Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pre-Game News

*FREE*
LIVE FEED of tonight's game
(CLICK HERE)


MATHIEU GARON
Garon will get his first start as a Penguins goalie tonight against the Maple Leafs. I am really anxious to see him play tonight; I have a good feeling about him!

LINE COMBINATIONS
There was an optional skate this morning with only 11 players participating, so lines could not be determined.

HAL GILL
Philippe Boucher will be a healthy scratch and Gill will be back in the lineup after not playing last night.

MATT COOKE
Cooke returns tonight from his two-game suspension.

ALEX GOLIGOSKI
Goligoski will be back in the lineup tonight, but will be playing in the capacity of a fourth line wing in place of Bissionnette; this will give the Penguins 13 forwards and the other healthy scratch will be a game-time decision.
UP NEXT: TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
(18-23-8, 44 points)
In net tonight: Vesa Toskala

The Canadian Press
Former Maple Leaf teammates applaud Gilmour ahead of jersey ceremony (01/31/2009)

Toronto Maple Leafs official webpage
Penguins-Maple Leafs Preview (01/31/2009)

Pens - 3, Devils - 4 (OT)

Malkin Reaches Milestone

Malkin scored his 100th NHL career goal last night against the NJ Devils in the third period of the game (his 210th career game).

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

January 31, 1999

Jaromir Jagr records his 800th career point with a goal in a 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Pre-Game News

*FREE*
LIVE STREAM of tonight's game

TONIGHT'S LINES
Dupuis - Crosby - Malkin
Minard - Staal - Sykora
Kennedy - Talbot - Satan
Godard - Thomas - Bissionnette

Scuderi - Whitney
Eaton - Letang
Orpik - Boucher


IN GOAL FOR PENGUINS
Fleury will start in goal tonight against the NJ Devils

BROOKS ORPIK
[UPDATE] the Penguins recently announced that Orpik will be back in the lineup tonight agains the Devils!! Orpik will replace Hal Gill on the blueline.
Orpik practiced yesterday and told reporters that he is ready to play tonight "if Therrien opts to use him." He missed the past three games due to a groin injury.

MALKIN BENCHMARK
Malkin is one goal away for his 100th career!
SERGEI GONCHAR
Gonchar made the trip with the team for tonight's game against the NH Devils for the first time since his injury.tonight's game against the NJ Devils.
UP NEXT: NEW JERSEY DEVILS
(31-15-3, 65 points)
In net tonight: Scott Clemmensen

New Jersey Devils official webpage
Preview: Devils vs. Penguins (01/29/2009)

nj.com
High-flying New Jersey Devils ready to face Pittsburgh Penguins (01/29/2009)

Trade Rumors

Even though the trade deadline is over a month away, rumors are already starting to spread across the internet (actually, they probably started the minute the Pens began their downward spiral).

TSN.com columnist Darren Dreger discusses 10 players to watch come trade deadline that appear "to be in the mix."

Those involving Pittsburgh Penguins, are the following:
  • Colby Armstrong (Atlanta Thrashers) - according to Dreger, Pittsburgh "would like to see him reunited" with Crosby.

  • Ryan Whitney (Pittsburgh Penguins) -"Pens GM Ray Shero may use Whitney to lure a top line forward for a late-season charge."
And from TFP.com,
  • Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning) - TFP says it's been widely reported that the Penguins have interest in St. Louis.

  • Milan Hejduk (Colorado Avalanche) - another player TFP reports the Penguins may be "eyeing."
TFP.com also mentions Shero is interested bringing Colby back. The site also reports that Sheromay be willing to give up Whitney or Jordan Staal.

Short Interview with Malkin (Translated)

Russian newspaper Sports Express has a short interview with Malkin posted today. I tried to use both Google and Yahoo! translator tools, but neither seemed to do the job.

Thanks to LGP.com user "sergei," you can read a translation that makes more sense!!

