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Author Topic: Training Camp  (Read 3593 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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« 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
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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...

Quote
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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PghSteel-43
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« Reply #10 on: Sep 21, 2008 at 03:24 »

So it's sounding like Goligoski is definately a lock.  

Rewatching Chara beat the living shit out of Koci back in 07 makes me feel a little better about this situation....just a little.
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« Reply #11 on: Sep 21, 2008 at 14:48 »

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PLEASE take Malkin off the point on the PP.  That is all.
Therrien also deployed a five-forward unit during a two-man advantage in the second period. Crosby and Malkin worked the points, while Satan, Staal and Petr Sykora were up front.

That group needed 33 seconds to manufacture a goal by Sykora, who added a five-on-four goal midway through the third period.


If they convert at tis rate, I won't complain. But, I wasn't a fan of using Malkin on the point let alone he and Sid now.
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« Reply #12 on: Sep 21, 2008 at 16:53 »

Therrien put that line out there when it was a 5 on 3 with Gonchar already out with an injury while playing in preseason game #1.  On a 5 on 3, I may warm up to the idea, but I still like Malkin's accurate and wicked slapper from the mid-top right circle and watching Sid work his magic  down low/in the corners when on the PP.  

When we are on a 5 on 4 PP, I completely hate the idea and I strongly doubt Therrien would put the two of them on the point during a 5 on 4.  My main concern continues to be putting Malkin on the point during a 5 on 4.  It doesn't work and it takes away from Malkin's true talent while on the PP, shooting that hard slapper in the top left corner while the goalie is sliding to his right.
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« Reply #13 on: Sep 25, 2008 at 15:02 »

Quote
The diagnosis finally is in for Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar. The prognosis will take a bit longer.

Gonchar got a dislocated left shoulder when he was hit by Tampa Bay winger David Koci in an exhibition game Saturday night at Mellon Arena.

General manager Ray Shero said it is premature to speculate on when Gonchar might be able to play, and that no decision has been made on whether surgery will be performed.

"'Indefinite' is really the way to put it, because we don't know," Shero said. "I don't think we're going to know more maybe until next week, when he has a chance to see some other doctors, get some other opinions about what avenues he can take for getting better."


http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08269/914932-61.stm
 
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« Reply #14 on: Sep 25, 2008 at 16:54 »

Didn't Malkin suffer a dislocated shoulder running into John LeClair in preseason of his rookie camp? I thought he missed about 4 or 6 weeks. Granted he was much younger than Gonchar is now, but I hope he's not out much longer than that.
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« Reply #15 on: Sep 25, 2008 at 23:52 »

While I'm going to take the wait and see approach with Gonchar's situation, it's not looking good for him or the Penguins defense early.  

We have a over-the-hill defenseman in Sydor who's name was surrouned with trade rumors during the whole offseason and a inexperienced defenseman in Goligoski.  While I feel Goligoski will eventually turn into a solid offensive-defenseman, from what I saw of him last season at the NHL level he was very raw.  Eitherway, he's going to get his shot, hopefully he takes full advantage of that opportunity.

Also, the Penguins chopped the roster down to 29.  The most notable players sent down to WBS were Beech, Stone and Filewich.  It's looking like time is running out for Stone and Filewich.  They have been given opportunities to step up and find a place on this team and they are simply not capable.  Maybe at some point this season they will be used as packaged trade bait, because I do not see either involved with the Penguins future.
« Last Edit: Sep 25, 2008 at 23:53 by PghSteel-43 » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: Sep 26, 2008 at 07:49 »

Too bad Beech is untradeable.
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« Reply #17 on: Sep 26, 2008 at 08:03 »

Quote
While I'm going to take the wait and see approach with Gonchar's situation, it's not looking good for him or the Penguins defense early.  

We have a over-the-hill defenseman in Sydor who's name was surrouned with trade rumors during the whole offseason and a inexperienced defenseman in Goligoski.  While I feel Goligoski will eventually turn into a solid offensive-defenseman, from what I saw of him last season at the NHL level he was very raw.  Eitherway, he's going to get his shot, hopefully he takes full advantage of that opportunity.

 
Let's keep our fingers crossed that Letang will step up and fill in for Gonch on the # 1 PP unit.

Maybe getting an extremely fresh/healthy Gonch and Whitney back for the second half/playoff push will turn out to be a blessing. I think we're deep enough at defenseman to overcome these injuries at least for half the season. Good thing we hung onto Sydor, who I think will be at least solid in my opinion.

