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Author Topic: Training Camp  (Read 3569 times)
PghSteel-43
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« on: Sep 19, 2008 at 20:31 »

Penguins reassign 9 players to trim roster to 42
Friday, September 19, 2008
By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Penguins cut their training-camp roster to 42 by reassigning nine players this afternoon.

Forwards Luca Caputi, Joe Haddad, Dustin Jeffrey, Nick Johnson and Mark Letestu and defenseman Jonathan D'Aversa were sent to their American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre, while defenseman Alex Grant (St. John's) and forwards Keven Veilleux (Rimouski) and Casey Pierro-Zabotel (Vancouver) were returned to their junior teams.

The Penguins, who will face Tampa Bay in their preseason opener tomorrow at 7:38 p.m. at Mellon Arena, still have 24 forwards, 14 defensemen and four goaltenders in camp.

The Penguins' lineup for tomorrow includes forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Pascal Dupuis, Jordan Staal, Janne Pesonen, Ryan Stone, Kris Beech, Jeff Taffe, Miroslav Satan, Petr Sykora, Bill Thomas and Eric Godard, defensemen Sergei Gonchar, Ben Lovejoy, Alex Goligoski, Brooks Orpik, Mark Eaton and Darryl Sydor and goalies Marc-Andre Fleury and Dany Sabourin.

 
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PghSteel-43
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 19, 2008 at 21:27 »

I have attended two scrimages/practices up to this point and Luca Caputi looked good.  It's a shame he didn't make the starting roster, but the cut was definately expected judging by his age and inexperience.  I look forward to watching both Caputi and Jeffrey in the future.

Also, Veilleux did not make a great first impression on Therrien.  Poor kid fell on the ice and ended up taking out Therrien's skates.  Last I heard Therrien is walking around with a set of bruised ribs.

 
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Captain Chaos
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 19, 2008 at 22:13 »

I know it's early but how does Sabourin look? He is my biggest concern going into the season. Funny how things work, if Sabourin played average/above average when Fleury went down last year, Conklin would have never have gotten his big chance. Sabourin scares me even if it's just to spell MAF every once in a while.
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PghSteel-43
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 19, 2008 at 22:44 »

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I know it's early but how does Sabourin look? He is my biggest concern going into the season. Funny how things work, if Sabourin played average/above average when Fleury went down last year, Conklin would have never have gotten his big chance. Sabourin scares me even if it's just to spell MAF every once in a while.

From what I saw, he has looked pretty damn good.  He has not allowed in a goal yet during scrimmages.  Looks very solid in drills.  This season, I would like to see Sabourin show a little more consistency if he's needed.  There were times last season when he was standing on his head and making some unbelievable saves, but he has to show that more often.

Eitherway, I have a strong feeling the Penguins are going to let him walk after this season is over and bring up Curry to play as Fleury's #2.  He's still raw right now, but he's coming along very nicely and will only get better with the experience gained down in WBS this season.
« Last Edit: Sep 19, 2008 at 22:48 by PghSteel-43 » Logged
Merman1983
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 20, 2008 at 00:39 »

How did Pesonen look in the scrimmages?
« Last Edit: Sep 20, 2008 at 00:40 by Merman1983 » Logged
PghSteel-43
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 20, 2008 at 02:37 »

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How did Pesonen look in the scrimmages?
From what I saw, you can tell that the talent is there.  He had a goal in one of games.  At this point, I would like to see more of him before I make any predictions on the kid.  It was hard to follow him closely while he played in Finland and while he put up good numbers over there, I'm still not completely sold on what some feel he 'will' do over here.  I'm by no means doubting his abilities, but I want to see more of him before I jump on that ship.

The question is, if he makes the big club who do you sit?  Hypothetically, let's just say the lines will look like this...

