Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Crosby Traveling to Florida with the Team

The Penguins announced today, through GM Ray Shero, that captain Sidney Crosby will return to "morning skates" with the team beginning tomorrow in Tampa Bay.  It will not include full practices nor is it any indication of the time for his return.

This is just indication that Sid is progressing nicely!

In other player injury updates, yesterday HC Dan Bylsma reported that Dustin Jeffrey underwent an MRI that revealed some damage to his knee, but was unsure of the extent.  Today, Bylsma advised that Jeffrey will be undergoing surgery today and that there would be further information as to the extent of the surgery and knee damage afterwards.

Eric Tangradi is also traveling with the team for tomorrow's game in Tampa Bay.  Nick Johnson and Matt Cooke were on the ice prior to practice (I'm assuming this means that Cookey is still unable to practice and / or travel with the team).  In light of the Bertuzzi non-suspension yesterday, THAT JUST SUCKS!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

UPDATE: Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS Philadelphia) - Letestu Returns!!

UPDATE: the Pens webpage confirmed that Letestu will be back in the lineup tonight against Philly!!
"I just talked to coach and he's throwing me out there," Letestu said. "It's like Groundhog Day for me. I've been through this once before. Hopefully, I'll have the same kind of game that I had coming back from the other injury tonight."
Mark Letestu returned to the ice with his teammates for this morning's skate and reclaimed his position centering the top line which looks like a good sign he'll be back in the lineup soon, if not tonight but nothing has been confirmed

LINE COMBINATIONS (projected from the morning skate)

Brad Thiessen was re-assigned to WBS this morning, so Brent Johnson is back at it (and skated this morning as well as with his teammates)

for those of you attending tonight's game, be sure to check out the Penguins' fan guide for key points of information

Oskars Bartullis (D), shoulder - indefinitely
Ian Laperriere (F), post-concussion syndrome - indefinitely
Chris Pronger (D), rehabbing from hand surgery - 3-4 weeks
Jody Shelley (F), fractured orbital bone - 3-4 weeks


(45-20-10, 100 points)
In net tonight: Sergei Bobrovsky (projected)

Philadelphia Flyers webpage
PREVIEW: Flyers try to prevent Penguins from drawing even (03/28/2011)
ON THE FLY blog: Bring on the Penguins (03/28/2011)

Philadelphia Daily News
Flyers, please start the playoffs (03/28/2011)
Frequent Flyers blog
Video: Flyers edged late by Bruins (03/28/2011)

Philadelphia Inquirer
Flyers Report Broad Street Bull blog
Charlie Sheen salutes Pronger; Flyers raising ticket prices (03/28/2011)
Another frustrating defeat for Flyers (03/28/2011)


On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

Ron Francis scored his 400th career goal, against the Los Angeles Kings, making the Penguins the first team to have players record their 400th, 500th (Joe Mullen) and 600th (Mario Lemieux) goals in the same season.

Mark Taylor earned his first hat trick with the Pens after scoring three times on New York Rangers John Vanbiesbrouck.

Information obtained from

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pens Sign UNH Wildcat Forward

The Penguins announced earlier today that they signed forward Paul Thompson to a two-year, entry-level contract.

Thompson attended the Penguins development camp this past off-season and has since been having quite a successful senior year at the University of New Hampshire being named 2010-11 Hockey East Player of the Year.

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

Penguins won their second consecutive Patrick Division title (winning 4-1 against the Washington Capitals)

The fastest goal scored on the Pens was 6 seconds into the game and scored by Hartford Whalers' Sylvain Turgeon (on goalie Pat Riggin); the Whalers won the game 5-4

Greg Malone netted his first and only hat trick with the Pens after scoring three times on New York Rangers goalie Doug Soetaert

Penguins goalie Michel Plasse earned his second shutout with the Pens by stopping 29 shots from the Detroit Red Wings.

Information obtained from

Friday, March 25, 2011

UPDATE: Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS New Jersey) - Comrie to Play Tonight!!

according to HC Bylsma, Jeffrey has yet to see a physician so there's no status update on him but he will not be in tonight's lineup against the Devils; goalie Brent Johnson is still "day-to-day" with an upper body injury - FLEURY WILL BE IN GOAL TONIGHT

Mike Comrie will return to the lineup tonight to fill the spot left by Jeffrey

no line information today as HC Bylsma held an optional skate this morning; players present (total of nine): Engelland, Conner, Godard, Niskanen, Comrie, Tangradi, Talbot, and Orpik, and Thiessen.

