Morning skate update: Cooke playing with Malkin; Boucher out

 

Calgary Flames (42-24-6-90) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (39-27-8-86) The Penguins have made some line changes for tonight’s game. Matt Cooke has been moved up to the second line and will play with Evgeni Malkin and Petr Sykora according to a source close to the team. Penguins Lineup Cooke – Malkin – Sykora Kunitz – Crosby – Guerin Fedotenko – Staal – Kennedy Dupuis – Talbot – Godard Despite skating with the second power play in practice yesterday, defenseman Philippe Boucher will be scratched. The coaching staff wants him to get a few more practices under his belt.

Rangers gain ground, Penguins drop to 7th

 

If the playoffs started today the Penguins would be the #7 seed in the Eastern Conference, giving them the worst possible matchup against the #2 New Jersey Devils who I regard as the top team in the East. The Rangers gained ground tonight as Nikolai Zherdev had a goal and an assist to lift the New York Rangers (39-27-8) to a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild. The win moved the Rangers up to the #6 spot in the Eastern Conference, dropping the Penguins to the #7 spot due to the Rangers have an advantage in the season series between the division rivals. Playoff Races 4. Philadelphia Flyers (40-22-10, 90 pts) Games Remaining: 10 5. Carolina Hurricanes (40-28-7, 87 pts) Games Remaining: 7 6. New York Rangers (39-27-8, 86 pts) Games Remaining: 8 7. Pittsburgh Penguins (39-27-8, 86 pts) Games Remaining: 8 8. Montreal Canadiens (37-27-9, 83 pts) Games Remaining:Read More »

Pirates GM Neal Huntington “still waiting for relievers to step up”

 

By John Perrotto_The focus of the Pirates’ spring training camp has been the starting rotation but the bullpen is even more unsettled with the April 6 opener at St. Louis less than two weeks away. The rotation is 60 percent set with left-handers Paul Maholm and Zach Duke assured of spots along with right-hander Ian Snell while two jobs remain open in a three-man competition between Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf and Virgil Vasquez. Conversely, less than half of the seven bullpen jobs have been filled as the Pirates are still looking for four relievers to fill in behind closer Matt Capps, left-handed set-up man John Grabow and right-handed set-up man Tyler Yates. “Quite frankly, we’re, still waiting for people to step up,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. “Nobody has really distinguished themselves.” Left-hander Sean Burnett appeared to be all

MLB: Jose Tabata’s 43 year old wife suspected of baby kidnapping

 

Amalia Tabata Pereira, the 43 year old wife of Pirates prospect Jose Tabata, is being questioned for taking a baby from a clinic outside of Tampa Bay, Florida. According to the Associated Press, Amalia Tabata Pereira, 43, was being questioned by Florida detectives in Manatee County, where a 2 month year old baby was found unharmed Tuesday afternoon, a day after she was takin from a health clinic outside Tampa, FL. Plant City Chief of Police Bill McDaniel said authorities are looking to charge Pereira with false imprisonment. Tabata, 20, is the Pirates #3 rated prospect in their minor league system and his estimated arrival for the major leagues is September 2009.

When it comes to the Super Bowl Champs, who needs free agency

 

“Photo courtesy of UCLA Athletic Program” Steelers see Bruce Davis as pass rushing specialist in 09 | Height: 6-3, Weight: 252 lbs | | Age: 23 | POS: OLB | A player the Steelers are expecting to make great strides when mini camp begins is 2008 3rd round pick Bruce Davis. Davis is a player Steelers fans seem to forget about after the Steelers received minimal production from their entire 2008 draft class. When the Steelers drafted Davis, he was seen as a projection player who wouldn‚Äôt have much impact his rookie season. That was obviously the case and in year two the Steelers expect Davis to develop into the situational pass rushing specialist they drafted him for. In his junior year (2006) at UCLA, Davis recorded 12.5 quarterback sacks and recorded 17.5 tackles for loss. In his senior season (2007), Davis showed the ability to be a force onRead More »

Tuesday’s Practice Report; Boucher returning to the lineup?

 

After a much needed rest on Monday, the Penguins returned to the ice this morning as they prepare to face-off against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. Everyone on the roster was accounted for this morning. The Penguins did some tinkering with their lineup throughout a few drills.

The Latest Penguins Buzz

 

Despite a 10-1-2 stretch, the Penguins are still not a lock to the make the playoffs as they‚Äôre only five points ahead of ninth place Florida. There is a lot of work that needs to be done between now and the end of the regular season. Two players who desperately need to pick up their games are Petr Sykora and Ruslan Fedotenko. Sykora who is a streaky player has 3 goals in his last 17 games and only one goal in his last 9 games. At this time last year Sykora was playing his best hockey of the season. From 3-9-08 through 3-24-08 Sykora had 7 goals in 7 games for the Penguins. Sykora needs to return to that level for the Penguins final eight games. Winger Ruslan Fedotenko has been a complete disappointment down the stretch going scoreless in his last 14 games. Fedotenko only has two goals inRead More »