The Pittsburgh Penguins will have Kris Letang back in the lineup tonight after he was activated from injured reserve today. The veteran defenseman has been out since November 4th, but the team actually went 4-1-3 without him and are still in good shape in the Eastern Conference standings.
Letang has dealt with injuries almost every season of his career, but still sits as one of the most productive defensemen in the league whenever he is on the ice. If he can get back to full speed quickly the Penguins should be a real contender for a Metropolitan Division playoff spot, though they’ll have to catch one of the three leaders to secure one.
- Troy Brouwer’s work visa issues have been resolved, meaning he is ready to jump into the lineup for the St. Louis Blues. Klim Kostin has been returned to the minor leagues to make room for Brouwer, after just scoring his first NHL goal on Saturday night. Kostin obviously wasn’t long for the NHL if he was going to get just a handful of minutes every game, as the team wants him to continue to develop as a top-end player.
- Mikko Rantanen has watched every Colorado Avalanche game in a suit for the past month, but that might be coming to an end very soon. The big Finnish forward practiced today and wasn’t completely ruled out for Wednesday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. Even if he is eventually held out for that game, his presence back on the ice is a good sign he will be returning soon. Rantanen had 12 points in his first nine games before suffering a lower-body injury and will likely go right back to the top line beside Nathan MacKinnon upon his return.