SE:What can you say about a regular game after the All-Star game?
Malkin: It very hard. I have made a ton of mistakes but we need to get into a habitual rhythm.
SE:For two periods you looked very convincingly. You were pulling the team on your shoulders.
Malkin: I don't think that I was pulling anybody. On the contrary, I have made several gross mistakes. This is why I am not satisfied with my play.
SE:Is this connected with using up too many emotions in Montreal?
Malkin: Might be. Everybody was relaxed there, the game was slow-tempo plus a few days off. I lost the thread of the game a bit.
SE: But today you earned two points.
Malkin:Points don't matter. One must demonstrate a decent game.
SE: Why did the Rangers disintegrate in the third period?
Malkin: The team played Carolina the day before, so it was tough on them. We, on the contrary, were well rested and retained more energy. This is why we scored all those goals in the third.
SE: How did you like Zherdev's game?
Malkin:He plays very well! That's who is pulling his team. Great hands and shot. He has it all!

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

January 30, 1980

Penguins wear the colors black and gold for the first time.

January 30, 1973

Greg Polis wins the MVP award at the NHL All-Star Game after scoring two goals.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tribute to Mike "Doc" Emrick at Prudential Center


The NJ Devils are hosting Mike "Doc" Emrick Night tomorrow when the Penguins travel to the Prudential Center tomorrow. Visit the Devils official webpage for more information

Godard VS Orr at 0:03

How awesome is a fight three seconds into a game?!! As always, Godard kicked some Orr ass!! SWEET!!

And, as if we need to confirm it, Godard was the voted winner and hockeyfights.com (88.7%).

Pens - 6, Rangers - 2

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

[UPDATED] Pre-Game News

**FREE**
LIVE STREAM of tonight's game at

ATDHE.Net and Yahoo! Sports

[UPDATE]
Fleury will start in goal tonight for the Penguins.

[UPDATE]
Due to Cooke's 2-game suspension, the Penguins called up Chris Minard.

SIDNEY CROSBY
[UPDATE]
The Penguins recently announced that Crosby will play tonight.


Crosby's status for tonight's game is really unknown; however, he told reporters yesterday that he's optimistic he'll be able to return to the lineup for tonight's game against the NY Rangers and that there's no "lingering effects" from practicing on Monday.

Honestly, I don't see what the problem is here - he played the last two game before the all-star break (with TOI 25:55 and 20:23, respectively), Shero told him not to play in the ASG yet followed Bettman's rules and made an appearance (so everyone should be happy). Why can't / shouldn't he play tonight? I seriously don't see what the big deal is here.

RETURNING PLAYERS
Both Talbot and Dupuis will return to the lineup tonight.

"It's good news for our club," head coach Michel Therrien said. "We're finally getting healthy. We need to be healthy for the (playoff) push. It's a good start having Talbot and Dupuis back in the lineup."

"Everything feels great right now," Dupuis said. "We'll see (Wednesday) if I'm in (the lineup) but right now I was on a line. So that's a good sign."

ROB SCUDERI
Scuderi missed practice on Monday because he wasn't feeling well, but returned to practice yesterday. He said that he'll be good enough to be in the lineup tonight and Coach Therrien said it would be up to Scuderi.

"That's going to up to him," Therrien said. "We'll see how he feels (Wednesday). He hasn't been on the ice for a long time and missed practice (Monday). Obviously, he looked pretty good today. We'll see his energy level and if he's fine, he'll play."
BROOKS ORPIK
Yesterday was the second time Orpik skated before practice with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar. He will definitely not play in tonight's game and is still listed as day-to-day, but his goal is to return on Friday against the NJ Devils.

