Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS Tampa Bay) - Still No Gonch and Malkin

Neither Gonch or Malkin will be in tonight's lineup agains the Bolts although they've be participating in practice since yesterday
Although, Malkin did use the opportunity to joke around with the media a bit. As they swarmed his stall, Malkin pronounced, "I'll play tonight. I feel great." But then he followed that up with a wide smile, "That's just a joke guys."
LINE COMBINATIONS (projected from this morning's skate)
Ponikarovsky - Crosby - Dupuis
Kunitz - Staal - Guerin
Cooke - Kennedy - Fedotenko
Rupp - Talbot - Adams

Orpik - Letang
Eaton - Leopold
McKee - Goligoski

Fleury in goal

  • Ryan Malone (F), upper body / knee - day-to-day (out of tonight's lineup)
  • Matt Smaby (D), back spasms - day-to-day (out of tonight's lineup)
  • David Hale (D), ankle - out
  • Kurtis Foster (D), upper body - out of tonight's lineup

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Penguins Sign Letang!

The Penguins announced this morning that they've resigned Kris Letang to a four-year contract extension which goes into effect for the 2010-2011 season (and lasts through 2013-2014 season).

Where does this leave Gonchar? I'm hoping they find a way to sign him too and I'm sure if the Pens can swing it, they will!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Off-Day Notes

  • First and foremost, I went to the game on Saturday but I wasn't able to catch much of the game because I was sitting BEHIND THE GLASS which is partly the reason why the blog hasn't been updated recently ... I'm still getting over the shock of being that close and how thrilling the action is down there (and how fast the game actually moves and how hard they check into the boards ... I got to experience that first-hand a FEW times!)!! I DO have alot of awesome pictures though so I'm hoping to post those soon along with my "interpretation" of what I caught of the game!! Those really aren't the seats you want if planning to catch the game and what's going on, but it was AMAZING and I think every fan should try to get seats like that at least once ... I had a great time!!!

  • As for Pens news, Gonchar returned to the ice today to get some strength and conditioning in with Mike Kadar; there is still no date as to when he's expected to be back in the lineup
  • "I expect Gonch to be getting healthy very soon," he said. "I can’t predict the future on that one. I expect him to be getting back."
  • Malkin was also back on the ice today, but didn't do much skating (more "light shooting")

"With Geno, we are more apt to make sure he is 100 percent than to put his foot into a skate and go out when it is not 100 percent," Bylsma said. "I hope he is getting better. I know he is getting better. We will see him back on the ice here in the next couple days. He is possible for Wednesday. We are also not going to put him back in the lineup if he is going to be in one (game) and out one."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Capitals Lineup - Laich OUT


Morrisonn-Carlson is reporting that Laich will not be in the Caps lineup tonight.

[UPDATE] Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS Washington) - NO Malkin

HC Bylsma cancelled yesterday's scheduled practice at the Kettler Iceoplex


the Penguins webpage is reporting that Malkin was not at this morning's skate and that it appears he'll be out of the lineup again tonight

Malkin is expected to be at this morning's skate to evaluate his foot and whether or not he'll be in tonight's lineup against he Caps; I'll post updates as I learn them

LINE COMBINATIONS (projected; from this morning's skate)



Fleury in goal

  • Milan Jurcina (D), hernia
  • Boyd Gordon (F), back
  • Scott Walker (F), knee
  • Brooks Laich (F), got struck in the face with a puck during practice yesterday and went to the hospital for evaluation - questionable

After a Virgina chiropractor was arrested yesterday on charges of obtaining steroids (and other illegal and performance-enhancing drugs), the Caps released a statement denying any connection between him and the Caps EVEN THOUGH he has an office in the mall connected to Kettler Capitals Iceplex where the Capitals practice. On that office door are the painted words "Washington Capitals."

This has been a thorough investigation, and we are satisfied that law enforcement, the NHL and our own internal investigation have not led to any link of steroid use by Capitals players.

The investigation included conversations with the Washington Capitals as far back as September 2009, and we were and have been fully cooperative and transparent in the past as well as today.

