Pens Preview Game 6- Penguins at Oilers: The Goat vs. McJesus Part 10
Sidney Crosby vs. Connor McDavid Face Off For The Tenth Time To Start The Western Canada Road Trip.
It’s always a treat when we experience the two greatest active players in the game, Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid, on the ice together. Tonight is the first meeting of those men this season and it's happening on McDavid’s home turf in Edmonton. It’s also the tenth time these men have faced off in their NHL careers so it’s a special occasion at that.
The Oilers swept the season series against the Pens last year 2-0 but the Penguins have gone 7-1-2 in their last ten games at Edmonton. Pittsburgh is also off to an incredibly strong start having yet to lose in regulation with a 4-0-1 record while the Oilers are struggling along at 2-3-0.
Injury Woes Return
In a completely unsurprising turn of events, the historically often injured Pens are back to their old selves just six games into the season. As the long trip to Western Canada loomed and the need for replacement players became urgent the team finally pulled the trigger on the Teddy Blueger situation. He was placed on Long Term Injured Reserve retroactive to October 11th to allow for cap space to make call-ups.
Jake Guentzel also remains sidelined although currently on a more short-term basis. He is still dealing with a head injury from taking a high hit and puck to the head against Los Angeles. Guentzel is practicing with the team as a full participant, although he did not take line rushes in his regular first-line position on Sunday. That means he's unlikely to return against the Oilers.
Before jetting off to Canada the Penguins added 21-year-old rookie Samuel Poulin and 28-year-old NHL veteran Drake Caggiula to the team for injury replacements from the minor leagues. Those players stayed with the team until the final rounds of cuts in the preseason and made positive impressions on the coaches with their performances.
Pens Game #6: Penguins @ Oilers
Date: October 24, 2022
Time: 8 PM (ET)
Place: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Venue: Rogers Place
Broadcasts: Local- ATTSN, National- NHL Network
Records- PIT: 4-0-1, EDM: 2-3-0
League Standings- PIT: 3rd, EDM: 25th
Points- PIT: 9, EDM: 4
Goals For/GP- PIT: 5.20 (1st), EDM: 3.20 (16th)
Goals Against/GP- PIT: 2.20 (28th), EDM: 3.40 (10th)
Shots/GP- PIT: 39.8 (1st), EDM: 31.6 (17th)
PP Rank- PIT: 10th (26.3%), EDM: 4th (35.3%)
PK Rank- PIT: 23rd (73.7%), EDM: 24th (72.7%)
‘21/22 Season Series- 2-0 EDM
‘21/22 Series Goals For- PIT: 3, EDM: 10
Projected starting goalies:
-TRISTAN JARRY- #35
Bio Info: 6' 2", 194 lbs. DOB: 4/29/1995 (27). From: Surrey, BC, Canada
Drafted: 2013- Rd 2, Pk 44 (PIT). Experience: 7th Season
Record: 4-0-0, 1.34 GAA, .941 SV%
Career vs. EDM: 1-1-0, 3.03 GAA, .878 SV%
-JACK CAMPBELL- #36
Bio Info: 6' 2", 197 lbs. DOB: 1/9/1992 (30). From: Port Huron, MI
Drafted: 2010- Rd 1, Pk 11 (DAL). Experience: 7th Season
Record: 2-2, 3.82 GAA, .889 SV%
Career vs. PIT: 1-2-0, 3.03 GAA, .918 SV%
Both Samuel Poulin and Drake Caggiula will be debuting for the Penguins no matter which one makes the roster against Edmonton. It would also be Poulin's NHL debut, too, if he's the man tabbed to play. The 21-year-old is the former first-round draft pick of the Pens from 2019. He has one goal and eight shots in four games played with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL this year.
Caggiula, 28, is a long-time NHL veteran and former Edmonton Oiler. He has one assist and six shots through four games played in WBS this season. He spent time on the Pens' fourth line during the preseason where he was noticeably effective and that's the exact spot the team needs to fill. It makes him the more natural choice to enter the lineup tonight.
Teddy Blueger’s (upper body injury) status on Long Term Injured Reserve means the Pens will face significant injury loss for the next week at minimum. The nearest date he could return to play based on the rules of the LTIR designation is on November 5th vs. Seattle at home. That ensures he’ll miss roughly the first month of the season when all is said and done. In better news, Jake Guentzel (head injury) remains just day-to-day. Guentzel took the optional gameday skate in Edmonton.
The projected Penguins lines for Monday, October 24th at the Edmonton Oilers:
Note: With an optional practice this is a very rough guesstimate on the possible lines based on the last full team practice & the fact that Samuel Poulin did an extra on-ice workout afterward, suggesting he's a healthy scratch.
Danton Heinen - Sidney Crosby - Rickard Rakell
Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust
Brock McGinn - Jeff Carter - Kasperi Kapanen
Drake Caggiula - Ryan Poehling - Josh Archibald
Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson - Jeff Petry
Pierre-Olivier Joseph - Chad Ruhwedel - Jan Rutta (Rotated in practice)
PP1: Crosby, Rakell, Rust, Malkin, Letang
PP2: Carter, Zucker, Heinen, Petry, TBD
PK1: Poehling, Archibald, Dumoulin, Rutta
PK2: Carter, Kapanen, TBD, Petry
-The Oilers are off to a bumpy beginning this year after just being a conference finals team last spring. They currently hold a losing 2-3-0 record and sit 25th in the league standings. They're giving up almost 3.5 goals per game and are about to play the Penguins who lead the league in goals per game at an almost unbelievable 5.20.
Key players added: Forward- Mattias Janmark. Defense- Ryan Murray. Goalie- Jack Campbell.
Key players lost: Forwards- Josh Archibald (to Pittsburgh), Zack Kassian. Defense- Duncan Keith. Goalie- Mikko Koskinen.
A pair of left wings, Tyler Benson (knee) and Dylan Holloway (upper body), are the only players sidelined for the Oilers.
DIMERS.COM ONES TO WATCH
For The Penguins: Tristan Jarry. Jarry is undefeated this season at 4-0-0 with a 2.01 goals against average. He’s played as superbly as we’ve ever seen him at the start of this year. Even equaling the spectacular performances that sent him his prior All-Star heights. He'll be back in front of a semi-hometown crowd in Edmonton. It’s the city where he played junior hockey and won a Memorial Cup with the Edmonton Oil Kings. Playing on that stage and against Connor McDavid is the perfect spotlight for Jarry to put the rest of the NHL on notice.
For The Oilers: Leon Draisaitl. He's a set-up monster this year who already has six assists (plus two goals) in just five games played. Drai's the silent playmaking genius powering the offense behind Connor McDavid. While opponents focus on containing #97, Draisaitl slips in with quick passing plays to make them pay on the scoreboard once they've dropped their guard. He runs under the radar but he's a very lethal game-changer.