MIKE ZIGOMANIS
IS MISSED!!
UP NEXT: NEW YORK RANGERS
(29-16-4, 62 points)
In net tonight: Lundqvist

New York Rangers webpage
Game Notes: Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins (01/28/2009)

New York Rangers blog
Crosby Likely to Return Tonight (01/28/2009)

USA Today
Rangers-Penguins Preview (01/28/2009)

NorthJersey.com
Rangers notebook: Fritsche on waived (01/28/2009)

New York Post
Rangers Seek Flexibility (01/27/2009)

Maybe MAF Should Forget the Optometrist's Advice and Take It from This Kid

I didn't see the story, but John told me that Keith Oberman made mention of the following on his show last night. It's not Pens-related, but I thought it was interesting enough to share.

So I did a little searching online and came up with the article in the Boston Globe (boston.com).

"Teen goalie designs pads to trick shots"

Trevor Leahy, goalie for Pingree High School in South Hamilton, MA, created and patented the design for his pads. The design -- that resembling goal netting (white with raised double-stitch).

Since he started using the pads, blocker, and trapper with this design, he's recorded two shutouts and two of his teammates who happen to be top scorers say "the illusion is particularly effective when there's a scramble in front of the net and they need to shoot quickly," but that the illusion isn't as effective the farther away you are from the net.
"When you're in close and you don't have a lot of time to think, it does catch your eye, and you do shoot toward it sometimes," said Matt MacDonald, a cocaptain from Byfield.

Did He or Did He NOT Retire?


I'm confused!!

I've seen Bob Smizak more now since announcing his retirement than I ever did when he was calling us all "knuckleheads!"

Seriously, from the very day he retired, he's been on The Nightly Sports Call regularly, featured on Stan Savran, and now has his own blog at the PPG (that appears to be updated daily)!!

Am I missing something here?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cooke Suspended


The NHL has announced that Matt Cooke has been suspended for two games, without pay. The suspension comes as a result of Cooke hitting Carolina's Scott Walker in the head during the game on January 20th.

During the first period of that game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Cooke was given a minor penalty for interference. Walker left the game and did not return.

Hockey to the Max

A few interesting things from tonight's segment:
  • Talbot was in Miami over the break to "take a little tan and lay on the beach" and said it was nice to relax and recharge the batteries.

  • Max confirmed that Malkin and Ovechkin really did patch things up.

  • when asked about the need for movement to make the playoffs (trading players), he said that they need to take one game at a time and feels they've been playing better each game; he doesn't feel that a move needs made especially when they have a good chemistry. Also mentioned that players may think "the grass is greener," but that it's good to play for the Penguins and mentioned Colby Armstrong in Atlanta where the team is struggling and it's not that good of a market for hockey.

Hockey to the Max

I forgot to post this earlier after hearing about it last night --

Max Talbot will be on "Savran on Sportsbeat" tonight instead of his usual Wednesday appearance for his segment, "Hockey to the Max."

They announced it last night on "Sportsbeat."

There's More to the Truce than We Realized

If it wasn't for a fellow Russian orchestrating the peace talks, we may not have seen Malkin and Ovechkin being as friendly as they were with each other at the All-Stars skills competition and game this past weekend (let alone see Malkin involved in Ovechkin's comedy routine in the Breakaway Challenge).

It would seem that Ilya Kovalchuk is a lover; not a fighter. Yes, it's sneaky and I feel violated - ok, maybe I'm overexaggerating, but you still have to admit that it was a pretty calculated move on Kovalchuk's part. It was his idea for all of the Russian antics between Malkin and Ovechkin throughout the entire weekend! And now I feel dupped (I KNEW this whole situation wasn't geniune - well, at least on Ovechkin's part anyway; I think Malkin is as sincere as they come!)!

According to the Washington Capitals blog, Capitals Insider, it was Kovalchuk's idea that he masterfully executed from beginning to end.
Friday night, during the dinner with other fellow All Stars, Kovalchuk got the two of them together and proposed to finalize the peace talks (which began earlier that day with the handshaking incident) and make it all official. "He poured it for us", said Malkin after the Super Skills last night, talking about a Russian peacemaking ritual, the deep-hidden essence of which you can easily guess.

"Yes, he poured us some water," added Ovechkin, just to clarify the deep-hidden essence of the Russian peacemaking ritual for those of us that are slower on the uptake.