Dr. Douglas Owen Nagel, a Virginia chiropractor who was arrested today, is not affiliated with the Washington Capitals and is not the “team chiropractor,” as he has stated.
Dr. Nagel’s office, however, has seen some of our players for standard, routine chiropractic services.
My question would be could "standard, routine chiropractic services" possibly be code for "supplying them with steroids?" It WOULD explain some of Ovie's behavior, though, wouldn't it?!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Promotional Giveaway Added to Pens Final Regular Season Home Game

I am SO GLAD that I decided to buy tickets for the last game of the regular season ... THIS makes it so worth the little extra I paid!!!

The Penguins announced today that they will be giving away a "commemorative ticket" to all fans in attendance for that game on Thursday, April 8 (the final regular season game in Mellon Arena’s history).
Each one-of-a-kind, aluminum ticket, presented by Trib Total Media, will be handmade by local artisans and craftsmen at Grove City-based Wendell August Forge.

The commemorative ticket will feature Mellon Arena using a design similar to the actual game ticket used by Season Ticket Holders that evening.

“The Penguins and Trib Total Media are looking forward to celebrating the final regular season game at Mellon Arena with our fans and this commemorative ticket,” said Penguins vice president of marketing James Santilli. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to work with a local company like Wendell August Forge that offers such unique products.”
AWESOME ... I'm so excited!!!

Sid VS Hank Entertaining? I Don't Think So!!

It just may be the most entertaining head-to-head matchup in the NHL these past three seasons.

Henrik Zetterberg and Sidney Crosby. Nordic cool versus Canadian passion.

~The Windsor Star (03/23/2010)
Entertaining? Are you kidding me?! Only if you're someone who enjoys seeing someone beat on a large, limp sack of potatoes!! Zetterberg is as soft as they come ... his GOALIE had to step in for him!! Give me a break!!

Granted, these two are as talented as they come on the ice when it comes to hockey, but I think Crosby puts it best ...

"There are lots of guys who play tough," said Crosby when asked if Zetterberg presents his most challenging head-to-head match-up. There are a lot of guys who don't have Rafalski and Lidstrom on the backend either. He competes hard. We both do.

Which can also be said of their infamous SC goalie who now warms the bench and is reminded of just how overrated he really is as cameras catch him looking for some action with Detroit's head equipment manager in between plays instead of seeing it between the pipes!

No, thank you!! I'd rather watch grass grow than any "physical" battles between Sid and Hank ... NEXT!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

[UPDATE] Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS Detroit) - Malkin OUT / Detroit Lines


HC Bylsma recently confirmed that Malkin will be out of tonight's lineup against the Detroit Red Wings.

When asked if Malkin was out for the game, Bylsma responded, "that's the case, yes."
Malkin wasn't at practice this afternoon; however, it was reported yesterday that he's expected to play tonight, but I'll keep you posted if I hear anymore later today

LINE COMBINATIONS (projected; according to this afternoon's skate ... Talbot took Malkin's place with him not taking part)


Fleury in goal


  • Dan Cleary (F), groin injury - day-to-day
  • Patrick Eaves (F), head injury - day-to-day
  • Kirk Maltby (F), shoulder surgery - will miss at least the rest of the regular season
  • LINES:


    Howard in net

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

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Fleury still has a concern about the "famously bouncy board" at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
"It's always something I'm aware of, and I've learned the hard way you have to watch for those," he said. "You don't want to over-think it, that guys would shoot to the side of the net, but you need to know that if they do, the boards will make that puck come back quick."
I'm thinking he's also aware of the infamous ice that can sneak up on you when you're skating onto it at the Joe (I don't think he'll be forgetting his fall during the SCF run in 2008 at the Joe anytime soon and I'm sure his teammates may have a lot to do with that!)!!

Team Notes for Sunday

I'm a little late getting to this, but better late than never!!

