Penguins (24-22-5-53) at Canadiens (28-16-6-62)
updated: 4:34 p.m. – A source tells me defensemen Hal Gill and Philippe Boucher will be healthy scratches in tonight’s game. Boucher will be a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game.
Brooks Orpik – Ryan Whitney, Rob Scuderi – Kris Letang, Mark Eaton – Alex Goligoski will be the Penguins D-Pairs.
2:08 p.m. – Luca Caputi the organization’s top prospect will appear in his first NHL game tonight. In today’s morning skate Caputi skated with Bill Thomas and Eric Godard. It appears he will begin the game on the fourth line and as planned the Penguins will use him in a structured role
Max Talbot who has been a disappointment this season centered Pascal Dupuis and Chris Minard in today’s morning skate.
Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby will remain on the same line.
Forward Tyler Kennedy will serve his one game suspension tonight.
Marc Andre Fleury will start in goal against the Canadiens and the plan is for Fleury to start Wednesday night against Lightning (depending on his performance against the Canadiens.)
Head coach Michel Therrien was non-committal on tonight‚Äôs scratches. Usually it is obvious which defensemen will sit but that wasn‚Äôt the case today as all eight defenseman rotated in the top 6 according to a source.
Photo courtesy of Dan4th
Scouting Report on Luca Caputi
Caputi,20, 6-3, 185 lbs, 35 points (13 goals and 22 assists) along with 35 penalty minutes for the Penguins AHL Affliate the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Positives: Caputi is very good around the net and uses his size well. At 6-3 185 lbs. Caputi has all of the physical tools to develop into a power forward at the NHL level. He is an effective player down low and is not afraid to play physical. Based on what I saw from him in the Penguins rookie camp and training camp, Caputi has a goal scorers shot and is very good at picking corners. He loves to pick corners and one of the major differences between Caputi and other young players in the Penguins organization is how quick the puck comes off of his stick when he’s in scoring position. During the Penguins training camp, Caputi appeared in one scrimmage and led all players in that scrimmage with 5 shots on goal.
Negatives: Skating – Caputi struggles with his first couple strides and that is one area of his game that he has improved over the first couple months of his AHL career but he is still not at the point where he needs to be.
Expectations: The Penguins organization lacks top tier wingers and expectations are high for Luca Caputi in the future. One thing fans need to remember is Caputi is not a Thomas Vanek type of prospect. He has the physical tools to be a very good player but at this point he is not viewed as a potential 40-50 goal scorer in this league. Despite that, the future is bright for Caputi and I see him as a perfect winger for Sidney Crosby given his size and ability to score around the net.
Malkin and Gonchar named permanent assistant captains
Evgeni Malkin has become a leader on and off the ice for the Penguins. Today he was rewarded by head coach Michel Therrien who announced Malkin and Gonchar will be the Penguins assistant captains the rest of the season. Orpik will wear the “A” until Gonchar returns in two weeks.
Kovalev and Laraque wearing out their welcome in Montreal?
All indications are Alexei Kovalev has worn out his welcome in Montreal. The fans along with the coaching staff have been very hard on Kovalev lately (excluding All-Star weekend).
Georges Laraque skated this morning but he is not ready to return from injured reserve. Fans have been very critical of Laraque’s inability to stay healthy this season.
Andrei Kostitsyn – Plekanec – Kovalev
Higgins – Koivu – D’Agostini
Sergei Kostitsyn – Lapierre – Pacioretty
Kostopoulos – B√©gin – Henry