And with how hungry Ovechkin is to be the center of attention, do you really think he thought up using Malkin to hand him his props and squirt the Gatorade in his mouth? NO! It was all part of Kovalchuk's plan!
Of course, it was also Kovalchuk's idea to let Malkin dress Alex (and give him a squirt of Gatorade) during the final Breakaway Challenge. Alex wanted to take the props out himself, but Ilya convinced him to use Malkin, thus putting the final touch on his peacemaking efforts.
So what's in it for Kovalchuk? I didn't have to search too far for the answer because it was also included in the article posted by Capitals Insider.
Between his gold-medal goal at the World Championships last year and his mediation of the Ovie-Malkin dispute with the Olympics looming ahead, Kovy [Kovalchuk] is on the fast track to becoming Russia's favorite son right about now.
Interesting!

And this just solidifies the fact for me that Ovechkin is a bigger ass than ever (whether he agreed to the truce or not).

Inside Penguins Hockey - Episode 8

No guests for this episode due to the all-star break, so Steigy takes the time to have a Consol Energy Arena update and a look into recent fathers' trip, TGIFriday's Away Game parties, and answer questions e-mailed by the fans.

This Week's Prize for Penguins Extra Attacker

Monday, January 26, 2009

Baby Pens Recalled

The Penguins announced they have recalled Paul Bissionnette and Bill Thomas from their AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Baby Pens.

Penguins Post-Practice Update

The Penguins had a mid-afternoon practice today at the Mellon Arena which was the first time most of the players had been on the ice over the five-day all-star break that turned into time for a few of them to recover and recuperate. Here's some of the new developments:
  • Crosby participated in the practice today, but whether or not he'll be in the lineup on Wednesday against the NY Rangers
    "I'll have to see (Tuesday)," Crosby said. "I still feel it a bit. We'll see if it continues to get better or if it goes backwards."
  • As expected, Coach Therrien confirmed that both Talbot and Dupuis will return to the lineup and play on Wednesday.

  • Brooks Orpik and Rob Scuderi were the only players who did not participate in practice today. Scuderi was not there due to illness and not injury; and Orpik will not be playing on Wednesday, but he's getting closer and can be considered day-to-day.

  • Fedotenko was cleared today for rehab on his hand and he skated for the first time (minus a hockey stick)

  • Gonchar has started taking slap shots over the past few days at practice now; he hasn't been able to do that until recently due to his shoulder's sensitivity
    “My doctors told me that I have to work into it,” he said. “I’m shooting more in practice. It’s a little sore after that but that’s the way it should be. That’s normal. I’m working on it. I’m working hard on the ice, off the ice, slap shots, everything. We’re trying to make sure my shoulder is ready for that.”

The Penguins Back to Practice Today (THANK GOD!)!!

I guess it hasn't been that long of a break and it did go quickly, but I love my Penguins hockey and I just can't get enough of it (even when they're losing)!!

They get back to work today with a scheduled practice set for 2:00 PM.

Dupuis was taken off IR last week and according to the team roster on the Penguins webpage, Talbot has also been taken off IR (with his goal being playing on Wednesday). TIOPS is reporting they will both return to the lineup on Wednesday against the NY Rangers and that Dustin Jeffrey will once again get a call-up.

The "Malkin Special"

It was no surprise to me, as I'm sure it wasn't to anyone else, that Malkin had moments of brilliance during last night's all-star game which the Eastern Conference finally won in a shoot-out 11-12 -- and here's one of those moments of a really awesome goal that Doc Emerick dubbed the "Malkin Special!"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Malkin Wins Accuracy Shooting Competition


Yesterday, Malkin won in Accuracy Shooting in the Skills Competition.

