The Latest Penguins Buzz
Despite advancing to the second round of the playoffs, secondary scoring was a major issue for the Penguins in their first round matchup against Philadelphia.
After being down two games to one to the Washington Capitals, It was still a problem going into game 4, as Ruslan Fedotenko was the only top 6 winger to score an even strength goal through the first 9 games of the playoffs.
In games 4 and 5, Pittsburgh has received significant production from secondary players such as Jordan Staal, Ruslan Fedotenko, Matt Cooke and Max Talbot who all found the back of the net during times of the past two games.
Secondary scoring has finally showed up for the Penguins and it’s a prime reason why they have the Capitals on the brink of elimination.
Latest on Sergei Gonchar
Despite being a game time decision, it was not expected that Sergei Gonchar would play in game 5 and that was the case as Gonchar did not take the pregame skate.
While there are reports out there that Gonchar could miss the remainder of the playoffs, we’re hearing that kind of talk is a bit premature right now.
Team doctors are somewhat optimistic and as of this evening
they still do not have a specific timeframe as to how long Gonchar will be out. I’m told rest and treatment could very well have Gonchar back in the lineup during the Eastern Conference Finals (if the Penguins advance). The injury is not as servere as first thought and is being described as a minor MCL injury.
Gonchar rode the team bus to the Verizon Center today, looking like he thought he could play according to a source which is a positive sign. Team officials are not shy about releasing info about players who have long-term injuries and I truly believe they still do not know a timeframe yet as to how long Gonchar will be out. Maybe Gonchar will be sidelined for up to 6 weeks like some reports have indicated but at this point that is just a guess
Guerin enjoying his time in Pittsburgh
I’m told Bill Guerin is having an amazing time in Pittsburgh and is very interested in finishing his career with the Penguins and Sidney Crosby. Guerin has been a tremendous locker room presence behind the scenes.
Crosby and Guerin have become very close ever since the 2007 All-Star Game and they have hit it off much better off than ice than Crosby and Marian Hossa did. Two issues heading into contract talks after the season; Will Guerin accept a one year deal? Can he sell his wife on Pittsburgh as it’s being rumored his wife loves the New York area.
Bylsma not a fan of dressing seven defensemen
Dan Bylsma has admitted that he is not a fan of dressing seven defenseman but he had no choice tonight. Bylsma had this to say on what Alex Goligoski and Philippe Boucher brings to the table.
Bylsma added: “ Couple reasons, Alex Goligoski is a guy that can bring the puck up on the power play and ran the power play for a large part of the year, if not the majority of the year.”Boucher provides a veteran, physical presence and is not going to get rattle into a game like this.”
Goligoski played a total of 9:32 while Philippe Boucher saw 13:03 of ice time. One of the reasons we will likely see Bylsma dress seven defensemen on Monday is because the Penguins don’t trust Goligoski in the defensive zone. He is in the lineup because of his ability to run the power play and that’s it.
Bylsma makes right decision scratching Dupuis over Satan
With dressing seven defensemen, Dan Bylsma had to choose which forward to sit. Bylsma went with the player who is performing better and played Miroslav Satan over Pascal Dupuis.
Satan put on another strong performance in game 5, setting up Jordan Staal for the Penguins first goal of the game. Satan is making the most of his opportunity and he’s even winning some fans over. Who would have thought that, two months ago.
Capitals advocate Barry Melrose “claims series is over”
Barry Melrose who has been a strong advocate of the Capitals beating the Penguins this series, proclaimed on Sports Center tonight that the series is over.