Tuesday, November 30, 2010

(16-8-2, 34 points)
 Pens - 3, Rangers - 1

New York Rangers webpage

The Blueshirt Blog
Slew of woes for Rangers in loss to Penguins (11/29/2010) 

Monday, November 29, 2010

[UPDATE] Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS NYR) - Asham / Comrie

HC Bylsma gave udates on Asham and Comrie who is apprently suffering from a lower-body injury:

"(Asham) wasn't feeling well this morning so he stayed at the hotel. It's possible (he could play), but looks unlikely."

"(Comrie) is rehabbing right now. We don't have a definite on his situation on the trip. He's got a week or so of rehab to do."
the Penguins webpage is reporting that Arron Asham was not on the ice for this morning's skate ... nothing further has been reported yet, but I'll fill you in as soon as I know anything ... check back!!

LINE COMBINATIONS (projected from this morning's skate)

Chris Drury (F), finger
Vinny Prospal (F), knee
Marian Gaborik (F), flu - missed the game in Nashville, but they're hoping he's fine for today's game


(14-10-1, 29 points)
In net tonight: Henrik Lundqvist (projected)


The Buzz - 24/7 Penguins / Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic

Did you miss the preview played on HBO this past weekend of the upcoming 4-part series 24/7 or maybe you just want to watch it over again??

CHECK IT OUT BELOW and visit the official webpage HERE!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

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

Today is Fleury's birthday ... he turns 26!!!
THANKS to Jessica for reminding me!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Here's a little Thanksgiving Day cheer ... two previews of the upcoming HBO reality series "24/7 Penguins / Capitals Road to the NHL Winter Classic" -- one interviewing Sid and Max (Crosby & Talbot Interview) and the other one interviewing DJ King and Eric Godard (the enforcers of the teams) ... ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

[UPDATE] Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS Buffalo) - Fleury in Goal

Fleury will start in goal tonight for the Pens; Comrie will also be in the lineup tonight according to HC Bylsma

LINE COMBINATIONS (projected from this morning's skate)
Rupp-Adams-Asham/Comrie (Godard)

Ryan Miller (G), groin injury (day-to-day)
Tim Connolly (F), groin injury (day-to-day)
Rob Niedermayer (F), knee (two weeks)
Drew Stafford (F), upper body (day-to-day)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

SHORT Hiatus ...

This post is probably a tad-bit late, but my motto for the blog it seems is (say it with me) ... "better late than never!"

I've had a few unexpected things come up that have taken me away from the blogs and having any time to work on them so I've just decided to take a short time "off" (probably just the rest of this week and maybe the weekend which I normally do anyway).

I wanted to post SOMETHING just because I feel like I'm obligated to with such loyal followers ...  THANKS for all your continued support of the blog and I hope to see you next week!!!

TRY to enjoy hockey without us! ; D

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS Boston)

LOTS of things going on today!!

the Penguins announced they recalled Chris Conner for tonight's game; Mike Comrie may be out of tonight's lineup due to an illness although he was on the ice this morning for the team's skate ... per the Pens webpage, "if Comrie isn't able to play, Conner's presence gives the team some flexibility."

Bylsma confirmed that Brent Johnson will be in the net tonight for the Pens; here's what HC Bylsma had to say about the goaltending situation:

I think the belief that Marc is going to play great hockey again is 100 percent from our guys and coaches. You can pinpoint the situation where Tim Thomas didn’t have the results and numbers where he didn’t play as much (last year), and then coming back and doing what he’s doing now. Those are things that you draw upon. You also draw upon your previous experience. Marc has had some difficult times in his career. I remember not knowing Marc-Andre Fleury and watching him when he was 18 years old and hearing the media talk about how he’s had some difficult times and he’s had some question marks. So he’s been able to deal with that and work through it to end up playing good hockey. That’s the belief, and Tim Thomas is another example of that happening to another good goalie.
LINE COMBINATIONS (projected from this morning's skate)
Comrie-Conner-(Tom Fitzgerald - filling in)

defensemen were rotated
Marc Savard (C), post-concussion syndrome  - out indefinitely
Johnny Boychuk (D), broken left forearm  - out 2 weeks
Marco Sturm (LW), knee - out until the end of Nov
David Krejci (C), head  - day-to-day

Monday, November 8, 2010

WBS Weekend Wrapup

by Maureen L.

