Game Day Buzz: Need for left handed defenseman gives Despres advantage to stay in lineup


GAME DAY BUZZ OTTAWA SENATORS (7-4-2, 16 PTS) @ PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (8-5-0, 16 PTS) The emergence of Robert Bortuzzo isn’t going to push Simon Despres out of the lineup for when Kris Letang and Matt Niskanen return to the lineup, which could happen for both tonight vs the Ottawa Senators. Letang and Niskanen who seemed to be under orders not to say whether they will be in the lineup tonight, both indicated after the morning skate that they are a “coaches decision”. “Felt pretty good,” Letang said. “Ready to go”. Expectations are Letang will be in the lineup tonight and Niskanen sounded a lot more optimistic about playing tonight than he seemed after yesterday’s practice, saying today was a “really good day.” Both were to be evaluated after the morning skate. Niskanen left the ice with the regulars, while Letang stayed on later to get some more work in. IfRead More »

Penguins player reports vs Islanders: Despres, Jeffrey bright spots; Neal earns first “F”


Premium Post-Game Player Reports Game 6 – Tuesday, January 29, 2013 Islanders @ Penguins Centers Sidney Crosby| 1 Assist, even rating, 4 SOG, 1 GV, 21:00 TOI, 14 FW – 12 FL, 53.8% Crosby picked up a late assist but for the most part struggled in the Penguins 4-1 loss as his passes were off the mark for most of the night. The official scores sheet had Crosby listed with just 1 giveaway and that’s being awfully generous. Crosby, overall was 53.8% in the faceoff circle but was just 36% (4 of 15) in offensive zone  draws.| Grade: C- | Season Stats: 3 G – 3 A – 6 Pts – +1 Evgeni Malkin | 0 Goals, even rating, 3 SOG, 1 hit, 1 GV, 21:17 TOI, 8FW – 5 FL, 61.5% Seeing multiple different line mates, Malkin never got into a rhythm vs the Islanders and had no power play shots in 6:40 of ice time on the power play.Read More »

Latest Penguins Buzz: Latest Despres trade talk; Two under the radar (non-rental) winger targets surfacing


LATEST TRADE TALK Rob Rossi of the Tribune-Review reported on Friday that defenseman Simon Despres “can be had for the right price” and the rumor mill surrounding Despres has been heating up since. The Penguins are not actively looking to move Despres but the team willing to move Despres for the right deal is no surprise as the team dangled him last summer in an attempt to trade for a No. 1 pairing defenseman. There were talks then between the Penguins and Coyotes with the Penguins interested in moving Despres in a package for Keith Yandle, but the two sides were never a match as the Coyotes wanted a young top-6 forward in return. [instory] There’s talk now again that Despres might only be available in a targeted trade from the Penguins end, similar to Alex Goligoski in 2011 when inquiring teams were being told he wasn’t available, yet GoligoskiRead More »

Quick Hits: Thiessen outperforming Zatkoff of late; Need for left handed defenseman a plus for Despres going into camp?


SOME FRIDAY NIGHT PENS QUICK HITS *Brad Thiessen posted his second shutout in his last three games, leading the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 1-0 win over the Hershey Bears at Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday night. Thiessen made 23 saves in the win and his game has really picked up of late. The first couple months of the season, goaltender Jeff Zatkoff emerged as the clear No. 3 goaltender in the Penguins organization but Thiessen has had something to say about that of late. The lone goal came from Brian Dumoulin who scored a power play marker in the first period, his 3rd of the season. Beau Bennett (6G-18A-24Pts) picked up his 18th assist of the season on the goal and Dylan Reese added an assist. Reese’s 13 points lead all defensemen on the team. *Who’s Heading to Camp?* Robert Bortuzzo, Brian Strait and Beau Bennett we’re all in theRead More »

Pens plan to finalize camp roster internally on Wednesday; Is Despres in camp plans?


The Penguins are expecting training camp to open on Saturday or Sunday (likely Sunday) of this week with the season starting on Saturday January 19th. Teams were informed today that camps won’t open no later than Sunday. The NHL is looking to highlight rival matchups in the NHL season kicking off on Saturday the 19th and all signs continue to point to the Penguins facing the Flyers in Philadelphia for an afternoon start. The Tribune-Review first reported last week of the likelihood of Pittsburgh opening the season in Philadelphia. Word is a home and home series between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia is likely. With a 48 game schedule in place, teams will play four games each against two divisional opponents, five games each against two divisional opponents and three games each against 10 conference rivals. CAMP BUZZ The Penguins brass hope to finalize their camp roster internally on Wednesday as they are nowRead More »

Prospect Camp: Day 1 Scouting Report & Observations


  Day 1 Observations Pens Prospect Camp Day 1 from William DePaoli Day 1 of Penguins prospect camp is in the books as the prospects went through testing earlier in the day and an on-ice session this afternoon. Most of the on-ice drills centered around skill/flow drills, systematic drils such as breakouts/forecheck and 1-on-1 situations. Here is a full scouting report from today’s skate with players reports (in no particular order). C/RW Josh Archibald | 5-9, 161lbs | 2011 6th round pick | Day 1 Report: Among the top performers on day 1. Archibald has excellent speed and was argubaly the best skater on the ice. Really stood out early on in the majority of flow/skill drills. Archibald also performed extremely well in 1-on-1 drills, using his speed to the outside. Archibald had 27 goals and 73 points (25 games) for Brainerd, High School in 2010-2011. He centered Paul ThompsonRead More »

Top prospect Simon Despres selected for Team Canada’s World Junior training camp


Saint John Sea Dogs defenseman Simon Despres, the Penguins 2009 1st round pick and top prospect, has officially been invited to attend the Canadian World Junior Team Training Camp in December. 39 players were invited to the camp today, by Team Canada. The selection camp takes place from December 12-15 in Toronto as Canada will be looking to win its sixth gold medal in seven years. The 2011 IIHF World Juniors Championship is set to begin on December 26 in Buffalo, New York. The tournament runs from December 26 – January 5.

Bylsma on Despres: “He’s made it real tough”


Bylsma on Despres 2009 1st round pick Simon Despres will appear in his third preseason game tonight and is expected to see top-4 minutes against the Chicago Blackhawks. Despres who remains surprisingly in the mix, will be paired with Kris Letang. Head coach Dan Bylsma said today that Despres has made it extremely difficult on the Penguins decision makers.

Rookie Tournament Buzz: Jeffrey getting rave reviews


Rookie Tournament Buzz Word out of Penguins circles is that Dustin Jeffrey and Geoff Walker have been the two best players on the ice in the Penguins 2010 Rookie tournament. Zach Sill has also been a standout.  Jeffrey who has three goals in the tournament, is doing what he has to do as some of the Penguins top personnel members have been in attendance. This is the year the Penguins are expecting Jeffrey to make his mark in training camp. Questions though are still unanswered regarding how Jeffrey’s game will translate at the NHL level. Walker, 22, is a big winger with good size (6-3, 225) has some intrigue about him. He’s putting himself in position to get an early opportunity in Wilkes Barre to earn a spot on one of the top three lines.. Defensively top prospect Simon Despres has been characterized as being “dominant at times” in the defensive zone butRead More »