  • Yesterday, the team held a short afternoon practice at 11 AM prior to leaving on a plane to Detroit at 2 PM (it was only about 20 minutes long, but some players decided to stay longer to get a little more work in)
    Head coach Dan Bylsma called the session "short and sweet." He also said the abbreviated practice was partially due to give the players a much needed rest to gear up for the final 10-game stretch.
  • The only players not to participate yesterday were Malkin, Gonchar, and Cooke; however, Malkin is expected to be in the lineup tonight against the Red Wings.
Stay tuned for more with the pre-game notes later today!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Off-Day Notes - Malkin at Practice

  • practice was held this afternoon at the Iceoplex in Southpointe

  • Malkin hit the ice this afternoon to practice with the time for the first time since his injury (he tested it Wednesday and Thursday, but with a negative result); he's still listed as day-to-day and it's unknown whether or not he'll be in the lineup tomorrow afternoon against the Carolina Hurricanes (but it would appear good to me since he practiced today!)

  • The lines for today's practice were (forwards): Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis; Ponikarovsky-Malkin-Fedotenko; Cooke-Staal-Guerin; Rupp-Kennedy-Adams

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Reactions to the "Hype" (Don't 'Believe' It)

According to today's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

The NHL has assigned veteran on-ice officials to work the game tonight. Referees Bill McCreary and Stephen Walkom have worked nearly 2,300 regular-season games, and linesmen Brian Murphy and Tony Sericolo nave officiated more than 1,960 between them.

Penguins majority co-owner Mario Lemieux and president David Morehouse are expected to attend the game, as is NHL director of hockey operations Colin Campbell.
Here are what some of the Pens had to say about the hype that's been going around for tonight's game:
"Haven't thought about it yet," Cooke said after a Wednesday morning practice before the Penguins played last night against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

Pressed four times for comment yesterday on the treatment he expected to receive from Boston players, Cooke added only that the Penguins' Atlantic Division showdown with the Devils was "the most important thing right now."
On the hype surrounding the game:
These games always get hyped up a lot. They are in a tight race so the two points are huge. I am just trying to contribute.
On whether Cooke should have his head up:
Matt always has his head up. He is more than able of taking care of himself.

On whether he thinks Cooke must be aware tonight:
I am sure he will keep his head up all night. I’m sure he will be fine.
On being worried about the Bruins taking runs at him:
No. I have been run before.

On missing this game because of the hype surrounding it:
It is going to be a tough and physical game tonight. I think Boston needs points if they want to make the playoffs. I don’t expect them to play dirty tonight because they don’t want to play on the PK the whole game. I think it’s going to be a tough game but not a dirty one.
"I don't know how much they can be worried about retribution with Cookie because they need points," Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said, adding that it was "unfortunate what happened to Savard."

Today's Cover of the Boston Herald!!

What do you think ... is Boston concerned about winning tonight or revenge?? My bet is if they're looking for revenge, it'll happen within the first minute of the game (to send a message quickly)!! READ MORE ON IT IN THE ARTICLES BELOW:

LET THE HOOPLA BEGIN (I can guarantee that the Pens are more focused on a win then the revenge angle that the fans / media have started!)!!! I'm feeling a win tonight (THIS paired with Fleury having piss and vinegar running through his veins to "redeem" himself after last night's silliness against NJ).

Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS Boston) - Malkin OUT / Godard IN

Malkin will miss his second game tonight against the Boston Bruins, but is hoping he can return on Saturday for the Carolina Hurricanes

the Pens webpage is reporting that Godard "is looking to get back" in the lineup for the first time since injuring his groin back in January against the NY Rangers; I'm not sure if that means tonight or not, but they could probably use him if Boston looks to seek revenge for Cooke's hit on Marc Savard the last time the teams met earlier this month

this morning's skate was optional and there were four players who participated - Marc-Andre Fleury, Brent Johnson, Eric Godard, and Jay McKee



Fleury in goal (who I believe will give Boston a run for their money to redeem himself after last night's whooping he took from NJ)


  • Marc Savard (F), concussion - indefinitely; likely done for the season
  • Patrice Bergeron (F), bruised right foot - day-to-day
  • Andrew Ference (D), groin - day-to-day; hoping to be back by Sunday

Penguins CEO Sawyer Announces Retirement

The Penguins webpage is reporting that their senior executive, Ken Sawyer, will be retiring prior to the start of the 2010-2011 season on August 31st. Current team president, David Morehouse, will take over the vacancy left by Sawyer's retirement and will now fill dual roles as both CEO and president until his official retirement in August.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS New Jersey) - Malkin OUT

Malkin will not be in tonight's lineup against the Devils; he skated prior to this morning's skate, but didn't feel comfortable enough to be in tonight's game

"That's the case," Bylsma said when asked if Malkin would be out. "He is still day-to-day. He was not able to get on the ice today."