Heading into their triple header weekend, the Baby Pens were 8-0-0, the only undefeated team in the AHL. Facing two away games against the Rochester Americans and hosting the Syracuse Crunch, the Baby Pens were looking to defend their streak and go 11-0-0 on the weekend. They came very close, but fell to the Crunch at home on Saturday, ending the weekend 10-1-0.

Let’s break it down game by game:

Friday 11/5: @Rochester
The Amerks jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead, taking advantage of their first 2 power play opportunities. High powered scoring talent Michal Repik was instrumental on the Amerks power play, assisting on both goals. After the second powerplay goal, the Baby Pens were able to get things back on track and Thiessen didn’t allow the rocky start to shake his confidence. The Baby Pens stormed back with goals from Collins and Sterling and went to intermission with the score 3-2. Chris Connor scored the only goal of the second period, unassisted, to tie the game at 3-3. The Pens’ PK unit came alive in the third and Dustin Jeffrey scored a shorthanded goal to put them ahead for the first time in the game. With just over 3 minutes remaining in the final period, Tim Wallace scored to put the Pens up 5-3. Not deterred, the Amerks mounted a furious comeback effort and made it a 1 goal game with just over 2 minutes left. However, they couldn’t tie it and the Pens went on to win 5-4.

Saturday 11/6: Syracuse
Saturday’s game was a matchup between the top 2 penalty killing teams in the AHL and the score sheet reflects that. Despite a total of 11 power plays, each team only notched 1 power play goal. The Pens went 1 for 6 on their power play and Syracuse was 1 for 5. It’s a good litmus test because the special teams were a pretty even match in standings going into the game. A contrast to the high scoring first period the Pens played the night before in Rochester, the two teams went into the locker room scoreless. The second period had a very different look for both teams as the Pens jumped into the lead with 2 goals (1 even strength, 1 power play) in the first half of the second period. The Crunch answered with a power play goal of their own, but Brett Sterling found the back of the net to give the Pens another 2 goal lead. The second period ended with the score 3-1. Unfortunately for the Pens, they fell a short in the third period and were unable to score. They gave up 3 goals early in the first and spent the rest of the game trying to find the tying goal. That goal didn’t come and the streak ended on Saturday with a final score, Syracuse-4, Wilkes Barre-3.

Sunday 11/7: @Rochester
On Sunday, Pen’s goaltender Brad Thiessen’s play earned him first star honors. Facing 20 shots from the Amerks, Thiessen turned away 19. Both goaltenders were tested in the first (Thiessen faced 8 shots, Markstrom faced 6) but stopped everything that came their way. The teams were scoreless after 1. The Pens came out shooting in the second and launched 8 shots at Markstom. At 12:26 of the second period, Dustin Jeffrey’s shot found its way past the Rochester netminder to put the Pens up 1-0. Rochester didn’t stay down for long though and got the puck behind Thiessen just over a minute later to tie the game up. The game remained tied into the second intermission. In the third, the Pens seemed determined to absorb only one loss for the weekend, launching 10 shots at Markstrom. At 18:10 of the third, a shot from Ryan Craig found the net and the Pens went up 2-1. The Amerks tried to tie it up and pulled Markstrom in favor of the sixth skater, but time ran out. The Pens’ strong PK also contributed to the win as Rochester was unable to score on any of their 4 power play chances.

While the undefeated streak is over, the Pens have a pretty impressive record at 10-1-0. The only team with more points in the AHL right now is the Portland Pirates who have played 14 games, 3 more than the Baby Pens. The success they have enjoyed so far is truly a team effort with goals, assists, and other key plays coming from many different members of the roster. Not a single player on the Pens’ roster is in the top 20 in AHL scoring.

