2009 first round pick Simon Despres is back up with the Penguins and practiced with the team today. With Kris Letang possibly out for the season and Paul Martin sidelined, Despres has a golden opportunity where could be in line for a big role with the team down the stretch. The million dollar question is whether the coaching staff gives him that opportunity and whether Despres will even be around past the March 5th trade deadline.
The Pittsburgh Penguins had some cap maneuvering going on this afternoon to get cap compliant. Here’s a rundown on the announced roster moves: *Kris Letang and Tomas Vokoun have been placed on injured reserve *Beau Bennett has been assigned to Wheeling of the ECHL. *Simon Despres and Andrew Ebbett have been assigned to Wilkes Barre/Scranton. *2012 1st round pick Derrick Pouliot has been returned to juniors. *The Penguins have recalled defenseman Harrison Ruopp. OFFICIAL 23-MAN ROSTER AS OF 5:00 P.M. *The Penguins current active roster as of 5:00 p.m. has 13 forwards, 8 defensemen and 2 goaltenders. The official roster we see right now isn’t going to be the one Thursday night. FORWARDS: Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Jussi Jokinen, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Brandon Sutter, Matt D’Agostini, Tanner Glass, Craig Adams, Joe Vitale, Dustin Jeffrey, Chris Conner. DEFENSEMEN: Brooks Orpik, Paul Martin, Matt Niskanen, Rob Scuderi, Olli Maatta,Read More »
MORNING PENS BUZZ *The Penguins begin a stretch of three games in four nights, starting tonight in Toronto against the Maple Leafs. The Leafs who match up well against the Penguins, defeated Pittsburgh 5-2 on Jan 23 in the Penguins home opener. The Maple Leafs with a record of 15-10-0, 30 pts, have the look of a potential playoff team and right now are 5th in the Eastern Conference. Expect a sloppy defensive game as the Penguins come in averaging a league high 3.54 goals per game and the Leafs can skate and put the puck in the net, ranking 6th in the NHL averaging 3 goals per game. Pittsburgh in back to back situations this weekend return home to host the New York Islanders Sunday night. The big game is Tuesday night at home against the Boston Bruins, a game many should be looking forward to and a possibleRead More »
SUNDAY’S PENS BUZZ MALKIN & MARTIN UPDATE Evgeni Malkin practiced fully today and did take some contact. He said he would like to have a few more practices under his belt before returning to the lineup but didn’t rule himself out for tomorrow night, saying “we’ll see” about playing vs the Tampa Bay Lightning. Bylsma said that while Malkin has been cleared for contact, he still needs to pass an impact test. Malkin said the only issues he had following the injury was memory loss and that the injury looked worse than it really was. Meanwhile, Paul Martin skated today going through individual workouts prior to practice but head coach Dan Bylsma has ruled Martin out for tomorrow night’s game. Expect the same six defensemen to dress tomorrow night. Marc Andre Fleury will start in goal. SOME TAKEAWAY’S FROM LAST NIGHT’S WILD 7-6 WIN *Of all the negatives defensively lastRead More »
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 »
GAME DAY BUZZ PENGUINS (13-7-0, 26 PTS) @ HURRICANES (9-8-1, 19 PTS) MALKIN SKATES AGAIN Things continue to move in the right direction for Evgeni Malkin who skated again this morning at Southpointe. Malkin has been symptom free since Tuesday and has now skated in consecutive days. The Penguins continue to indicate there is no timetable for his return and they are going to be very careful on not establishing one. However, it wouldn’t be surprising if Malkin gets cleared for contact following this weekend, barring a setback. CANES GETTING HEALTHY Jeff Skinner, Tim Brent, Tim Gleason and Jamie McBain will all return to the lineup tonight for Carolina. The return of Skinner is huge for Carolina who has missed the last five games. Skinner is third on the team with 14 points (7G-7A) in 13 games. He will play tonight on the second line with Jordan Staal. “Jordan isRead 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 »
GAME DAY BUZZ FLYERS (9-7-1, 15 PTS) @ PENGUINS (11-5-0, 22 PTS) TEAM STATS PIT Goals Per Game (3.19) | PHI Goals Per Game (2.65) PIT Goals Against Per Game (2.38) | PHI Goals Against Per Game (2.82) PIT Power Play (27.4%) | PHI Power Play (19.1%) PIT Penalty Kill (82.5%) | PHI Penalty Kill (83.1%) PIT 5 on 5 Goals (31) | PHI 5 on 5 Goals (28) PIT 5 on 5 Goals Against (24) | PHI 5 on 5 Goals Against (29) LEADERS PIT Points: Sidney Crosby (24), Chris Kunitz (19), Evgeni Malkin (18) | PHI Points: Jacub Voracek (15), Matt Read (13), Claude Giroux (13), Brayden Schenn (13) PIT Goals: James Neal (11), Pascal Dupuis (7), Sidney Crosby (7) | PHI Goals: Matt Read (7), Daniel Briere (5), Claude Giroux (5) PIT Assists: Sidney Crosby (17), Evgeni Malkin (15), Chris Kunitz (13) | PHI Assists: Jacub VoracekRead More »