I'm more concerned with the overall team toughness. Just scanning the likely roster it looks to me like this team is going to get pushed around. Hopefully having a healthy Sid and Fluery all year will cancel some of that out.

 
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« Reply #18 on: Sep 26, 2008 at 19:10 »

While I'm not crazy about Whitney being out, I'm definately more worried with Gonchar being out for a significant amount of time.  I do not like that situation.  IMO, Gonchar showed he is capable of playing one hell of a defense last season, along with his PP QB'ing.  I also felt he stepped up as a leader on that defense.  IMO, that's a huge loss that cannot be replaced or held over by the likes of Sydor.  

Also, according to Savern, Kennedy signed a two year deal and Ryan Stone wants out of Pittsburgh.  I guess we need third liners since players like Stone and Filewich are not stepping up, so we sign Kennedy.  Not exactly a mouth watering signing in my book, but I don't think we had a choice.

Looking at our roster, minus Malone throwing a hit and throwing down, I really do not see us lacking in the physical play department.....

Ruutu - Cooke

Laraque - Godard

While Godard is no Laraque when it comes to W's vs L's in fights, he still fights.  Cooke is younger than Ruutu, I think he will put up better points and plays an overall better game than Ruutu and he hits just as much as Ruutu.  I'm not seeing a drop in our physical play department.  A few quotes...

"I don't go out and stick [opponents] after the whistle and yap and do all those types of things," he said. "I try to play in between the whistles.

"It's a completely different approach [than Ruutu's]. I'm going to try to get guys off their game and get guys to worry about me, but not by sticking them in the back of the legs or punching after the whistle, that kind of stuff."

"I'm a guy who goes in and creates space for our team, because on the forecheck, every time I go in, I'm going to finish my check," he said.

"I'm going to play hard, keep guys accountable on the other team so that, if it's my line or somebody else's line out there, they're going to take that extra look over their shoulder. It takes that split-second away so that they don't have time to make the play [they want]."

"I want to produce offensively," Cooke said. "I look for myself to score 15 goals, over 30 points."

"I think there's a little more freedom to play with your instincts, on the offensive side," he said. "I found in the West, it was very structured."

- Cooke

"He's got meanness to him," - Ray Shero on Godard

"You have to get in a few to get the feeling back," he said. "Nothing gets you in shape quite like a good scrap." - Godard
« Last Edit: Sep 26, 2008 at 19:12 by PghSteel-43 » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: Sep 27, 2008 at 10:04 »

I'm not saying losing Gonch, who I feel should have won the Norris, won't be a big deal.

But hypothetically, would you rather have him miss the first half of the season or the second half? The regular season is the ideal time to get Gogo or Letang experience QBing the PP.

And when I say I think the team will be pushed around, I mean the top two lines. I think people are underestimating losing Malone, who wasn't afraid to drop the gloves when it was needed.

And yes I realize that we could not have paid him what he eventually got in TB.  
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« Reply #20 on: Sep 27, 2008 at 10:57 »

I tried to find the article that mentioned Stone hoping to get picked up off of waivers but the Scranton paper had pulled the on-line article.

I like Kennedy's style of play...didn't read the terms of the deal.

Does Biss actually have a shot to stay on the team?  I didn't think he'd last beyond the 2nd cuts but he's still there.  The recent P-G article on Biss suggests a few inside the org. believe he could wind up on the final roster.  Crazy.  I don't know where he would play.
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« Reply #21 on: Sep 27, 2008 at 11:47 »

Between starting off the season in Sweden, which I think is the dumbest idea the NHL has come up with yet and losing two defensemen for what appears to be a significant amount of time is not the greatest way to start off the season.  IMO, there is no difference if your losing games in October or if your losing them in February.  They all count in the end.  The points lost or gained in the beginning of the season could mean the difference between getting home ice advantage or going on the road.  They could mean the difference when it comes to who your first round opponent happens to be and they could mean the difference when it comes to making the playoffs at all.  Add that to the fact that we play in a division where three out of the other four teams made the playoffs last season.