So while the Pens’ undefeated streak is over, their great start to the season is not. This weekend they’ll face Binghamton and Worcester so make sure you check back later in the week for your weekend game preview!

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

Alex Kovalev recorded his first hat trick as a Pittsburgh Penguin against Philadelphia goalie Brian Boucher

Pittsburgh was shut out by the Hershey Bears, 11-0, to set an AHL mark for the highest scoring shutout

The Pittsburgh Hornets played their first game at the Duquesne Gardens, beating the Cleveland Falcons, 5-2.

information obtained from PITTSBURGHHOCKEY.NET

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hilary and Haylie to be at Tonight's Game

I just read that Hilary and Haylie Duff will be at tonight's game against the Anaheim Ducks to support her hubby, Mike Comrie.  From Haylie's twitter:
Early morning audition, then excited to head down to anaheim for the pens game and cheer on Mikey! #GoComrie!
I'm pretty sure we'll have a sighting (probably along with a few other celebrities!)!! ; )  There's NO WAY Steigy will miss that!!

[UPDATE] Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS Anaheim) - Fleury in Net

Fleury will start in goal tonight for the Penguins

don't forget that tonight's game starts at 10:00 PM

despite the recent birth of his daughter, Lola, last Wednesday, Dupuis will return to tonight's lineup as will Sidney Crosby (who did not participate in yesterday's practice - he had bruised knuckles - no, I'm not kidding)

LINE COMBINATIONS (projected from this morning's skate)

Kyle Chipchura (C), concussion - day-to-day
Matt Beleskey (LW), concussion - out indefinitely
Dan Sexton (RW), broken nose - out until mid-November
Joffrey Lupul (F), blood infection - out until mid-November
Andy Sutton (D), broken right thumb - out until late November

WBS Weekend Games Preview

by Maureen L.

This weekend, the Baby Pens will play 3 consecutive games. They’ll start the weekend in Rochester against the Rochester Americans tonight (Friday, 11/5), return home tomorrow to host the Syracuse Crunch, and then head back to Rochester on Sunday for another matchup with the Americans. Let’s take a look at what’s on ice for the Baby Pens this weekend.

The Rochester Americans:
The Americans (Amerks) currently sit in fifth in the Western Conference. With 11 games played, they hold a record of 6-4-1. Some big contributors to their success:
  • RW Michal Repik is currently the 8th leading scorer in the AHL and leads his teammates with 13 points in 11 games (3G/10). His great start isn’t a huge surprise for Amerks fans, Repik was recalled a total of 8 times last year by the Florida Panthers for a total of 19 games in which he had 5 points. 
  • Powerplay - The Amerk’s power play has been gaining steam and is 9th in the league 
  • Veteran Christ Taylor returned to the lineup during their recent road trip bringing with him a scoring touch (2 goals in 3 games).
What the Baby Pens need to do:
  • Shut down Repik and Co.: Similar to the Pens, the Amerks rely on scoring from numerous team members. Shutting down Repik is a good place to start, but a strong backcheck will be important to help minimize scoring opportunities for other guys like Clay Wilson (D) and Chris Taylor (C)
  • Strong PK: The Baby Pens have been on a great streak with their penalty kill and they will need it against the Amerks. Avoiding bad penalties and a strong penalty kill will be important since the Amerks do a good job of cashing in on their power play chances.
  • Take the shots: Goaltender Jacob Markstrom has started 9 of the Amerks 11 games and is 4-5. He isn’t off to the best start with a 3.34 GAA and a save percentage of .89. The fact that the Penguins goals are coming from so many different players could prove to be a challenge for Markstrom.
The Syracuse Crunch:
The Crunch currently sit at 8th in the conference with a record of 4-3-1-1 but have been getting some big contributions from a few players that could move them up in the standings. With already suffering a shoot out loss and an OT loss they could easily be 6-3 and in a different spot in the conference.