"He was trying to skate and get on the ice and deal with it," Bylsma said. Hopefully tomorrow he will be in (the lineup)."

LINE COMBINATIONS (according to this morning's skate)
Rupp-Talbot-Adams (Godard)

Leopold-Goligoski (McKee)


  • with the news of Paul Martin returning to the Devils' lineup tonight, everyone is healthy

MERRY CHRISTMAS from the Devils!!!

Don't try adjusting your TV screen tonight during the game ... that IS green (and not black) you'll see the Devils' wearing for "one night only" against the Penguins.

“The original red, green, and white jerseys are a part of our history here in New Jersey,” said Lamoriello. “We have always been an organization that takes great pride in its tradition. This is something we believe our fans will enjoy for that one special night.”
The announcement of the team's tribute to their "true colors" came from President / CEO / GM Lou Lamoriello prior to this season back in August.

Well, here's to hoping part of their history is as lucky for them as it had been for us (i.e., the Pens infamous losing record when wearing the retro "baby blues" during the first season of the alternate third jerseys) and that these horrid uniforms put the losing curse on NJ giving us the advantage for tonight's game!!

SIDENOTE: Marty will also be sporting a "recreation" of the mask he wore for his NHL debut with the Devils back in the 1991-1992 season (when he was recalled by NJ from their AHL affiliate for four games that season).
“I think it’s fun,” Brodeur said. “I’m the only guy (here) that played in that jersey. When I heard about it, I thought, ‘It would be awesome if I could dress exactly as much as possible.’”

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

[UPDATE] Off-Day Notes - Godard Returns

  • [UPDATE] Godard returned to the ice today for his first full practice with the team since suffering a groin injury back at the end of January

  • [UPDATE] practice lines: Ponikarovsky-Crosby-Dupuis; Kunitz-Staal-Guerin; Cooke-Kennedy-Fedotenko; and the fourth line rotated between Talbot, Rupp, Adams and Godard

  • According to the Penguins webpage, Crosby participated in practice today but Malkin was not there. I'm hoping they're giving him a break in order to nurse his injury enough to play tomorrow against the NJ Devils!!

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

the Pens played their last game against the Quebec Nordiques; the Nordiques' Jocelyn Thibault stopped a penalty shot taken by Marin Straka (the Pens lost 5-4)

Scott Pearson of the Quebec Nordiques beat Tom Barrasso on a penalty shot

Monday, March 15, 2010

Malkin Day-to-Day

Malkin was injured in the 2nd period of yesterday's game against the Carolina Hurricanes Tampa Bay Lightning when the puck hit him from a shot taken by Kris Letang.

The Pens webpage reports that the x-rays did not show any broken bones, but the injury is undisclosed. And luckily, the injury is actually less serious than it could be!

He's listed as day-to-day, so hopefully we'll have him back for Wednesday's game against the Bruins.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Easing into "Normal"

Well, at least this is a post, so it's a starting point.

I'm trying very hard to get back into blogging, but even just that seems to be a chore these days and I'm hoping my readers can understand that. Yesterday was my first day back at work which proved to be a slight struggle especially with training scheduled for this week ... needless to say my butt was kicked by the end of the day and I was glad to be able to hop into my truck and head home!!

Anyway, I've learned pretty quickly that this blog is a big part of who I am as a Pens fan since I've felt quite "lost" not having done my usual "research" for the blog and preparing for upcoming games. During yesterday's game I found myself clueless as to who was / wasn't playing and the typical, everyday team news which felt quite strange so I decided I have to get back on track here in order to feel any kind of normalcy even as a Pens fan!!! I'm not used to the feeling of being "clueless" as I watch games and it's not too good of a feeling.

