Category Archives: Pittsburgh Penguins Gear

Sidney Crosby Jersey

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NEWARK — The New Jersey Devils are without center Kevin Rooney and the Pittsburgh Penguins are without center Sidney Crosby.

Same thing, right?

Crosby will be out at least six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia he’s been dealing with since training camp. The injury was aggravated during the Penguins’ shootout win over the Chicago Blackhawks over the weekend.

Jan 28, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) moves the puck against New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac (19) during the second period at PPG PAINTS Arena.
Jan 28, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) moves the puck against New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac (19) during the second period at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Photo: Charles LeClaire, Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport)

However, it doesn’t change the way the Devils plan for one of the deepest teams in the Metropolitan Division. They’ll face the Penguins for the first time this season Friday night at Prudential Center.

“One of the things about Pittsburgh, with Crosby out he’s one of the best players in the league, so what he adds to their team is something that you can’t replace,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “But when you look at their team, they’re very resilient, they’ve been able to be good without Malkin in the lineup or Crosby in the lineup or Letang when he’s been out of the lineup.”

Hynes, the former head coach of the Penguins’ American Hockey League affiliate, tried to impress on his team that they need to play as if Crosby is still in the lineup. They’ve done well even with Crosby in the lineup, having won six of their last eight.

“They have a lot of depth, they have a lot of very good players,” he said. “They bring the same game all the time, they’re very competitive and they have a lot of depth. So when they have some of their big players out, they really bond well as a team. It’s going to be a tough game tomorrow.”

Hynes’ own squad is dealing with injuries to its best defenseman, Sami Vatanen who was placed on injured reserve Friday morning, and fourth-line center Rooney. Vatanen is ruled through the weekend, sidelined with a lower-body injury for Friday’s game against Pittsburgh and Saturday’s game in Montreal and Colton White was called up from Binghamton of the American Hockey League to take his place on the roster.

New Jersey Devils defenseman Colton White (68) pursues New York Islanders right wing Jordan Eberle (7) during the second period of a preseason NHL hockey game in New York, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017.
New Jersey Devils defenseman Colton White (68) pursues New York Islanders right wing Jordan Eberle (7) during the second period of a preseason NHL hockey game in New York, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (Photo: Kathy Willens, AP)

White will not play Friday but there is a possibility he will see action in his fourth NHL game Saturday against the Habs. The 22-year-old London, Ontario native has three assists in 15 games with the Binghamton Devils this season.

Vatanen took part in the medical skates ahead of the team this week, including on Wednesday and Thursday.

There are several problems plaguing the Devils, but the biggest may be their glaring inability to protect leads, especially on home ice. They blew another one Wednesday in a 4-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators.

“You look at some of the games and the competition level and our compete and battle level was there, but we fall back into making mistakes that compound other mistakes,” forward Kyle Palmieri said. “And when a mistake happens, you’ve got to find a way to get back into your structure. Or hopefully, you get a save or they hit a post or a puck bounces over a stick. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to put your back in a position after a mistake to make sure that you’re in the right spot for whatever comes next.”

The Devils will hold their annual Military Appreciation Night on Friday. The Kyle Palmieri Foundation, which supports active and retired service members through various initiatives, will host a group of William Paterson University office of veteran and military affairs program. The New Jersey Warriors, a team of disabled veterans, will also be on hand for the event.

The Devils and Penguins did not take morning skates. Here are the projected lineups.

The puck shot by Philadelphia Flyers’ Oskar Lindblom gets past New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood for a goal during the first period of the NHL hockey game in Newark, N.J., Friday, Nov. 1, 2019.
The puck shot by Philadelphia Flyers’ Oskar Lindblom gets past New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood for a goal during the first period of the NHL hockey game in Newark, N.J., Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. (Photo: Seth Wenig, AP)

Devils (5-8-4, 14 points)
Taylor Hall – Jack Hughes – Kyle Palmieri

Jesper Boqvist – Nico Hischier – Jesper Bratt

Blake Coleman – Travis Zajac – Nikita Gusev

Miles Wood – Pavel Zacha – Wayne Simmonds

Will Butcher – P.K. Subban

Andy Greene – Damon Severson

Mirco Mueller – Matt Tennyson

Mackenzie Blackwood

Cory Schneider

Scratched: John Hayden

Injured: Kevin Rooney (upper-body, day-to-day), Sami Vatanen (upper-body, day-to-day), Connor Carrick (right pinky surgery)