Fedotenko - Crosby - Satan

Staal - Malkin - Sykora

Dupuis - Talbot - Kennedy

Cooke - Taffe - Godard

Right off the bat we obviously know that everyone on the first two lines will automatically make the team.  You might as well add Talbot and Cooke to that list.  That leaves Dupuis, Beech, Kennedy, Godard and Taffe as the guys who I feel are not on the bubble per say, but who I feel are not exactly for-sure locks on the team.  I'll start off with Dupuis and these are just my opinions of each of these guys.  

Dupuis brings very solid PK abilities, nice speed for his size and a bit of a physical game.  At the same time, I am not sold on him producing on either of the top two lines.  I feel the guy is a third line winger at best who is capable of netting you a goal from time to time.  

Kennedy, much like Dupuis, brings speed, some physical play, intensity and hustles non-stop.  The kid has heart no doubt.  My problem with Kennedy, he's hot and cold.  He's not consistent.  If your playing on a third line, you would like to see a guy put the puck in the net more often and play a more consistent game.  At least with Dupuis you get the very solid PK abilities.  That is not the popular opinion when it comes to Kennedy, but I'm just going by what I saw last season.  Eitherway, I think Therrien loves the kid no matter what (Ouellet Syndrome to a degree), so I'm sure he will make the team with no questions asked.

Godard, to keep it short and sweet is basically our answer to Montreal overpaying for Laraque's services.  Do we really have much of a choice to keep this guy on the roster?  While I feel Cooke will be a very nice replacement for Ruutu, the guy doesn't fight.  We need a guy who can throw down when we play the likes of Philly.  You might as well add him to the list of locks on the roster.

Then there is Taffe.  Some call me crazy, but I love the guy's overall game for a fourth liner.  I think he is solid.  He's not going to score you 13-20 goals a season, but that's not his job.  He's not a third liner like Kennedy.  Overall, I like his grit, physical play, he's smart with the puck for the most part, solid on his skates with some deceiving speed at times and will chip you in a goal from time to time.  At the end of the day though, going by Therrien's decision to sit Taffe last season, I'm not sure we will be seeing much of him this season.  

And finally, Kris "The Next Ron Francis" Beech.  I won't even bring up how he played in his first stint as a Penguin, I will simply say this....We got this guy once.  We traded him to Nashville.  That same season he was traded from Nashville back to Washington.  Washington eventually waived him and Columbus picked him up.  Columbus waived him and Vancouver picked him up.  After only playing in four games in Vancouver, Washington picked him back up only to put him on waivers before he played a game.  What in the hell does that tell us?  I'm hoping it tells me that he is WBS fodder and will continue to be WBS for the whole season.

So now where does this leave us in terms of our four lines?  I've come to the conclusion a long time ago that only two men who know for sure are Therrien and Shero.  I apologize for the long post/rant.  I'm pumped for some hockey and I need it now.  The season DVD's are no longer working.
« Last Edit: Sep 20, 2008 at 02:41 by PghSteel-43 » Logged
Merman1983
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« Reply #6 on: Sep 20, 2008 at 07:42 »

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The question is, if he makes the big club who do you sit?  

 
I think it's top two lines or bust for Pesonen. Just don't see him being a 3rd or fourth liner. Staal's move to wing makes him an even more of a longshot.
 
I'm assuming Satan is a lock for Crosby's line. With Staal's move to Malkin's line I guess you're right that Fedotenko will also be on the top line.

For the love of all that is holy, please no Dupuis on the top line. While he's got the speed to play with Sid (and is useful on the pk), he's got the hands and scoring touch of, well, you get the point.

I may be in the minority, but I love Staal as the third line center. He really excels in that role and I'm not so sure that those 29 goals as a rookie were a fluke or not. I hope he proves me wrong and steps in where Malone left off (especially on the PP).

So I guess Pesonen doesn't really fit in at this point. I know he was a long shot to begin with, and all I have to judge him by is some youtube clips, but he looks like he really has top 6 forward hands. Would be nice if we got lucky with the signing and ended up with a top line finisher.