I just want to thank all of you again for your patience (and hope I didn't lose too many of you) and ask that you give me a little more time in order to ease my way into blogging again. Hopefully that won't take too much longer especially since I'm pretty lost without it (it keeps me straight and helps me pay attention to what's going on with my team!).

THANKS, guys!! : )

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I Ask for Your Patience!

I just want to give you a little update and let you know that I may not be online for a few days. I apologize for the lack of updates, but I haven't been on my computer recently because my grandmother passed away last week. Today is her viewing and tomorrow is the funeral.

This has been a very trying and exhausting time even prior to her death, so I'm not sure how long of a break this will be (I'm hoping not more than the next couple of days!), so I'm asking for your patience - please bear with me.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Another Transaction Under the Wire!!

The Penguins just now announced that they've acquired a 2010 6th-round draft pick in exchange for defenseman Chris Peluso.

Peluso was a Penguins prospect who is currently in his senior year of college hockey for Bemidji State of College Hockey America.

The Penguins now have eight draft picks in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft with a first-, third-, fourth-, fifth-, three sixth- and a seventh-round selection.

Skoula Dealt Again Today

It doesn't directly affect the Penguins since they traded defenseman Martin Skoula yesterday; however, reports are saying that the Toronto Maple Leafs have traded to the NJ Devils in exchange for a 2010 fifth-round draft pick (we'll be seeing him again when the Devils visit the Igloo on March 12th and 17th).

I know listening to the post-game show with Bourquie and Grover last night that this is what they had expected the Leafs to do with Skoula.


Off-Day Notes

  • all of the Penguins are back practicing today except for Crosby, Malkin, and Orpik who have been given the time off because of their two-week stint at the Olympics (Fleury is participating after being unable to participate yesterday because he was stuck in traffic created by an area building on fire that had blocked the roads)
  • the Pens new forward, Alexei Ponikarovski, may not be able to arrive and soon as expected as he has an issue with his VISA (Poni will be wearing #23 and Chris Connor will change to #18 when / if he is recalled at anytime during the remainder of the season)

Shero at It Again

[UPDATE] I was just emailed this bit of info taken from today's Toronto Star:
Not many fourth-rounders turn into players who score 20 or more goals three times and play 477 NHL games, but Ponikarovsky did. Still, his inconsistency drove the organization crazy, as did his unwillingness to play a physical game on a regular basis despite his size.
Could this be another situation like the 2008 Hossa deal? I'm hoping not and with Shero's track record (and our boys winning the Stanley Cup last season), I think I'm still willing to give this a chance.

Last night during the game, there was alot of buzz ... not only for the great game the Pens were playing, but also because there were trade talks in the air.

On the way home after the game, it was confirmed that the Penguins picked up forward Alexei Ponikarovsky from the Toronto Maple Leafs for both Luca Caputi and Martin Skoula. The majority of the talk on the post-game show with Grover and Bourquie was all good, so I'm excited. The assumption is that Ponikarovsky (Poni) will play on Malkin's line; and with Fedotenko, they'll be a force to be reckoned with!!

I'd say we're pretty ready for another long Stanley Cup run, wouldn't you?!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pens 'Stache Tracker 2010 - MARCH

Today was the Penguins monthly shoot-out competition to name the new "Mustache boy," and this month's "winner / loser" is JAY McKEE!!!

I have NO PICTURES of "the Fedotenko!" He got off way too easy during his month!!! If any of you have a picture, please feel free to send it to me OR go to the Facebook group and post it there!!

MARCH'S "LOSER" - Jay McKee ("BEFOREstache" pictured left)

MY THOUGHTS - Ruslan got off WAAAAAAY to easy this past month with his mustache and I really don't think there will be too much of a difference to Jay's look with "the McKee!"


Pens Acquire Defenseman

The Penguins recently announced that they've acquired defenseman Jordan Leopold from the Florida Panthers in exchange for a 2010 2nd-round draft pick.