Farm Report: Player Observations through 34 games

 

The Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins (18-14-1) got a three point night from Wyatt Smyth, getting goals from five different players en route to a 6-3 win Wednesday night over the Binghamton Senators. Chris Lee (4), Mark Letestu (8), Luca Caputi (13), Eric Tangradi (7) scored for Wilkes Barre while Smyth (7, 8,) added two goals. John Curry made 24 saves to earn his 15th win of the season. Aside from Wyatt Smyth, two bright spots on the night were top prospects Luca Caputi and Eric Tangradi. In the midst of a mini-slump, Luca Caputi the teams’ leading goal scorer, scored his first goal since December 18th and 13th of the season. Caputi also had an assist and was tied for a team high 4 shots on goal. Eric Tangradi has gotten off to a slow start but is starting to pick up his game. Tangradi notched his 7th goal of theRead More »

WINGS AND THINGS

 

Much needless argument is manufactured on this site and others like it regarding the Penguins’ situation at wing. Debate away. But things won’t change. No significant moves will be made to upgrade the Pens’ wingers. Not now, and not at the trade deadline. This is what General Manager Ray Shero has chosen: Strength down the middle, mediocrity on the flanks. If Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal can live with it, so can you. Let’s get this one out of the way: The Penguins will NOT acquire Ilya Kovalchuk as a rental player at the deadline. Even if Shero could maneuver cap room, Kovalchuk will fetch Atlanta far more than the Pens would want to surrender. The Penguins’ future is, indeed, NOW – but you can’t totally pillage your future or give up young wingers who can solve the problem long-term. Which brings us to…

Farm Report: Penguins interested in grooming Dustin Jeffrey into a left winger

 

Johnson back at full health Right winger Nick Johnson (6ft2, 200lbs), is regarded by many NHL scouts as the Penguins most under-rated prospect. Johnson plays a strong two-way game and caught the eye of many members in the organization this past September, when Johnson pushed for a roster spot out of camp. Johnson likely would have been one of the Penguins call-ups during the Penguins rash of injuries in October and November but Johnson suffered a high ankle sprain just 7 games into the season, which sidelined him for 7 weeks. Johnson returned to the lineup Wednesday night, scoring 2 goals in Wilkes Barre’s 6-0 rout of Syracuse. This is a big year for Johnson to prove that he is an NHL player. Johnson will turn 24 this month. Stat Line: 8 GP – 3 goals – 1 assist – 4 pts Penguins grooming Dustin Jeffrey to be a leftRead More »

Farm Report: Caputi meeting expectations

 

When top prospect Luca Caputi entered training camp this past September, Pittsburgh wanted Caputi to have a Tyler Kennedy kind of training camp from 2007; Have a dominant training camp and carry that play to the minors for the first 2-3 months of the season. That wasn’t the case for Caputi who struggled for the most part. Pittsburgh had no intentions of Caputi pushing for a roster spot out of training camp but Pittsburgh wanted to see more out of him. Through 14 games with the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League, Caputi has put his subpar camp in the rearview mirror. Caputi has 6 goals on the season and he is finally playing with an “edge”. Management has wanted Caputi to be more aggressive in the offense zone and he has done that consistently for the first time in his young professional career. He is getting pucksRead More »

Farm Report: WBS Penguins rout Portland 6-1

 

Wilkes Barre 6 – Portland 1 Defenseman Chris Lee had a goal and two assists and John Curry made 17 saves as the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins routed the Portland Pirates 6-1 Wednesday night to improve to 7-4-2 on the season. The Penguins played a tight defensive game limiting the Pirates to 17 shots on goal and the Penguins got plenty of scoring from their backend. Defensemen Brian Strait (1) and Chris Lee (1) each scored and Lee added two assists to earn the games No. 1 star. Keven Veilleux (2), Luca Caputi (5), Zach Sill (1) and Eric Tangradi (1) also scored for Wilkes Barre. Veilleux continues his strong play which has led to a promotion to the second line, playing alongside Ryan Bayda and Mark Letestu. After a slow start to the season, Veilleux has goals in 2 of 3 games and has added a physical dimension to hisRead More »