Key Factors:
  • New Faces and Fresh skates: Rookies Nick Bonino (2G/7A) and Nicolas Deschamps (4G/3A) are both on six game scoring streaks. Luca Sbisa made his debut with the Crunch on October 22 and quickly jumped into the scoring race with 4 points in his first 2 games. He has a point in all 5 games he has played with the Crunch.
  • Powerful Kill: The Crunch has a stellar penalty kill, ranked second in the AHL. The only team with a better PK, the WBS Pens.

What the Baby Pens need to do:
  • Stay Strong and Even: With the top two PK units going up against each other, it will be a challenge for both power plays. Taking advantage of even strength scoring chances and rebounds will be key for the Pens to get the goals they need.
  • Back and Forecheck: With the hot streaks some of the Crunch players are on, the backcheck will be critical to prevent the Crunch from getting too many chances. If the Baby Pens can get the forecheck going, they can create and possibly cash in on some scoring opportunities.
  • With some offensively hot players in the Crunch lineup, goaltending will be extra important. Defensive positioning will be key in this game.
The Baby Pens are 8-0 right now. Here’s hoping that on Monday morning they are 11-0. Good Luck guys!

As always, you can listen to the radio broadcast of the game at: http://player.streamtheworld.com/_players/entercom/player/?id=WDMT

You can watch a webcast of the games at: http://www.ahllive.com/

The games in Rochester on Friday and Sunday will be broadcast on TWC 26/98 (Rochester). Saturday’s game at home will be shown on WQMY-TV (W-B/Scranton).


(5-7-1, 11 points)

In net tonight: Jonas Hiller (projected)


On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

Penguins back-up goalie, Dany Sabourin, earned his first NHL shutout after stopping 20 of New Jersey's shots

Pittsburgh played their first game in the Kemper Sports Arena in Kansas City; they were winless in seven games (0-5-2) heading into this game which was their first ever against the Scouts

information obtained from PITTSBURGHHOCKEY.NET

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS Dallas)

all the above players were present and participating at practice today; it's been all, but confirmed by HC Bylsma that they'll be in tonight's lineup against the Stars (check back)

INTERESTING NOTE:  Malkin CENTERED the 2nd line alongside Cooke and Kennedy - see below

LINE COMBINATIONS (projected from this morning's skate)

seven defensemen were rotated

NO INJURIES for the Dallas Stars

Curry, Thiessen Honored for Role in 8-0 Record

by Maureen L.

The AHL announced Monday that Baby Pens netminders John Curry and Brad Thiessen are co-winners of the Reebok/AHL Goaltender of the Month away for October.

Curry and Thiessen split goaltending duties evenly at 4 starts each and their combined efforts helped the Pens to perfect record in October of 8-0.

To honor their achievement, Curry and Thiessen will be presented with etched crystal awards prior to an upcoming Penguins home game.

Congrats to both John Curry and Brad Thiessen. Keep up the great work guys!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pens Injury Update - Malkin, Letang, Goligoski, and Michalek Likely to Return for Dallas

According to the Penguins webpage,

HC Bylsma says he's "optimistic" that Malkin, Letang, and Goligoski will all return to the lineup for the game against Dallas tomorrow night, but there's a chance that they'll call up a player from WBS just in case.
"(Goligoski) feels like he's better (Tuesday) and will be able to go tomorrow," Bylsma said. "Same thing with Kris and Geno. They finished the skate and did the whole practice. We'll wait to see in the morning."
Malkin told reporters,
"I skated before practice to see how my knee feels," Malkin said. "It's not sore. It feels pretty strong. It's alright.

"I'm ready now for the next game."
Letang said the following about his injury:
"It's progress, I feel better," Letang said. "We didn't make a decision yet. We'll see tomorrow morning."

