MONDAY’S PRACTICE BUZZ
Winger Beau Bennett appears to be dealing with some sort of injury. Bennett is not practicing today and played just 6:05 vs the Tampa Bay Lightning but did see a few shifts in the third period.
The Penguins are home to the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday night and if Bennett is not able to give it a go, the Penguins would be down to 11 forwards, which could prompt a callup.
The top candidates for a callup are Chris Conner and Harry Zolnierczyk. Conner leads Wilkes Barre with 3 goals and 1 assist. Zolnierczyk who came on strong in the final week of camp, has 3 goals in three games for Wilkes Barre.
However, due to the Penguins cap situation, they could go the direction of dressing seven defensemen if Bennett can’t go.
Also not practicing today includes James Neal who is not ready to return to the lineup. Neal has been labeled as week to week and speculation has been that he’s dealing with an oblique issue that some are saying happened during the Penguins whiffle ball game a few weeks ago. Obviously that type of rumor is getting denied from team officials.
Matt D’Agostini skated this morning but is not practicing with the team. Head coach Dan Bylsma mentioned last week that D’Agostini could start practicing with the team on Wednesday or Friday of this week.
LETANG VERY CLOSE
It won’t be a surprise if Kris Letang makes his season debut tomorrow night vs the Edmonton Oilers, though I think the Penguins hold him out until Thursday night vs Flyers. Letang is a full participant in practice for the third straight session and has been taking contact since Friday. Letang has been dealing with a minor knee injury.
Once Letang returns to the lineup, he will move into a pairing with Rob Scuderi. Tomorrow’s morning skate will be a good barometer as to who comes out of the lineup if Letang were to play which is 50-50 right now. It’s believed as long as Olli Maatta is still with the team, Robert Bortuzzo would be the odd-man out.