Both Sidney Crosby and Mark Letestu skated with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar for about 30 minutes this morning

Matt Corrente (D), shoulder - out indefinitely
Zach Parise (LW), knee - out indefinitely (talk is that he'll be back as soon as next week)
Matt Taormina (D), ankle - out indefinitely
Bryce Salvador (D), concussion - out indefinitely

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

IT'S A DATE FOR MAF SHUTOUTS recording one on this date in the past three seasons (maybe he'll have one tonight!)!!

Fleury recorded his 15th career shutout stopping 31 shots against the Calgary Flames

Fleury earned his 11th career shutout stopping 31 shots against the New Jersey Devils

Fleury recorded his seventh career shutout stopping 29 shots over Boston (in a 5-0 win); he was the first Pittsburgh goaltender to earn a shutout victory over Boston since Jim Rutherford (January 20, 1973)

Mario Lemieux recorded his 20th hat trick against the New Jersey Devils

Jean Pronovost set the Penguins' record for fastest goal from the start of a game (6 seconds) against the St. Louis Blues in a 5-2 win

Information obtained from

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS Philadelphia)

LINE COMBINATIONS (projected from the morning skate)

NOTE: Orpik rotated with the other six defensemen during drills (he HAS been cleared by the doctors to play, but is uncertain of when he'll return; talk has been about sometime next week)

the Flyers don't seem to have a #1 goalie as they've been dividing the time between Brian Boucher and youngster Sergei Bobrovsky ... today Laviolette gave the nod for Bobrovsky to start in the net tonight for the Flyers

Oskars Bartullis (D), shoulder  - indefinitely
Ian Laperriere (F), post-concussion syndrome - indefinitely
Chris Pronger (D), hand surgery - 3-4 weeks
Jody Shelley (F), broken orbital bone - indefinitely


(44-19-9, 97 points; clinched playoff spot)

In net tonight: Sergei Bobrovsky - CONFIRMED

Philadelphia Flywers webpage
PREVIEW: Atlantic's best teams meet in Philadelphia (03/23/2011)
Shelley To Have Surgery (03/22/2011)
ON THE FLY blog (03/23/2011)

Philadelphia Daily News
Flyers aren't looking like a team headed to Stanley Cup finals (03/23/2011)

Frequent Flyers blog
Exclusive: History Will Be Made - "Comeback" (03/23/2011)

Philadelphia Inquirer
Flyers still have no clear No. 1 goalie (03/23/2011)

Flyers Report Broad Street Bull blog
Pronger making progress; Bob or Boosh? (03/23/2011)
Banged-up Penguins offer another tough test for Flyers (03/24/2011)With Shelley out, GM won't add muscle (03/23/2011)


On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

Jaromir Jagr and Martin Straka were named to the 2002 Czech Republic Olympic team

Penguins obtained Sean Pronger from the Anaheim Mighty Ducks for rights to Patrick Lalime

Mario Lemieux scored his 1000th career point at Detroit in only his 513th career game and became the second fastest player in NHL history to reach the mark

Jean Pronovost became the first Penguins player to score 50 goals in a season and Pierre Larouche became the first to record 100 points in a season in a 5-5 tie against the Boston Bruins

Information obtained from

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pens Sign Kühnhackl

Late yesterday, the Penguins announced that they signed Tom Kühnhackl (their 2010 4th-round NHL Entry Draft pick) to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Kühnhackl currently plays for the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and has been having quite a successful first season with them.

To read more on the Spitfires webpage, CLICK HERE.

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

Mario Lemieux was stopped on a penalty shot by Buffalo Sabres' Domenic Hasek

Penguins' Mark Johnson, USA Gold Medal Olympian, scored his first NHL goal in a game against Winnipeg

Information obtained from

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cooke Suspended for Rest of Season and First Round

The NHL handed down it's punishment to Matt Cooke yesterday afternoon after a 1:30 PM disciplinary hearing at which Cooke was present.  The league suspended him for the rest of the season (10 games remaining in the Penguins schedule) and the first round of the playoffs (4+ games).  His wallet will also be $219,512.20 lighter.

With such a drastic punishment, Cooke won't be the only one feeling the affects from this suspension.  The team will certainly be missing his presence on the ice especially during the playoffs.  However harsh, the hit is what the NHL has been struggling to control and one, I believe, that requires this type of statement by the league.  Ray Shero agrees.
“The suspension is warranted because that’s exactly the kind of hit we’re trying to get out of the game. Head shots have no place in hockey. We’ve told Matt in no uncertain terms that this kind of action on the ice is unacceptable and cannot happen. Head shots must be dealt with severely, and the Pittsburgh Penguins support the NHL in sending this very strong message.”
I'm hoping that the league will try to follow through on this with some type of consistency - moreso than they have in the past.  If they can manage that, I believe that it will definitely make a difference and bring about more protection and safety for the players.  In Matt Cooke's case, it looks like it's already creating a change according to a recent interview between Cooke and the Trib's Rob Rossi and that's a great thing to hear.