"It's not that I can't hold my stick or anything like that," Letang said. "I can shoot. It's not the hardest shot I can take. ... It needs to heal. There is a pain when I get a pass, it vibrates in my fingers and my hands.

"It won't get worse. It's just a question of time to feel comfortable."
The site is also reporting that Zbynek Michalek will also return against the Dallas Stars in tomorrow night's game.
"I feel good and I’m ready to go. My skating has been good. I’m really excited for tomorrow. I still feel it a little bit, and I’m going to feel it for a few weeks here, but I feel confident. It’s strong enough now and I’ve been practicing for a week and I didn’t have any problems. So I’m really confident."

Staal Breaks Hand

by Maureen L.

Yesterday the Penguins reported that Jordan Staal left practice early with an upper body injury. The Penguins reported later yesterday afternoon that Staal is having surgery this morning to repair a fracture in his right hand and will be out for as long as 6 weeks.

While this is an obvious set back for the Penguins, GM Ray Shero was able to find a silver lining of sorts. While Shero didn’t speak with Staal after the injury occurred yesterday, he did text briefly with the 22 year old center.
“He had worked really hard to get to this point, which isn’t surprising because that is the way that he is, he will do the same thing with this injury. There has to be a silver lining with everything. For me, it’s that he will get a chance to get a significant portion of our season in. That is the good news.”  – Penguins GM Ray Shero
Remember, NHL season is 82 games long, and the Penguins have only played 12 of those games. While it’s frustrating to lose a key player for an extended length of time, the loss is usually easier to absorb in the earlier part of a season. With 85% of the Penguins season still left to play, it’s a bit too early to hit the panic button. Ray Shero touched on this when he spoke to Jason Seidling this afternoon.
“I keep saying this, but if he is going to miss the first 12 games, 30 games or whatever it is, it’s much tougher to hear that a guy is going to miss the remainder of the season when he gets hurt in February. We’ll move on and give some other guys more opportunities and kind of go from there.”
Taking conservative estimates on Staal’s return, I did a few calculations. Let’s assume for argument’s sake that Staal returns to the ice for the December 20th matchup with Phoenix and plays all the remaining games. That would put him in the lineup for 49 games, almost 60% of the Penguins regular season.

While the injuries sustained in rather freakish accidents have delayed some of the Penguins plans and proved to be a bit of a challenge for Staal and his teammates, all is not lost. The important things right now are for Staal to heal and for the Penguins to continue to work on the areas where they are weak or inconsistent.

Bottom Line: Setback? Yes. Is the season over? Not even close. While we may be a few weeks from this bingo game being ready to roll, we don’t have to cry or wind our watches yet.

Staal to Have Hand Surgery Today for Broken Bone

Ray Shero announced yesterday that Jordan Staal will undergo surgery today to repair a fractured right hand and could miss up to six additional weeks.

Staal suffered this new injury during practice yesterday after being hit with a puck (he left about 45 minutes early).  Dr. Glenn Buterbaugh will perform the surgery.


WBS: Perfect Pens Go 8-0-0 in October

by Maureen L.

On a hockey loaded weekend filled with both tricks and treats, the Baby Pens came through with a big treat for their fans. Heading into the weekend 6-0 at the top of the Eastern Conference standings, they terrorized the Adirondack Phantoms on Friday night with a final score of 4-1. Saturday night, they faced the Hershey Bears for the third time this season, and Chris Connor’s 3 point night helped lift the Baby Pens to 8-0-0 and a 3 point lead over the rest of the AHL.

