With nine defensemen on the roster, the Pittsburgh Penguins are loaded in blueliners. It also can make things difficult with multiple players being forced to sit in the press box. One player that has spent the last two games on the sidelines as a healthy scratch is Erik Gudbranson. The 27-year-old has had to give way to give playing time to rookie John Marino, which frustrates Gudbranson, according to Matt Vensel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“It’s frustrating. Very frustrating,” Gudbranson said. “It’s part of being an NHL player, I guess. I’ve worked hard, did a lot of really good things this year. I feel pretty much back to what I used to be. I’ve got a few years of separation from my surgeries and whatnot. I put a lot of work into being here. So it’s frustrating.”
Gudbranson, however, isn’t taking his frustration out on the rookie either, as the veteran has tried to help Marino and refuses to give the cold shoulder to him either, recalling that Keaton Ellerby did the same thing to him with the Florida Panthers when Gudbranson was breaking into the league back in 2011.
- John Dietz of the Daily Herald writes that many Chicago fans assumed there would be a goaltending controversy after the Blackhawks signed Jennings and Masterson Trophy winner Robin Lehner to a one-year deal in the offseason, giving them two impressive goalies along with Corey Crawford. However, Lehner is making it clear that he wants to play as much as he can this season. “No one has told me that I have come in as a backup or a starter,” said Lehner. “What I like is when you come to a team that has been underperforming for a few years after being so great, you come in to a position where you (earn) your starts. If you play well, you’re probably going to play.”
- Sam Carchidi of Philly.com writes that Philadelphia Flyers forward Nolan Patrick skated with his teammates for the first time. Patrick, suffering from a migraine disorder, took an encouraging step, but still remains far away from returning to game action. “It’s still a week-to-week process, but it was real good to see him on the ice with the guys,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneault. Patrick has been skating on his own for about a month. The team hopes to get him back soon and fill their third-line center role.
- After netting a hat trick on the day after being demoted to the AHL, Dallas Stars forward Denis Gurianov now must prove to the Dallas Stars that he can be a consistent player. The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro suggests that his performance tonight for the Texas Stars could suggest where the young forward is at with the organization. Gurianov, who started the season with Dallas, didn’t record a point in three games. However, his history after big games is to disappear the next.