 
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« Reply #7 on: Sep 20, 2008 at 08:48 »

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And finally, Kris "The Next Ron Francis" Beech.
I can recall Craig Patrick labelling Colby Armstrong as "the next Ron Francis". LOL!

Quote
I think it's top two lines or bust for Pesonen. Just don't see him being a 3rd or fourth liner. Staal's move to wing makes him an even more of a longshot.
I would like to see Pesonen get a fair shot on one of the top two lines because the Pens have a long history of letting offensively gifted young guns toil on the 3rd or 4th lines while wasting their God-given talents. Markus Naslund and Alexie Morosov to be exact. Hell, Peter Sykora spent the first 2 months on the 3rd line before Therien got his head out of his ass. Pesonen is not going to make this club on his defensive abilities! He's a finisher, a sniper. I'm certainly not saying he's going to be an NHL superstar, I'm just saying you're not going to be able to judge him honestly whlie he's skating with the likes of Jeff Taffe and Tyler Kennedy.

As far as the 1st line goes, I don't see Fedotenko keeping up with Sid and Satan. I thought Dupuis was on the top line to start camp? If that's the case I'd rather see what a guy like Pesonen could do there before any more of Dupuis ruining perfect outlet passes from Sid by choking on the breakaway and not even getting a shot off.
« Last Edit: Sep 20, 2008 at 08:49 by Captain Chaos » Logged

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PghSteel-43
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« Reply #8 on: Sep 20, 2008 at 14:34 »

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I may be in the minority, but I love Staal as the third line center. He really excels in that role and I'm not so sure that those 29 goals as a rookie were a fluke or not. I hope he proves me wrong and steps in where Malone left off (especially on the PP).

So I guess Pesonen doesn't really fit in at this point. I know he was a long shot to begin with, and all I have to judge him by is some youtube clips, but he looks like he really has top 6 forward hands. Would be nice if we got lucky with the signing and ended up with a top line finisher.
I'm not completely shooting down his chances of making the team.  Shero has stated on at least one occasion that Pesonen will get a fair shot to make this team and that he has a legitimate chance of making the team.  Up to this point, he survived the first round of cuts.  

Personally, I have no problem starting Pesonen out on a third line.  If he proves that he can produce or at least show signs that he's capable of producing on a higher line, then I would have no problem seeing how he could produce on a line with Sid-Satan or with Malkin-Sykora.

When it comes to Staal, I have to disagree.  I have no problem with them moving him up on a #1 or #2 line.  I do not feel his first year was a flash in the pan and I do feel he's capable of netting 25-30 goals a year if he's playing with talented players.  Putting him on a line with players like Talbot, Kennedy or Dupuis is not going to help the kid produce points.  

The one aspect of Staal's game that I would like to see change and I said the same about Malone, Staal needs to use that huge frame more often in front of the net.  Staal doesn't have the greatest shot in the world, if he wants goals, he's going to have to get his nose dirty and plant himself in front of the net.  Malone started using his frame consistently last season and he ended up putting up solid numbers.  Hopefully it doesn't take Staal as long as it did Malone to figure it out.

Sort of off topic, but as a side thought/prayer/hope when it comes to Therrien's decision making this season....PLEASE take Malkin off the point on the PP.  That is all.  

 
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PghSteel-43
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« Reply #9 on: Sep 21, 2008 at 03:23 »

First Whitney, now Gonchar...

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Sergei Gonchar joined the list of injured defensemen early in the Penguins' 5-4 shootout loss to Tampa Bay in their exhibition opener at Mellon Arena last night, courtesy of a hit by former Penguins farmhand David Koci.

Gonchar, whose left shoulder appeared to take the brunt of Koci's check near the right-wing corner in the Penguins' zone, went to the bench and, after spending a few minutes there, adjourned to the locker room and did not return.

There was no immediate word on the precise nature or severity of his injury, although a separation is possible. Gonchar is expected to be evaluated today and might undergo a Magnetic Resonance Imaging examination early this week.


http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08265/913957-61.stm

 
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