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

St. Francis Central Hospital was imploded to make way for the Penguins new home, Consol Energy Center

Malkin scored two goals and had one assist in a Penguins 7-1 romp over the New Jersey Devils (his three points pushed him over 100 points for the season, making him the 12th player in team history to reach the milestone)

Tom Barrasso recorded his 17th shutout with the Penguins (stopping 28 shots made by the Dallas Stars)

Penguins aquired Peter Taglianetti from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a third-round draft pick (1993); also acquire Mike Ramsey from the Buffalo Sabres for Bob Errey

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS Detroit) - Cooke at "In-Person" Disciplinary Hearing

HC Bylsma confirmed that Arron Asham be in tonight's lineup and Brent Johnson will be in goal for the Pens

the Penguins held an optional skate this morning, so nothing on line combinations today; players on the ice today: Rupp, Asham, Jeffrey, Conner, Adams, Godard, Letang, Lovejoy, Engelland, Niskanen, B. Johnson and Fleury

according to, Matt Cooke is currently attending an "in-person" disciplinary hearing (scheduled at 1:30 PM, est); will post updates as I hear / read them, so check back!!!

again today, Crosby is scheduled to skate
"Sid was scheduled to skate this morning," Bylsma said. "The protocol is based on his interaction with the doctor, not with our trainers. So based on what his interaction with the doctor is, he would be on the ice today. And that was the schedule, to do his off-ice stuff as well."
Pavel Datysuk (C), lower body - day-to-day
Johan Franzen (LW), undisclosed - day-to-day
Jiri Hudler (LW), flu - day-to-day
Chris Osgood (G), sports hernia surgery - day-to-day
Ruslan Salei (D), personal - day-to-day

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS Ottawa) - UPDATE

UPDATE: Martin, Letang, and Potter are all to be in tonight's lineup against the Senators.

this morning, the Penguins recalled defensemen Corey Potter and Steve Wagner from their WB / S affiliate team; Matt Niskanen did not travel to Ottawa with the team due to the flu and I'm assuming that Kris Letang suffered an injury after the hit he took from Edmonton's Gilbert Brule during last Sunday's game against the Oilers; Letang did not practice and was to see a physician yesterday (but nothing has been confirmed as of right now).

INTERESTING NOTE: Paul Martin was not on the ice with the team at this morning's skate, so perhaps the second call-up is for Martin and not Letang (check back later for confirmation)

LINE COMBINATIONS (projected from today's skate)
the team did "rush drills" instead of skating with their lines according to today's Penguins Report

Daniel Alfredsson (F), back injury - out indefinitely
Matt Carkner (D), knee - out until April
Pascal Leclaire (G), hip / groin - out indefinitely
Milan Michalek (F), broken foot - out until April
Peter Regin (F), shoulder - will miss the rest of the season
Jonas Holos (D), head - out indefinitely
Peter Mueller (F), head - out indefinitely
Kyle Quincey (D), shoulder - out for the remainder of the season

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

The Penguins played in front of the 100th straight sellout crowd at the Mellon Arena

The Penguins obtained Shean Donovan from waivers from the Atlanta Thrashers and acquired Jamie Pushor from the Columbus Blue Jackets for a fourth round pick in the 2003 NHL Amateur Draft

Baz Bastien, a former goalie, coach, and general manager for the Hornets and later general manager of the Penguins, was killed in a car accident as he returned from dinner honoring him; the players wore a simple black, screened armband for the three remaining home games of the 1982-83 season

Info obtained from

Monday, March 14, 2011

Crosby Skates!!

I just got a text, as many of you probably have, that Sid is back on the ice this morning practicing IN FULL GEAR!!!  The Pens webpage is reporting that he spent nearly 15 minutes on the ice.

As much as I'm excited about this news and seeing him "back where he belongs," I'm still leery and hoping that this isn't a sign he's coming back this season.  I just think it would probably be wise for him to think about the long-term repercussions it would possibly have on him and his career.  I'm certain there are very capable and knowledgeable people working with him, but I can't help but feel a little hesitant to have him anywhere close to playing a game and would prefer he wait for his "comeback" next season.

At any rate, it's good to see you back, Sid!!! ; )