Let’s take a look at some of the key factors in the Baby Pens hot streak.
  • Good Goaltending: With Curry and Thessien both holding records of 4-0 and solid save percentages, the Pens can rely on the performance of the guys between the pipes. Curry’s save percentage is 94% and Theissen’s is 93%. Both goaltenders are off to good starts for the season and have looked comfortable and sharp in games.
  • Everyone Chips In: The Baby Pens have been able to rely on contributions from many members of the team, not just a select few. On Saturday against Hershey, Chris Connor scored his first 2 goals of the season, but he wasn’t the only contributor. The Baby Pens also had goals from Vitale, Tangradi, Hutchinson, and Sill settling the final score at 6-2. The night before, against the Phantoms, the Baby Pens 4 goals came from Craig, Johnson, Sneep, and Boulerice. This kind of team effort in putting points on the board is another key weapon. When a team is getting goals from everyone on the ice, it strains opponents in how they play, strategize and counterattack. The more weapons in the arsenal, the harder it is to defend against the attack.
  • Powerful Penalty Kill: The Baby Pens have killed 31 consecutive penalties dating back to October 15th in Charlotte, NC. That may not seem like a big deal at first but when you consider that the Hershey Bears had 7 power play opportunities in Saturday night’s game, it gives an idea of just how hard their PK units are working during games. Having a strong penalty kill is key against some of the high powered offensive teams that the Penguins have faced (like the Hershey Bears) and will face (Worcester Sharks) in upcoming games.
So congrats to the Baby Pens for such a great start to the season! Keep up the great work guys.

The Baby Pens next game is against the Rochester Americans, this Friday 11/5. The puck drops at 7:35 pm. Let’s see if the Baby Pens can make it 9-0. Look for updates on their weekend matchups through the week.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pens Injury Update - Staal, Malkin, Letang, and Goligoski

According to HC Dan Bylsma, Staal left practice about 45 minutes early today due to an upper-body injury and is curretnly getting evaluated.  When asked about how discouraging he thought it was for Staal, he said, "I can tell you my own feelings. And it’s disappointing on a couple levels. But mostly it's personal for Jordan, because he’s had a difficult offseason and training camp. And then to get to the point where you’re looking to coming back to play and possibly having to deal with another injury is disappointing."

  • Malkin
  • Letang
  • Goligoski (left practice after 15 minutes on the ice)

This Month's Mustache Boy

they did not have a shootout competition at yesterday's practice, so it looks like a day or so before we have a new "mustache boy" crowned!!

STAY TUNED for the announcement later today!!

[UPDATE #2] Off-Day Notes - Staal Left Practice with Upper-Body Injury

the Pens just reported via Twitter that Staal suffered an upper-body injury during practice ... let's hope this doesn't push back his recovery time!!

it's been reported that Staal left practice early today even after speculation is that he'll return to the ice on Wednesday (I'll keep you updated!)

the team practice today at the Iceoplex at

PLAYERS ABSENT FROM PRACTICEMalkin and Letang did not participate in today's practice; Malkin left the game against the Flyers early on Friday and was not in the lineup on Saturday against Carolina; the Penguins webpage is reporting that Letang is out with an upper-body injury (and that HC Bylsma will update them later on both players' status


six defenseman rotated

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

Ryan Malone's overtime goal beat the Boston Bruins, 3-2

Martin Straka was stopped on a penalty shot against San Jose's Nabokov

Mario Lemieux tied a team record with six assists in one game - in a 10-0 win vs. Tampa Bay.

Penguins' back-up goalie Ken Wregget recorded his second shutout with them by stopping 38 shots from Tampa Bay

Lemieux scored a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the last of a 12-consecutive game scoring streak to set a team record

information obtained from PITTSBURGHHOCKEY.NET

Duff Decked Out in Penguins Gear!

Last Friday, the Penguins played the Philadelphia Flyers.  And the following day, a 'celebrity gossip' blog posted the following:

which starts out saying, "It’s a hockey night in Pittsburgh! (Whatever that means.)"  REALLY?  I guess!!! 

ANYWAY ... it reported that Hilary tweeted “Got my hat on representing and ready for a win tonight!!! Let’s go pens!!” complete with a picture (BELOW)!!

I don't have much of a clue when it comes to fashion, but "ugly?" Really?  Its corduroy with a Pens logo ... WTF is so "ugly" about that????  WTG, Hilary ... keep supporting your hubby AND THE PENS!!!! ; )