When it comes to losing grit on the top two lines, I'm not seeing many teams who have a fighter on one of the top two lines.  Normally your top two lines are stacked with talent.  I do not recall Detroit having a fighter/heavy hitter on the top two lines.  Eitherway, if teams want to play us physical or throw down, we respond by sicking Godard and Cooke on them.  That's not counting the hits Letang, Orpik and Gill are capable of laying down on people when needed or the option of calling up that redwood tree named Joey Mormina (6'6") if needed.  IMO, we are fine in the physical play department...

Godard Compilation:


Godard vs Boogard:


Godard vs Bolton:


Matt Cooke:


Joey Mormina:


Joey Mormina:
« Last Edit: Sep 27, 2008 at 11:50 by PghSteel-43 » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: Sep 27, 2008 at 12:05 »

Also...

Penguins cut two to reduce active roster
Saturday, September 27, 2008
By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Penguins reduced their active roster to 25 by cutting two players

today.

Forward Connor James and defenseman Danny Richmond were assigned to

their American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre.

The Penguins must remove one more player from their roster by Friday.

Players still on the NHL payroll include:

Forwards -- Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Pascal Dupuis, Jordan Staal,

Petr Sykora, Janne Pesonen, Jeff Taffe, Matt Cooke, Max Talbot, Ruslan

Fedotenko, Eric Godard, Tyler Kennedy, Paul Bissonnette, Miroslav Satan

and Bill Thomas.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08271/915686-100.stm

 
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« Reply #23 on: Sep 30, 2008 at 16:01 »

And scratch Gonchar being out for a "significant amount of time" and replace it with "probably out for the whole regular season".  

Yeah, nothing positive can come from that situation.  We lost the QB at the point on our PP, our most offensive threat on defense and a guy who played an excellent defense last season.  Shero might have to make a move for a defenseman.  It's not that we are short on d-men, but I'm not liking our replacements for reasons already stated above.  Eitherway, I don't see Shero making a move for one, he seems content with an over the hill Sydor who we couldn't give away during this offseason and young/raw Goligoski.
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« Reply #24 on: Oct 03, 2008 at 20:02 »

Pens Cut Pesonen, Finalize Roster
Pittsburgh Penguins
Oct 3, 2008, 1:44 PM EDT

The Pittsburgh Penguins will have a 24-man roster for season-opening games on Saturday and Sunday against the Ottawa Senators at the Globe Arena in Stockholm.

Forward Janne Pesonen has been assigned to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League (AHL). He will remain in Stockholm with Pittsburgh through the weekend before reporting to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Pesonen scored two points (one goal, one assist) in three preseason contests for the Penguins.

The 24-man roster for the Bridgestone NHL Premiere games includes 14 forwards, seven defensemen and three goaltenders.

The roster includes forwards, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal, Petr Sykora, Miroslav Satan, Ruslan Fedotekno, Matt Cooke, Max Talbot, Tyler Kennedy, Pascal Dupuis, Eric Godard, Jeff Taffe, Bill Thomas and Paul Bissonnette; defensemen Brooks Orpik, Rob Scuderi, Hal Gill, Mark Eaton, Darryl Sydor, Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski; and goaltenders Marc-Andre Fleury, Dany Sabourin and John Curry.

The Penguins and Senators open the NHL regular season with back-to-back games in Stockholm. Starting time for both games will be 2:30 p.m. Pittsburgh time.

Both games from Sweden will be televised locally by FSN Pittsburgh, with Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey calling the action. On the radio side, Mike Lange and Bourque will call the games on 105.9 The X and the Penguins radio network. For complete coverage of the trip, including video reports, please log on to www.pittsburghpenguin s.com.

The Penguins will open Mellon Arena on Saturday, October 4 so that fans can watch the Pens take on the Senators in Sweden on the arena Jumbotron.

Admission is free. Complimentary parking will be available on a first-come, first-served basis in all Mellon Arena lots. Concession stands and PenStation, the official team store of the Penguins, will be open. Fans may enter Mellon Arena via Gate 1 located along Centre Avenue beginning at 11:30 am.

There will not be a watch party on Sunday.
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PghSteel-43
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« Reply #25 on: Oct 03, 2008 at 20:10 »

While I'm not shocked by the decision, I'm not sure I agree with it completely.  With Sykora possibly missing the opener, why not keep him up and play him on the right wing like they did the other night where he grabbed an assist?

Eitherway, I'm sure he will be back up by the end of December and I wouldn't be surprised to him playing next to Crosby and Satan.
« Last Edit: Oct 03, 2008 at 21:29 by PghSteel-43 » Logged
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