, going through camp makes a big difference,” said Neal when asked how he’s managed to turn things around (apparently he’s been asked a few times already). “I had a good summer. I’m shooting the puck well, playing with some good players.”
As for the Jets, well, they’re…not good. Three games, three losses. Five goals scored, 18 against.
“If I look at the three games and the way they went . . . are we achieving to the level that I think we should be? The answer would be no, we are underachieving. We are way below the bar,” Winnipeg coach Claude Noel said Sunday. “Why is that? Why are you, an NHL player, playing like an American league player?”
Guaranteed Noel used that last line in the dressing room. “Why are you, an NHL player, playing like an American league player? BECAUSE THAT CAN BE ARRANGED.”
- Update: Ryan Callahan out 4-6 weeks with MCL sprain 5
- Ovechkin wills Caps to stunning shootout win vs. Bolts 39
- Bettman: No decision on expansion, but they’re listening 12
- Neal admits kneeing Marchand was ‘not the smartest decision’ 68
- Leafs captain Phaneuf suspended two games for boarding 37
- Rangers confirm Staal suffered concussion 8
- Winnipeg to get outdoor game; Phoenix wants one 33
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head 156
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller 104
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ 136
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (182)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (156)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (136)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (132)
- Orpik suffers from concussion, including memory loss (118)