Morning Tidbits: Struggles on the PK in the playoffs, date back to last post-season


Some Pre-Morning Skate Tidbits *Penguins take the ice this morning at 11:30 a.m. The buzz right now is Eric Tangradi will replace Chris Kunitz in the lineup tonight but nothing definite at this point. Comrie is next up on the depth chart but Tangradi gives the Penguins more versatility with their lineup. *The Penguins vaunted penalty kill unit has had few answers for the Lightning, most notably Marty St. Louis who has 3 power play goals in the series. The Lightning are 4-for-11 on the power play in the series. In the post-season, Penguins struggles on the PK date back to the 2010 playoffs. Since the 2010 post-season, Pittsburgh has given up 16 power play goals on 54 chances, a span of 16 post-season games. Pittsburgh is 63.1% on the PK in their first round series with Tampa. *An under-rated part of the Penguins play through three games has beenRead More »

Suspensions Looming? Strong consensus on Kunitz; Uncertainity on Downie


Chris Kunitz phone hearing is complete with league officials and there continues to be a strong consensus that Kunitz will get at least a one game suspension for his elbow on Simon Gagne. Kunitz and the Penguins are expected to contest that the elbow was unintentional. A team source I spoke with is expecting a ruiling by early Tuesday afternoon. With Kunitz having a phone hearing, he will receive a suspension of 4 games or less, if anything. Anything over two games would be overboard. Meanwhile, Steve Downie’s phone hearing with league officials is set for 11:00 a.m. There’s appears to be more uncertainty regarding Downie’s hit on Ben Lovejoy. Where Downie could get in trouble with the league is how he left his feet. It was a wreckless hit from that standpoint. Ben Lovejoy after the game said it was a clean hit and Downie hit him in theRead More »

Crosby not practicing but cleared to skate with team this week


Sidney Crosby did not go through individual on-ice workouts before today’s scheduled practice at 11:00 a.m. and anticipation was building that he would practice today with the team. Crosby though is not on the ice for today’s practice that is about 15 minutes in. However, speculation is rampant that Crosby will make the trip to Florida and practice with his teammates for the first time this week. Rob Rossi of the Tribune-Review reports that Crosby will make the trip to Florida and is officially cleared to practice. The thought process for a few days now has been that Crosby would begin skating with his teammates by Thursday or Friday of this week. Head coach Dan Bylsma said yesterday during Tuesday morning’s media session that at this point, he had “no scenario” in his “mind” where Crosby would make the trip with the team. The team has yet to confirm thatRead More »

Crosby Latest: Bylsma remains cautious….vibe is Crosby returning not a matter of “if” but “when”


Crosby Latest In the past 3 to 4 days, more and more vibes out of Sidney Crosby’s camp and even those in the Penguins organization, have centered around the expectation that Sidney Crosby will return this season. According to sources for over a week now, Crosby’s intention is to play this season and not take pre-cautionary measures, such as for example, decide to shutdown for the season, even if cleared. The focus has been on returning for the post-season and as Rob Rossi of the Trib writes in a good read, several of Crosby’s teammates believe a return for the post-season is going to happen. The sense now is that Crosby returning is not a matter of “if” but “when”. Crosby who continues to progress considerably in the past two weeks, is expected to receive clearance to practice with the team at somepoint this coming week, likely later in theRead More »

Crosby continues daily on-ice workout routine, skating in 9 a.m. hour this morning


Latest Updates on Orpik, Crosby, Letestu Another morning, another positive step in Sidney Crosby’s recovery from a concussion. Crosby again this morning went through an on-ice workout at Southpointe. Crosby skated during the 9 a.m. hour and he is starting to slowly intensify his on-ice workouts, which is a very encouraging sign.

Look for league to come down hard on Matt Cooke


8-10 games a possibility The Penguins in all likely hood will be playing without winger Matt Cooke for most, if not all of the regular season. Cooke put his team in another tough spot this afternoon against the New York Rangers, receiving a 5-minute major for elbowing and a game misconduct in the third period of today’s game when the score was tied 1-1. The Rangers went on to defeat the Penguins 5-2, behind four third period goals, including two power play goals in the third. In a dirty play, Cooke delivered an elbow to the jaw of Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh and being a repeat offender and on the heels of the GM meetings, Cooke is in big trouble with the league.

Letestu looks doubtful for tomorrow afternoon vs Rangers


SOUTHPOINTE — After an off-day on Friday, their second in three days, the Penguins are back on the ice this morning going through an on-ice workout. Forward Mark Letestu is still not practicing, sitting out the second straight practice and he looks doubtful to play tomorrow afternoon against the New York Rangers. Letestu is nursing an upper body injury he suffered against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night. Letestu not being available doesn’t necessarily mean that Arron Asham will see his first action since Feb. 1.

Crosby skates for the first time this morning


PITTSBURGH — One interesting development for the Penguins this morning. The Penguins have announced that Sidney Crosby skated for the first time this morning, going through a 15-minute skate. According to the Penguins, Crosby skated for about 15 minutes, stickhandling through some cones and shooting a few pucks. It is believed that he went through a “very” light skate. Crosby has missed the past 29 games and remains out indefinetely. This is the first positive development for Crosby who has been sidelined for over two months as he hasn’t been able to shake off post-concussion symptoms. Crosby is expected to speak with the media today at some point about today’s skate. Elsewhere on the Pens front, going through light workouts this morning include injured players Eric Tangradi (concussion), Brooks Orpik (broken finger) and Mike Comrie (hip). Tangradi has been skating on his own for a few days now. The disappointmentRead More »

Pens Buzz: Staal, Martin off top power play unit; Kovalev to work the point vs Habs


Asham very close to being cleared for practice Can Arron Asham work his way back into the top-12? The 32 year old winger has been free of post-concussion symptoms for over a week now and is expected to be cleared to practice with his teammates, following the weekend. Once Asham gets cleared to return to game action (likely a week away), it remains unclear whether the coaching staff will look to open a spot for him. Asham who was injured against the Rangers on Feb 1., has appeared in 36 games this season, collecting 5 goals and 10 points. He can still be a factor for this team, especially in the playoffs. Staff makes changes to top power play unit