Latest Penguins Buzz

Insider Only Friday Practice Report: Role players, good goaltending fuel Penguins 6-1 start

The Latest Penguins Buzz
The Pittsburgh Penguins return home Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning to begin a five game home-stand. The Lightning are 2-2-2 through six games and former Pittsburgh Penguins winger Ryan Malone leads the Lightning with 6 goals.
On paper the Lightning are a better team than last year and some nights they have looked improved but they continue to struggle to keep the puck out of their net and are also averaging under 3 goals per game.
*Today, the team went through a 75 minute workout. One lineup change for tomorrow night will be Eric Godard returning to the lineup. Godard was informed that he will play.
* Two key reasons that management believes has fueled the Penguins 6-1 start; (1) Great contributions from role players Tyler Kennedy, Craig Adams, Jay McKee, Michael Rupp and Matt Cooke; (2) Good Goaltending
One player who will see an increased role over the next 3-4 weeks will be

forward Chris Bourque. He skated with the second line during a portion of today’s practice and Ray Shero wants to see what Bourque can do with skilled players before Max Talbot returns. His opportunity to prove himself will be short though.
He has great skating ability but even in practice he doesn’t have the look of a top-6 forward. Sort of reminds me of Pascal Dupuis around the net. His feet are too fast for his hands.
*The official time table for Max Talbot to return is 5-6 weeks. He is still on target for a late November – very early December return. Talbot was working with Mike Kadar this morning. He’s starting to get more velocity on his shot.
Dallas, Toronto and Minnesota had scouts in attendance for the Hurricanes – Penguins game Wednesday night.
A few practice notes
*Kris Letang took the majority of reps with the first power play unit today. But, moving forward, Goligoski and Letang will continue to rotate.
*Brent Johnson has been told that he will start one of the back to back games (OCT 30th, 31st) to end the month but a decision for next weeks games (23rd, 24th) has not been made.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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