Penguins (10-6-2, 22 points)
Jake Guentzel – Evgeni Malkin – Bryan Rust

Dominik Kahun – Jared McCann – Dominik Simon

Alex Galchenyuk – Nick Bjugstad – Sam Lafferty

Zach Aston-Reese – Teddy Blueder – Brandon Tanev

Brian Dumoulin – John Marino

Marcus Pettersson – Justin Schultz

Jack Johnson – Juuso Riikola

Matt Murray

Tristan Jarry

Scratched: Chad Ruhwedel

Injured: Sidney Crosby (sports hernia surgery), Kris Letang (lower-body), Patrick Hornqvist (lower-body)

Abbey Mastracco is the Devils beat writer for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to all Devils analysis, news, trades and more, please subscribe today and download our app.

Email: [email protected] Twitter: @abbeymastracco

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It is the off-season for the New York Rangers and if watching the Bruins play the Blues in the Stanley Cup Finals doesn’t float your boat, it may be fun to speculate on completely illogical topics.
With the NHL Entry Draft only weeks away, the New York Rangers will end up with with Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko (unless the world ends). So, here is today’s version of speculative nonsense. What uniform number will either Kakko or Hughes wear if they become Blueshirts?

Kaapo Kakko
Let’s start with the most likely future Ranger, Finnish star Kaapo Kakko. This one is easy. For the last couple of years, Kakko has worn uniform number 24. If he wants to keep that number, he will have to persuade Boo Nieves to give it up.

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30 Rangers have worn number 24, including some distinguished alumni including Ryan Callahan, Pierre Larouche and Red Berenson. One of the most obscure number 24’s was Joe Zanussi who is known as the most “famous spare tire” in the trade of Jean Ratelle and Brad Park for Phil Esposito and Carol Vadnais.

Callahan wore the number for six years, the longest span of any Ranger. Since he was traded and before Nieves, it was sported by Ryan Malone and Oscar Lindberg.

If Kakko has no sentimental attachment to number 24, my suggestion would be that he take number eight, worn by the greatest Finnish hockey player of all time, Teemu Selanne. Number eight is there for the taking, last worn by Cody McLeod.

Jack Hughes
Jack Hughes will most likely end up with the New Jersey Devils, but if he does fall into the Rangers’ lap, he may look to wear number six, the number he has worn with the U.S. National Development Program Team and most recently at the World Championships. Some have noted that he has also worn number 43, but the NDTP assigns numbers to their U17 and U18 teams with the U17 team assigned numbers 26-50.

If Hughes makes it to the Rangers, number six is there waiting for him. 45 players have worn the number and it has traditionally been assigned to a defenseman. It was last worn by Dylan McIlrath in 2017 and Manny Malhotra was the last forward to wear number six, back in 2002.

Darius Kaspararitis had number six the longest (four years) and for you trivia buffs, it was Glen Sather‘s number when he was a Ranger in the early seventies.

Six would be a pretty good number for Jack Hughes if he becomes a Ranger. The single digit would be warranted for a budding star.

Some other numbers
It will be interesting to see what number Igor Shesterkin opts to take when he suits up with the Rangers in the fall. He has worn the same number for years in the KHL and it’s doubtful that it will be available. We all know that number 30 belongs to the King and Shesterkin will have to find another number to wear.

Vitali Kravtsov has worn number 14 at the World Junior Championships and sported number 74 while playing for Traktor in the KHL. When he was selected at the draft last year, the jersey he was given by the team had number 18, but that belongs to Marc Staal. Either 14 or 74 would work. Number 14 has been worn by 44 players, last by Chris Mueller in 2014. One only player, defenseman Joel Bouchard, has worn number 74.

All of these young players will make their first appearances at the Rangers prospect development camp after the Entry Draft. Last year, Kravtsov wore number 74 at the camp and we will see what numbers Shesterkin and either Kakko or Hughes will take. Until then, it’s fun to speculate.