During the first round, Malkin was initially credited with getting 4 hits in 5 shots; however, he actually hit all four targets on his first try (he just narrowly sliced one of the targets) and they eventually credited him 4 hits in 4 shots; he beat out Dany Heatley of the Ottawa Senators in the second round after hitting 3 hits in 4 shots when Heatley only hit 2 of the targets; the only other players that were just as skilled as Malkin with 4 hits in 4 shots are Ray Bourque (1992, 1993), Mark Messier (1996), and Jeremy Roenick (2004).

Curious to hear what Malkin had to say? CLICK HERE for a post-competition interview!

From NHL.com:
  • Four destructible styrofoam targets 15 inches in diameter are attached to the goal posts, one target in each corner.
  • Two players, one on each side of the goal, alternately pass four pucks each to a shooter positioned 25 feet out from the goal line.
Qualifying Round
  • The shooter has a maximum of eighteen seconds to shoot up to eight pucks in an attempt to hit each of the four targets.
  • Any contact of a target by a puck that is shot is scored as a hit.
  • Multiple hits on the same target do not increase the shooter’s score. Passes that are not received by the shooter qualify as attempts.

Didn't Get to See the 2009 NHL Skills Competition?

Here's the video courtesy of PensTV!


And here are links to video of each individual competition:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

2009 NHL All-Star Media Day

The Penguins webpage has a few new videos up on PensTV today and a few of them are from yesterday's All-Star media day (Malkin and Crosby). Take a look:




Some other interesting videos from media day are of former Penguins player Alexei Kovalev and coverage of the media day event by Paul Steigerwald.

Letting By-Gones Be By-Gones?

2009 NHL All-Star
Media Day
01/23/2009

Malkin, buddy - WTF?!! This guy head-hunts you on the ice and you're going to stand there and shake the smug bastard's hand? I'm all for maturity, but this kid needs punched in the face - just once (and then you can consider shaking his hand)!!

But you, my friend, ARE the bigger man (and the better player!) - I'll give you that!!

This from the Penguins webpage:
“We’re friends,” Malkin said. “We spoke earlier before the media. It’s not bad. It’s not a problem.”

Alex Ovechkin grinned when asked about the supposed feud.

“It’s always the same questions,” Ovechkin said. “We shook hands. We’re good. (The dispute is) made up by the media.”

In a quest for a d├ętente, the two All-Stars posed for a photo during the NHL’s media availability Friday afternoon and even discussed plans for later that evening.
“He asked, ‘What you doing tonight?” Malkin explained to a few curious media members. “I said, ‘Nothing.’ He said, ‘Maybe we can go out tonight.’ I said, ‘Maybe, why not?’ We spoke, all the Russian guys, (Ilya) Kovalchuk and (Alex) Kovalev. We talked before about maybe going out.”

When Ovechkin was asked about going out with his fellow countrymen, the Capitals winger quipped:

“I don’t know about Malkin.”

“No, we’re good,” he then clarified

Hopefully, the players leave their agents at home this time.

“Agent in Moscow,” Malkin grinned.

Friday, January 23, 2009

NHL Network's Schedule for 2009 All-Star Weekend


Friday, Jan 23rd
12:00 - 2:00 PM: NHL Live - from Montreal
5:00 - 7:00 PM: Live from the 2009 NHL All-Star Game: Meet the Players

Saturday, Jan 24th
10 AM - 12:00 PM: Live from the 2009 NHL All-Star Game: Practice Coverage
4:00 - 5:30 PM: Live from the 2009 NHL All-Star Game: Red Carpet Show
9:00 - 10:00 PM: Live from the 2009 NHL All-Star Game: Post Skills Show

Sunday, Jan 25th
4:00 - 5:30 PM: Live from the 2009 NHL All-Star Game: All-Access Pre-Game Show
9:00 - 10:00 PM: Live from the 2009 NHL All-Star Game: Post-Game Show

FOR A FULL LIST OF EVENTS, SPECIAL BROADCASTS AND GAMETIMES, CLICK HERE (US); and HERE (CANADA).

Penguins Sign Jacob Anderson to One-Day Deal!

