Relatively speaking, Dustin Penner has been playing a little bit better the last couple months. The key phrase is “relatively speaking,” though, as he started off the 2011-12 season as a chunkier, less-compensated version of Scott Gomez.
The burly winger has been a healthy scratch for the last two games and only received 11:25 minutes of ice time in his last appearance, so it seems like he’s floating out of the Los Angeles Kings’ picture again. Matt Reitz caught up with Darryl Sutter, who provided a very blunt assessment of Penner:
Q: What’s the scenario for Penner right now? What’s the message or what do you need to see?
Sutter: “Work your ass off. Then you get a chance to play again. If you don’t, you don’t. It’s pretty clear.”
Q: Is he back to square one as far as that’s concerned?
Sutter: “I think when you’re told to work your ass off, that IS square one.”
So, yeah … Penner’s not exactly in a great place right now. If the Kings want to unload the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent before the trade deadline, it’ll be pretty tough for GM Dean Lombardi to talk up the big winger’s value as anything more than an expiring contract.
That expiring contract is the most surprising part of this equation, though. You’d think if anything would get Penner motivated, it would be the prospect of earning another lucrative contract.
Instead, Penner’s game has been as flat as, well, a pancake.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.
“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.
“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.