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Will Ferland in Pittsburgh?

January 9, 2019, 1:29 PM ET [97 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Some tidbits from Elliotte Friedman

6. Carolina is not in a position to allow its potential unrestricted free agents to walk for nothing. They are far, far apart in negotiations with Micheal Ferland, so it looks like “when” not “if” for him. Pittsburgh makes sense, and so does Edmonton, but there will be others. The Hurricanes have told teams they would prefer to wait a little longer before deciding on goalies Curtis McElhinney and Petr Mrazek, although it can always change with the “offer you can’t refuse.” They are trying to re-sign another good depth winger, Jordan Martinook.

8. Add Pat Maroon to the list of available St. Louis Blues. And Tampa Bay is trying to find a new home for Slater Koekkoek, currently on a conditioning stint at AHL Syracuse.

Quick snapshot of Ferland and Maroon

Ferland clearly has a knack for offense. Although, I’m not sure if the Penguins are looking for another left winger after trading for Pearson and Dominik Simon looking like he is going to stick.

5. Second-angriest coach of the week: Florida’s Bob Boughner. During Tuesday’s 5-1 loss to Pittsburgh, the Panthers gave up shorthanded goals at 3:04 and 8:56 of the second period. Three players on the ice for both — Mike Hoffman, Jonathan Huberdeau and Keith Yandle — didn’t see a shift the rest of the night. Boughner said they were “out to lunch.”

When you need goals, bench the players who are likeliest to create them. Sending messages isn’t a great tool when you are desperate in the standings. It works better when things are going good and you have leverage.

25. Stunning admission from this week’s 31 Thoughts podcast: Jay Beagle has an iPhone 1. Does he write with a dip pen?

Using an iPhone 1 is about as progressive as signing Jay Beagle to his current contract.

Bryan Rust scored another two goals. He understandably cooled off after his torrid goal stretch a few weeks back. The latest two goals have him identically on pace with his previous best goal scoring year (2016-17) when he scored 15 goals in 57 games. He has 11 in 42 this year. Both years are .26 goals per game. He has a great chance of setting a career high in goals as he should get well past the 57 games played. His shooting percentage in both years, an identical 13.6%.

Matt Murray put up his seventh straight game of giving up two goals or less. His spectacular play continues. Here is a snapshot of Matt Murray’s year courtesy of Sean Tierney’s goalie viz

I would like to bring attention to the graph on the lower right. It shows goals saved above average. Matt Murray is trending in a positive direction. You can see right before he went on injured reserve how poor he was playing. This is a great trend. Goaltending is still fickle and can change in a moment’s notice, but we have seen Matt Murray play at this level before. It would be great if the injury was the sole driver of poor play. That would be a best case scenario.

Zach Aston-Reese likely injured himself fighting and will be out for “a while” according to Mike Sullivan. I wish the Penguins would just let Aston-Reese play hockey and stop trying to be a faux tough guy. His six goals this year has him tied with Dominik Simon, Tanner Pearson, and Riley Sheahan. He is ahead of Matt Cullen.

Patric Hornqvist also left the game injured. There wasn’t much of an update on his condition. Garrett Wilson has been called up from WB/S.

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