I mentioned this in an earlier post, but there's been more posted on the Penguins webpage on this special event for Jacob Anderson who's wish to be a "Penguin for a Day" was granted by the Penguins and the Make-A-Wish Foundation and #10,000 for the organization!

To view the special Jumbotron "announcement" of Jacob's signing, visit PensTV!!

Captains Named for All-Star Teams

It was announced early yesterday morning that Alexei Kovalev of the Montreal Canadiens and and Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks will be Captains of the Eastern Conference and Western Conference teams, respectively, during this Sunday's All-Star game. Kovalev will be given the honor to captain the team in front of a home crowd (for Montreal's 100th anniversary).


Thursday, January 22, 2009

To Play or Not to Play --

What a difference a day makes!

Just yesterday, Sidney Crosby was going against doctors advice and planning to play / participate in this weekend's All-Star skills competition and game.

Today is a different story.

The NHL released a statement advising that Crosby will not play in the All-Star game in Montreal this Sunday. He will be replaced by Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Penguins Re-Assign Jeffrey

The Penguins recently announced that they have re-assigned Dustin Jeffrey to the WB / S Baby Pens today.

Again, this may be temporary in the hopes that these AHL players will get some playing in during the All-Star break instead of sitting idle. It could also mean that a few of the Penguins players will be returning to the lineup after the break (like Dupuis and Talbot).

PensTV: Consol Energy Arena Update

If you haven't watched the video up on PensTV showing the progress on the new Consol Energy Arena, you can watch it below by clicking on the link.

It's a little less than 2 minutes, but it's a great way to see how far it's come since they started (in a month even)!! There's a point in the video where the Director of Icon Venue Group points out center ice which is really COOL when you think about it (everything else is built around that point of the site)!!

Consol Energy Arena Update Video

Hockey to the MAX

Yesterday was the first day in a few weeks that Max was back on "Savran on Sportsbeat" with Stan for his segment "Hockey to the MAX."

They talked about alot of different things - mostly smalltalk (not much about the team and their losing).

I found it interesting that Talbot played football for three years when he was younger (American-rules football). He was a running back and linebacker. There was a point at which he had to choose between hockey and football.

He and alot of Penguins went to the Steelers AFC championship game on Sunday. They cheered openly and Talbot said he had a great time and is truly a fan.

It was Talbot's idea for Fleury to skate out in the retro, throwback Steelers helmet and Terrible Towel. The helmet is Dana Heinze's that he keeps in his office. He's a HUGE Steelers fan.

Malkin Makes NHL's "Hits of the Week"

Malkin's hit on NY Ranger Nikolai Zherdev last Sunday afternoon makes it to #3 on the NHL's top 10 "Hit's of the Week!"

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

January 22, 1975

Syl Apps is named MVP of the NHL All-Star game in Montreal after scoring two goals.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Players Return to AHL

The Penguins re-assigned three players back to their AHL affiliate WB / S Baby Pens today. Due to the all-star break, Chris Minard, Bill Thomas, and Paul Bissonnette were sent back to WB / S so they can play until the team comes back from break (Penguins won't practice until next Monday).


That's So MAF (the musings of a Penguins goalie)!

Taken from an article in The Province on Monday, January 19th:

Fleury, the game's No. 1 star, skated onto the ice following the game waving a "terrible towel" and wearing a yellow Steelers helmet.

When asked of his towel-waving skills, Fleury said,

"I've got to work on it. I had the blocker on, though, so it was kind of stuck in there."

The Penguins webpage has new wallpapers that include the photo of Fleury geared up in his bright yellow Steelers helmet and waving the Terrible Towel (pictured below)! CLICK HERE to download yours!!

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

January 21, 1997

Goalie Patrick Lalime sets NHL mark for wins at the beginning of an NHL career at 16 (14-0-2) vs. Calgary in a 4-2 win.

January 21, 1990

Civic Arena plays host to the NHL All-Star game as Mario Lemieux scores four goals on his way to his third MVP award.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

[UPDATED] Pre-Game News

*FREE*
LIVE FEED of tonight's game!
(CLICK HERE!)


