GAME DAY BUZZ PENGUINS (13-8-0, 26 pts) @ CANADIENS (13-4-3, 29 pts) In a surprising development, Tomas Vokoun is getting the start in goal tonight vs the Eastern Conference leading Montreal Canadiens. Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma told reporters today that starting Vokoun tonight had been pre-planned for at least a few weeks now. “This has been a game that Tomas has been scheduled to play for a couple weeks now,” Bylsma said. If this was planned weeks ago, how about telling your No. 1 goaltender ahead of time that he’s not going to be playing tonight in his hometown. According to the Tribune-Review, Fleury expressed disappointment in learning that he’s not playing. “I’m not going to lie,” Fleury said on his disappointment. “Yeah, a little bit. Friends and family are going to be here.” The decision came as a surprise to Fleury. “A little bit, but it’s fine,”Fleury said. ByRead More »
LATEST PENGUINS BUZZ Simon Despres has been a healthy scratch for two straight games and is skating this afternoon as the fourth pairing with Mark Eaton. There are many different opinions in hockey circles about Despres right now. Some scouts, talent evaluators, see him as more of a No. 3 pairing defenseman at this point in his development, but I’ve heard from enough scouts and a few former players who watch this team closely who believe Despres is a top-4 defenseman right now. A good argument can be made for Despres that he should be playing over anyone in the lineup except Kris Letang, Paul Martin and Brooks Orpik. I like Matt Niskanen in Dan Bylsma’s system but defensively Niskanen is not a top-2 pairing defenseman. On a minutes (even strength minutes) per even strength goals against ratio, Niskanen has the worst mark of the Penguins seven defensemen. Niskanen hasRead More »
FLYERS (7-9-1, 15 PTS) @ Penguins (11-5-0, 22 PTS) Defenseman Mark Eaton who was officially released from his PTO with Wilkes Barre is taking part in today’s skate. Eaton has not been signed yet by the Penguins but an NHL source says you could say Eaton being with the team “is an extension of the tryout”. The Penguins want to give Eaton the opportunity to skate with the NHL guys for a few days and see how it goes for both sides, sources say.
WAIT AND SEE MODE Penguins GM Ray Shero is always looking to improve his team at the deadline, and the team enters the final hours of the trade deadline with an open mind on several fronts, a team source says. What Shero and many GM’s around the league have been met with is a tough market highlighted by few players available and high asking prices for marginal impact players. Pittsburgh like a few other top contenders who are looking to add but not desperate to make a move, are waiting for the prices to hopefully come down as the deadline inches closer. As of late Sunday afternoon, the Penguins were said to still be in wait and see mode when it came to players of interest on their trade board. Ideally the team would like to add a scoring forward but have been actively coveting a third line checking centerRead More »
Pittsburgh_ The Pittsburgh Penguins went through a 70 minute workout this morning before departing for Buffalo as the Penguins hit the road for a four game road trip that includes back-to-back games against the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils. Defenseman Alex Goligoski and forward Chris Kunitz did not practice today. Kunitz remains bothered by a nagging knee injury, while Goligoski has a bad back. Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma did indicate he expects both players to participate in Tuesday’s morning skate at Buffalo. Eaton to return to lineup Tuesday night *Defenseman Mark Eaton participated fully in practice today for the 3rd consecutive day. Eaton was paired with Kris Letang in practice and will return to the lineup against Buffalo after missing three games with a right knee injury. *Over the past week, Dan Bylsma has been experimenting with line changes on his top two lines and today in practiceRead More »
Toronto (13-17-9) @ Pittsburgh (26-11-1) Morning Skate Update: Defenseman Mark Eaton (right knee) participated fully in today’s morning skate. Eaton, Kris Letang and Martin Skoula alternated as a pairing. Eaton will return to the lineup sometime this week likely Wednesday night against New Jersey. Pittsburgh will wear their third jerseys tonight as today marks the 9 year anniversary of Mario Lemieux’s comeback. * Enforcer Eric Godard has been informed that he will return to the lineup against Toronto. Max Talbot is expected to be a healthy scratch. ******Game 39 Preview******** By James Conley
Martin Brodeur broke Terry Sawchuk’s 40-year-old shutout record with his 104th career shutout Monday night as the New Jersey Devils (26-8-1) blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0 for their third straight win against Pittsburgh this season. While Brodeur continues to entrench himself as arguably the greatest goaltender in the history of the game, the defending champs were over-matched against New Jersey for the third time this season. It has reached the point of concern as the Devils have quickly proved they are among the league’s best teams. The Devils transition game gave Pittsburgh fits Monday night just like it did in the two previous contests. New Jersey not Pittsburgh set the tone in the game and that’s been a common scene in all three games to this point. Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma has not found a way for the Penguins to combat the Devils tight defensive game in the neutralRead More »
Marc Andre Fleury made 31 saves and was 3-for-3 in the shootout as the Pittsburgh Penguins (25-10-1) defeated the Buffalo Sabres (21-10-3) 2-1 Saturday night for their fifth straight win and 25th win of the season. Sabres goaltender Patrick Lalime did his best impression of Ryan Miller making 23 saves and holding the Penguins to one goal in regulation. Kris Letang scored the lone goal for Pittsburgh in the shootout. Sidney Crosby (5-for-6) was stopped by Lalime in the shootout for the first time this season. The big story of the night was Marc Andre Fleury who earned his 21st win of the season. At the young age of 25, Fleury has established himself as one of the top 5 goaltenders in the game. His development over the past two seasons has him right where the Penguins expected him to be when they drafted him 1st overall in 2003. TheRead More »