Defenseman Rob Scuderi returned to practice today after missing Monday‚Äôs practice with an illness. All-Star forward Evgeni Malkin who was excused from practice on Monday was also on the ice today as the Penguins prepare to face off against the New York Rangers on Wednesday.
Crosby/Malkin to stay together?:
Head coach Michel Therrien was non-committal yesterday regarding whether Crosby and Malkin will stay together but based on practice today it does appear the duo will play together against the Rangers.
Power play to have a different set up: The Penguins have worked on their struggling power play this week. In practice the personnel was basically the same. Boucher and Whitney working the points but one formation I did like was Sidney Crosby moving around quite a bit. In a few scenarios the Penguins used Crosby on the left hash-marks acting as the set up man with Malkin on the right side.
Fedotenko skates for second consecutive day: Forward Ruslan Fedotenko is atleast 10 days away from returning but Fedotenko skated for the second consecutive day this morning.
Orpik to return by the weekend: Defenseman Brooks Orpik remains limited but is hopeful to play against the Devils or Maple Leafs.
Mathieu Garon sharp in practice: Goaltender Mathieu Garon has looked very sharp in practice the past two days. He has showed very rebound control and has been solid on breakaways. Michel Therrien has stated Garon will start in one of the Penguins games this weekend. If Fleury plays well against the Rangers on Wednesday, Fleury will likely start on Friday against New Jersey, with Garon starting against the Maple Leafs.
Dupuis back to full health: Forward Pascal Dupuis claims his injured ankle kept him out of the lineup longer than he thought it would. Dupuis was available to play against the Hurricanes but was held out by the coaching staff. The extra rest has paid off as his skating is near 100%.
Thomas over Jeffrey?: Management has been very impressed with the play of Dustin Jeffrey. Other teams have also aking notice as sources indicate a lot of teams are asking about Jeffrey in trade talks. The Predators, Islanders, Lightning and Avalanche have made inquires. The reason Bill Thomas got the call up is Thomas is a better option as a fourth line center. Thomas is versatile and Pittsburgh wants to see if he can replace Mike Zigomanis before they bring in another veteran center. Jeffrey is better served as a third line center and he still needs to develop. Jeffrey has a bright future whether it’s with the Penguins or someone else.
More to come