[UPDATE] PASCAL DUPUIS
The Penguins webpage has announced that Dupuis will not return to the lineup tonight against the Caroline Hurricanes.
“No, I won’t be playing (Tuesday),” Dupuis said. “We have eight days between tonight and the next game after the All-Star break. I think it’s the smart way to go to wait until that game.”

“He only had one practice,” head coach Michel Therrien said of Dupuis. “I liked the way the players from Wilkes-Barre contribute to our team. I like the way that they play. I want to make sure that they start to feel comfortable. The way that we’re playing, there’s no need to rush any players.

“I want to make sure that (injured players) get good practice. When we feel that they’re going to be 100 percent, we’ll put them out there. Until then, we’re going to wait.”
LINES
the lines are similar to the "projected lines" listed below with a minor change:
2nd line: SATAN - Staal - Kennedy
3rd line: Minard - Jeffrey - SYKORA

MAX TALBOT

Talbot participated in an optional practice yesterday afternoon which is a good sign that he'll be ready to get back into the lineup soon; however, during an interview conducted yesterday on the Pens "off-day," Talbot announced that he is on "IR" (injured reserve) so he's unable to play in tonight's game against the Carolina Hurricanes; however, he expects to return to the lineup after the All-Star break. "That's the plan," Talbot said.

PASCAL DUPUIS
Dupuis was taken off of IR yesterday and is eligible to play tonight against the Hurricanes. Since Pesonen was sent back down to WB / S, I'm assuming that it's highly likely he will play tonight.
“We’ll see for (Tuesday) but I felt pretty good today,” said Dupuis, who practiced with his teammates. “It gets boring skating on your own. Skating out there with the boys, back in the action, everybody’s happy. We’re winning lately so it’s good to get back.”
SIDNEY CROSBY
Crosby is still recovering from a knee injury, but did participate in the optional skate yesterday. He is likely to be in the lineup in tonight's game, but he has yet to decide whether or not he'll skate in this Sunday's All-Star gam
“Because it can stiffen up and things like that, I wanted to make sure I move,” Crosby reasoned. “If I want to play, I have to get through practice and get through that fine. It’s good to test it out and see how it feels.”
“As of right now, yeah,” Crosby said of playing the All-Star Game. “Obviously, I thought about it a little more now because of what’s going on. I’ll probably decide after the game (Tuesday). My plan is to play (Tuesday) and see how I feel after that.”
PROJECTED LINES (from Penguins webpage)
Cooke - Crosby - Malkin
Kennedy - Staal - Sykora
Minard - Jeffrey - Satan
Godard - Thomas - Bissonnette

STARTING GOALTENDER
Fleury will start in goal for the Pens tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes.

PLAYERS AT THE OPTIONAL SKATE YESTERDAY:
Dupuis, Talbot, Jeffrey, Minard, Crosby, Cooke, Thomas, Bissonnette, Kennedy, Godard, Goligoski, Scuderi, Gill, and Gonchar
UP NEXT: CAROLINA HURRICANES

LetsGoCanes.com
Canes vs Penguins
Wanted: Two More Points & Oh, Staal v Staal Part ???
(01/19/2009)

I haven't been able to find too many articles about tonight's game in alot of the North Carolina news sources, so I'm including articles I found on various other news sources:

The Sports Network (TSN)
Pens continue homestand vs. Hurricanes (01/20/2009)

SBRFORUM.com
Fleury hopes for another strong effort vs. Hurricanes- (01/20/2009)

USA Today - Sports
Carolina Hurricanes Team Report (01/20/2009)

Yahoo! Sports
Team Injuries (last updated 01/19/2009)


Penguins Grant 10,000th Wish


The Penguins will help the Make-A-Wish Foundation grant their 10,000th wish today by allowing 8-year-old Jacob Anderson become a "Penguin for a Day."

