Breakout game for Crosby, Pens?
A five goal third period against the New York Rangers Wednesday night has captain Sidney Crosby and the Penguins proclaiming last night‚Äôs game as their breakout game of the season.
Crosby who was playing at about 80% health had a four point night and the Penguins erupted for five goals in the third period. Kris Letang and Petr Sykora each added two goals.
Fleury picking up his game: Goaltender Marc Andre Fleury has put together four straight strong performances. In Fleury‚Äôs past four starts, he has allowed two goals or less. Fleury will start against the Atlantic Division leading New Jersey Devils on Friday and fans will get their first chance to see goaltender Mathieu Garon on Saturday when the Penguins face-off against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Garon has looked sharp in practice.
Penguins doing the little things: For much of the season, The Penguins have lacked the fundamentals of hockey such as clearing the front of the net, throwing pucks to the net and driving to net. Last night they did all three.
Minard plays well against the Rangers: Chris Minard had an assist and was a plus 2 against the Rangers. Minard lacks NHL speed but he is starting to find ways to be productive (atleast against the Rangers). Minard created the Penguins first goal by driving to the net as Petr Sykora scored his 18th goal of the season. In the second period he had the puck near the boards in the offensive zone and threw the puck to the net which went off of a Rangers defenders skate and almost into the net. If Minard wants to stay with the Penguins, he has to keep getting pucks to the net and playing like he does against the Rangers.
Penguins to send Goligoski to WBS?
A source tells me defenseman Alex Goligoski may be sent down in the next week when Brooks Orpik returns to the lineup. The front office has giving Michel Therrien the authority to play who he wants and management feels Goligoski needs to be on the ice whether it‚Äôs at the AHL or NHL level. There was a growing concern for a while that sending Goligoski down to WBS would hurt his development. With Goligoski a frequent scratch, the front office may have no choice. The Penguins have also been looking at interest in Goligoski but the market for Goligoski is not as strong as once believed
Heavily scouted game yesterday: Three Columbus Blue Jackets scouts; 1 representative each for the Stars, Lightning, Avalanche and Kings.
Many of the scouts in attendance yesterday were looking at Ryan Whitney according to multiple sources.
A lot of buzz going on right now between the Penguins and Stars. It is believed the Stars have been looking at Whitney.
Penguins considered Caputi: As I reported a few days ago, the Penguins did strongly consider calling up forward Luca Caputi following the All-Star break. The team would like to bring Caputi up in a structured role for a few games.
Sykora on pace for 32 goals: Petr Sykora is tied with Evgeni Malkin for the team lead with 19 goals. Sykora An impending free agent at seasons end, is the kind of player a team like the Rangers will go after in free agency. Sykora will give the Penguins every chance to sign him, despite not having a great relationship with head coach Michel Therrien. Sykora’s representatives believe Sykora could net a 3 year – $11-$12 million deal on the open market.
The Penguins are hopeful that last night’s game will jumpstart Kris Letang’s productivity. Letang who had two goals on the night has the offensive potential to be a special player.
Brooks Orpik practiced today and I’m hearing he will likely sit out tomorrow’s game and return on Saturday.