Crosby expects uptempo, physical game; Staal discusses Penguins chances of returning to the finals

 

Live From Raleigh The Carolina Hurricanes (93 points) and Pittsburgh Penguins (92 points) are separated by one point in the playoff standings and tonight is a crucial game for both teams fighting for playoff positioning. Carolina is on a seven game winning streak and have won 10 straight home games. Tonight’s game is between the conference’s hottest teams as the Hurricanes are 11-2-1 in their last 14 games, and the Penguins are 13-2-1 in their last 16 games. Following the Penguins morning skate, Sidney Crosby talked about how the teams focus is on the winning and how he expects a physical game while Jordan Staal discussed the Penguins chances of reaching the Finals again. Read more for the latest pregame report

Prospect Report: Penguins sign goaltender Brad Thiessen

 

Photo courtesy of Northeastern University The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed goaltender Brad Thiessen to a two-year entry-level contract. Thiessen, 23, appeared in 41 games with the Northeastern Huskies this season, finishing with a record of 25-12-4. He recorded a 2.12 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage Thiessen will report to

Penguins envision Jordan Staal as a winger for the 2009-2010 season?

 

The Latest Buzz Penguins, Zigomanis have mutual interest: Despite missing most of the season with a shoulder injury, look for the Penguins to sign center Mike Zigomanis to a one year deal following the season in the range of $650k. Zigomanis has a strong interest in returning to the team for the upcoming season. The Penguins are looking to fill 3rd/4th line holes with players making close to the minimum salary for next season. Zigomanis is weeks ahead of schedule from shoulder surgery and will begin skating soon. The Penguins have no plans in moving Jordan Staal back to wing for this season but a source close to the team tells me

The Ice Report

 

Bozak signs with the Leafs The Toronto Maple Leafs won the Tyler Bozak sweepstakes as the talented forward agreed to a two year contract worth close to $1.8 million. The Penguins were informed late Wednesday night that Bozak would be signing elsewhere. The Penguins remain in contact with a few other college prospects but they are not believed to be pursuing former Hobey Baker award winner Ryan Duncan. Ruslan Fedotenko Update The Penguins practiced this morning at SouthPointe and they will depart to Carolina this afternoon. Forward Ruslan Fedotenko (Shoulder) was evaluated this morning by Dr. Charles Burke

Prospect update: Penguins sign Joe Vitale to a one year contract

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed prospect Joe Vitale to a one year entry level contract. Vitale will report to Wilkes Barre. Vitale, was the Penguins 7th round draft choice in the 2005 draft. In 40 games this season with Northeastern University, Vitale had 7 goals – 20 assists – 27 points. Vitale finished his four years at Northeastern University with 34 goals and 60 assists for 94 points, which ranks 48th in Huskies history Vitale is regarded as a

League projections have salary cap at $49.7 million for 2010-2011 season

 

Decrease in Salary Cap will lead to difficult negotiations with NHLPA on new CBA The salary cap for the 2009-2010 season will be in the range of $55-$57 million but league projections currently have the salary cap decreasing to $49.7 million for the 2010-2011 season. These projections could obviously change, which they hopefully do but the Penguins will be in a tough position. With concerns over the salary cap, it should not come as any surprise that the Penguins have been in strong pursuit of college prospects Matt Gilroy and Tyler Bozak. This may give some insight into how Penguins General Manager Shero is looking to fill some holes for next season The Penguins currently have about $46.5 million committed to

The Latest Penguins Buzz

 

Coming off a 6-1 win Wednesday night, the Penguins held an optional practice this afternoon. Among the forwards who skated were Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Craig Adams, Max Talbot, Eric Godard, Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy Defensemen Kris Letang and Philippe Boucher also skated. Marc Andre Fleury took the day off and Mathieu Garon was the only goaltender on the ice. Mike Yeo, Tom Fitzgerald ran the optional practice. The latest on Bill Guerin and Ruslan Fedotenko

Crosby extends point streak to 16 games, Penguins rout Devils

 

The Penguins dominated from the drop of the puck and routed the New Jersey Devils 6-1 Wednesday night at Mellon Arena to move within six points of the¬† Devils for first place in the Atlantic division. Sidney Crosby (30) and Chris Kunitz (23) each had a goal, assist and Marc Andre Fleury made 24 saves to move to 12-1-1 in his last 14 games. Matt Cooke (11), Bill Guerin (20), Evgeni Malkin (34) and Jordan Staal (21) also scored for the Penguins. Brian Gionta (19) was the lone goal scorer for the Devils who have now lost six straight games. Post-Game Analysis: Are the Penguins the best team in the Eastern Conference? Three weeks ago the Devils were viewed as the worst possible matchup for the Penguins in a playoff series. With the Devils in the midst of a six game losing streak, that‚Äôs not the case anymore. The DevilsRead More »

Tyler Bozak sweepstakes down to Av’s, Isles, Sens, Leafs & “mystery team”

 

As of late Wednesday night, University of Denver Bozak was considering five teams according to a source close to Bozak: The New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche are the four main teams who remain in talks with Bozak. Bozak informed the Columbus Blue Jackets Wednesday night that he would not be signing with them according to the Columbus Dispatch. The Jackets were in Bozak’s top 6. There is still believed to be one more team that is being described as a “wildcard” that Bozak is still considering. A team official with the Penguins told me late Wednesday afternoon that the Penguins and Wade Arnott

Morning Skate Update; Elias misses morning skate, out for tonight’s game

 

New Jersey Devils (47-25-4-98) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (41-27-8-90) The Penguins entertain the New Jersey Devils tonight in what may be a preview of a first round matchup between the two division rivals. If the playoffs started today, the Penguins and Devils would faceoff against each other. The Devils currently lead the season series 3-2. There will only be one lineup change from the Penguins. In the morning skate forward