Jacob will be shown the ropes of all the typical Penguins gameday activities. He will be signing his contract in GM Ray Shero's office at the Mellon Arena at 10 AM after which he'll be escorted to his locker room stall in the Penguins' dressing room complete with his own official nameplate and jersey. Tonight, prior to the Penguins game against the Carolina Hurricanes, he'll get to sit in the penalty box during the pre-game warm-up and will sit with his family in rinkside seats where he'll be visited by Iceburgh.
“The Penguins organization is honored to assist the Make-A-Wish Foundation in granting this very special 10,000th wish,” Shero said, “and we’re looking forward to Jacob becoming a Pittsburgh Penguin on his big day.”

Hearing from the Newest Penguin

PensTV has an off-day interview with the Penguins new goalie, Mathieu Garon. It's interesting to finally hear from him. I've posted the video below.

Inside Penguins Hockey - Episode 7

The latest episode of Inside Penguins Hockey is now up on PensTV. Episode 7's guests are Marc-Andre Fleury and Max Talbot (and the laughs are non-stop!)!!

Penguins Extra Attacker: Week 3

Monday, January 19, 2009

First Goal at Home for Mr. Kennedy ... Kennedy!!

John and I celebrated yesterday after Tyler Kennedy scored a goal in yesterday's game against the NY Rangers; not only because it was his first at home this season, but also because we were waiting to see if it was true: if Ken Kennedy made a special video to be played on the jumbotron after Tyler Kennedy scored a goal.

I did a post on it a few months back (READ IT HERE).

We couldn't see it, but we stopped to listen and were thrilled when we heard it, "goal scored by Tyler Kennedy ... Kennedy!" We only wish we could've been there to see it!

It appears that we weren't the only ones waiting for this (from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)!!
Ken Kennedy taped the spot prior to the Stanley Cup playoffs after reading in the Tribune-Review that Penguins fans had taken to using his catchphrase to salute Tyler Kennedy, then a rookie.

Prior to his goal yesterday, Tyler Kennedy had not scored at home since March 16, 2008, leading even him to wonder if the "Mr. Kennedy" video would ever see the light of day.

"I was just really excited to see it," Kennedy said. "Now, they can throw it out."

That's So MAF (the musings of a Penguins goalie)!

Fleury on trading Dany Sabourin:
“That’s the tough part about hockey,” Marc-Andre Fleury said. “You make close friends. Every day we were together and spent the past couple of years together. We’ve been good friends. We’re roommates on the road. It’s always tough to lose a friend like that.”
Fleury's tribute to the Steelers when he's announced as the First Star of yesterday's game against the NY Rangers - he had a PERFECT game stopping 33 of 33 shots on goal (THANKS to vimike77 for being quick to post the video to YouTube)!!



Pesonen Back to WB / S

The Penguins announced late yesterday afternoon that they've re-assigned Janne Pesonen back to their AHL affiliate, Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Baby Pens.

From what I saw of him on Friday, he's coming along nicely and you can tell a difference since the beginning of the season. He played great defense, got himself in good position to create great chances, and most importantly, he took shots when alot of players continue to pass (even though they're all getting better with that).

This kid has a great future - there's no doubting that (it just may not be with the Penguins since they already have so much talent).

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Zigomanis Out for Season

Mike Zigomanis underwent shoulder surgery last Wednesday, January 14th to repair the rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

He will remain out of the lineup of four to six months.

Pre-Game News

GAME-TIME DECISIONS
At yesterday afternoon's practice, the Penguins learned that Crosby, Scuderi, and Letang may return to the lineup for this afternoon's game against the NY Rangers.

OUT OF THE LINEUP
Dupuis, Talbot, and Orpik did not participate in practice yesterday and will not be playing this afternoon.

PROJECTED LINES (from the Penguins webpage)
Cooke - Malkin - Sykora
Kennedy - Staal - Satan
Minard - Jeffrey - Pesonen
Godard - Thomas - Bissonnette