Farm Report: Marlies end Penguins 6 game unbeaten streak

 

Bayda scores 6th goal of the season in loss A four point night from Victor Stalberg and two goals from Pittsburgh native Christian Hanson, helped the Toronto Marlies get past the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins 4-2 Sunday afternoon in front of 2,768 fans at Ricoh Coliseum. The Penguins failed to contain the Marlies top line of Stalberg, Hanson and Mike Zigomanis who joined the Marlies two weeks ago on a professional tryout. The Stalberg – Zigomanis – Hanson line combined for 9 points as Hanson and Stalberg led the way for Toronto. The loss was the Penguins first regulation defeat in their past six games. Wilkes Barre outshot Toronto 36-28 as Brad Thiessen (24 saves) took the loss. The two bright spots for Wilkes Barre was Ryan Bayda who scored his 6th goal of the season in the second period and top prospect

Farm Report: Wilkes Barre drops second straight game

 

Wilkes Barre, PA — In a game that had plenty of altercations, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers scored with 10 seconds remaining in the third period to upend the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins 2-1 Saturday night at the Wachovia Center. The loss was the Penguins second straight loss as the Penguins fall to 1-2-0 on the season. After being shutout 3-0 Friday night, the inability to score goals has been an issue through the first three games of the season. The story of the game though was the middle of the second period which looked like a scene from the movie Slap Shot. At 9:19 of the second period, 10 fighting majors combined were awarded between the two teams. Saturday night was another promising game for prospect

THE BALLAD OF PASCAL DUPUIS

 

Penguins training camp is winding down, and most of the guys you expert analysts out there figured had a shot are now apartment-hunting in Wilkes-Barre, and with multiple levels of disgust. The lone remaining people’s choice is winger Chris Conner, but the only way Conner sticks is if the Penguins can’t agree to a contract with tryout player Ryan Bayda. Bayda is three inches taller than Conner and more aggressive. Each has a journeyman’s resume.

Pre-season Game 3: Post-Montreal Thoughts

 

Penguins fall to Canadiens 4-3 Sergei Gonchar, Bill Guerin and Evgeni Malkin each scored for the Penguins but it wasn’t enough. Goals by Canadiens winger, Guillaume Latendresse, center Scott Gomez, a shorthanded goal, and two goals from right winger Brian Gionta prevailed the Canadiens to a 4-3 win. John Curry started in net for the Penguins. *In the battle for the No.7 defenseman spot, it remains Nate Guenin’s job to lose. Defensemen Ben Lovejoy and Deryk Engelland were a pairing against Montreal and had mix results. Lovejoy did some nice things offensively, setting up Evgeni Malkin’s second period goal. But, in the defensive zone, he was inconsistent along with Engelland. Both were over-matched for the most part. Engelland and Lovejoy were on for two of Montreal’s goals. An Engelland turnover led to Brian Gionta’s second goal of the game which put the game in doubt. Lovejoy has looked like aRead More »

Pre-season Game 2: What to watch for

 

Toronto @ Pittsburgh 1. Luca Caputi – Dan Bylsma deserves a lot of praise for the way he has used top prospects Luca Caputi and Eric Tangradi. Tangradi skated with Sidney Crosby in the Penguins pre-season opener and tonight Caputi will skate on a line with Evgeni Malkin. It’s a little move that will only help Caputi’s development. Playing Caputi on the 3rd or 4th line does nothing for him. Caputi’s game is driving to the net and that is where he is going to score a lot of his goals. Caputi is also excellent on the fore-check. What he needs to show tonight is the ability to make a play for himself and how he reacts when pressured by a defender. A knock on Caputi has been turning the puck over when when entering the offensive zone. *Caputi’s linemates will be Tyler Kennedy and Evgeni Malkin tonight. 2. LWRead More »