Forward Ruslan Fedotenko skated on Thursday and is inching closer to a return. Fedotenko has been ruled out for Friday‚Äôs game but could return on Sunday at the earliest. At the latest, Fedotenko is expected back by February 11th when the Penguins face-off against the the Sharks.
Luca Caputi practiced today and it appears he will be in the lineup tomorrow against the Blue Jackets. Caputi saw limited ice time yesterday because the Penguins were playing back to back games and they don‚Äôt want to wear him out. He should see increased ice time against Columbus
Only about a dozen players skated today.
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are expected to be separated for tomorrow‚Äôs game. Both players did not skate.
Don‚Äôt be surprised to see Jordan Staal play with Evgeni Malkin in the next week or so. There has been some talk that the coaching staff wanted to get those two playing together again but the circumstances have forced the coaching staff’s hand lately.
Blue Jackets goaltender Wade Dubielewicz will start against the Penguins on Friday and the Penguins won’t be seeing rookie Steve Mason. An opportunity for the Penguins to advantage of facing a backup goaltender.
Blue Jackets first round pick Nikita Filatov was activated off of injured reserve and assigned to the Jackets AHL affiliate. In eight games with Columbus, Filatov has four goals.
Philippe Boucher who has been a frequent scratch lately had an
lengthy discussion with Michel Therrien following practice today. I was told the meeting lasted over 10 minutes and Boucher expressed his concern about not playing. It worked for Satan yesterday, maybe it will for Boucher.
Had a chance to speak to Mark Recchi off the record yesterday and you can tell it still bothers him how he was treated last season. Recchi says the way the Penguins basically wanted to get rid of him, drives him to keep playing at a competitive level. Recchi thought he would retire in a Penguins uniform and seems like he still has a lot of animosity towards Therrien and the front office.
Recchi has not ruled out playing next season and could return to the Lightning even if he is dealt at the deadline. He has been a strong influence on rookie Steven Stamkos and he must have learned his lesson from how he treated Sidney Crosby.
Was told there is nothing to the Adam Hall rumors and the Penguins are happy with Bill Thomas in that role.
I was not up in the press box last night but a friend of mine who works in the communications department for the Penguins came down to see me following the 2nd period in my seats when the Penguins were down 3-0 and there was a lot of tension going on between members who work for the Penguins. Not saying something was going to happen following the game if the Penguins didn’t turn it around but there was a lot of uncertainty going on.
I’ll be at the morning skate tomorrow and will have a update around 11 or so on Friday’s lineup.