TIOPS DAILY BUZZ: WEDNESDAY EDITION
*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*
— There are a lot of good guys in the NHL but you find many better than Pascal Dupuis. He’s just one of those people who you speak to for the first time and can just tell he’s a good caring person.
Dupuis importance inside the Penguins room became so evident to those in the Penguins organization last season when Dupuis went down with a torn ACL. “We certainly want to have him around,” associate GM Jason Botterill said of Dupuis. “He’s been a huge asset to our locker room there and the enthusiasm he brings around. Obviously he won’t be able to help us on the ice but hopefully help us in different manners.”
Injured players are not around much, so others are going to have to step up from a leadership standpoint, but on the ice, what the Penguins are going to miss is the little things like Dupuis speed to pressure the opposition and Dupuis commitment to defense that leads to others buying in.
— The Penguins didn’t have enough cap space to make a call up today. With Dupuis going on LTIR, Capgeek projects the Penguins cap space at the trade deadline to be $5,297,198, which a maximum calculation.
— The Penguins have opened the season like a team on a mission and the adrenaline rush of playing for a new coach and new GM is still evident. Like all NHL coaches do at somepoint during their tenure with respective clubs, Dan Bylsma became so stale in that room. Just hearing a new voice led to players embracing Mike Johnston from the get-go and players are having fun again coming to the rink and playing for Johnston. How long will the honeymoon last? Who knows but you can’t ask for a better start in how the Penguins are playing the right way. There’s only been two games this season where teams were able to get the Penguins out of their comfort zone, being the Flyers and Rangers.
— Kris Letang is ranked 13th in ESPN’s rankings of the top defensemen (1-50) in the NHL. That sounds about right. It’s hard to argue with Olli Maatta cracking the top-30 but Christian Ehrhoff over Paul Martin? Come on —
— LeGarrette Blount, as expected, cleared waivers today. He was well liked in the Steelers locker room but not to players who have been around for a while. He rubbed the Keisel’s, Roethlisberger’s, Polamalu’s the wrong way from the start a source said. Even Blount’s friends in the locker room haven’t come to his defense, except of course Mike Mitchell.
No excuses for Blount’s actions Monday but it is easy to understand his frustrations. He was not used enough, especially during the previous couple weeks when Bell wasn’t running the ball well.
— It’s far from a surprise that Joey Porter was the first one to confront Blount Monday night, per Rob Rossi of the Tribune-Review.
— The Steelers gave no consideration to claiming Ben Tate who was released by Cleveland for similar reasons the Steelers released Blount, frustrations over playing time.
— The odds are strong of Dri Archer going down as a wasted pick in the third round, guys his size just don’t make it, and what should be scary for Steelers fans is a potentially increased role for Archer that offensive coordinator Todd Haley hinted at today. “We really haven’t had an opportunity to use Dri, which probably has been frustrating to him, but this might give us an opportunity to get him in there a little more, even in non-situational spots,” Haley said. “[Dri] can run inside and out, and he’s shown that from Day 1. We’re excited about him, and he’s excited about the opportunity.”
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