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Old 02-16-2011, 09:33 AM   #461
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Default Re: New Official Pens Tidbits Thread

Porous defense concerns Penguins
By Josh Yohe, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lost in the madness that took place Friday on Long Island was the dirty little secret that the Penguins allowed a stunning nine goals.

The Rangers followed with five more goals against the Penguins on Sunday.

What happened to the defense?

The Penguins realize they must win by playing a low-scoring style while Sidney Crosby is out of the lineup, and they didn't exactly execute their plan cleanly over the weekend. They will try tonight against a Colorado team that has lost eight straight.

"We aren't being disciplined right now," defenseman Zbynek Michalek said. "That's the problem, and it needs to stop."

For all the Penguins' injured and suspended players, none of them play on the team's blue line. The seven regular defensemen — along with goalies Marc-Andre Fleury and Brent Johnson — are healthy, which begs the question: Why are the Penguins suddenly giving up so many goals?

The logical answer is that, with so many new players in the lineup, communication errors are inevitable.

"But that's not what the problem has been," left wing Mike Rupp said. "We just aren't paying attention to details. That's the problem."

And these days, every little detail counts.

Brooks Orpik went even further, saying that the veteran players — not the contingency from Wilkes-Barre — were responsible for the majority of the mistakes against the Islanders and Rangers.

His opinion was shared by many others.

"That's a concern," coach Dan Bylsma said. "It's an accurate statement."

The problem for the Penguins appears to be that many players are attempting to alter their style in an attempt to replace the offense missing without Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Bylsma admitted as much following Tuesday's practice.

"Max Talbot, Pascal Dupuis, Jordan Staal ..." Bylsma said. "Very good players. They all add something to our team. (But) they don't replace Sidney Crosby. They need to be Max Talbot, Pascal Dupuis and Jordan Staal."

The Penguins can't possibly be expected to dominate like they were in December, when Crosby led the way to a 12-game winning streak. With half of their forwards having started the season in Wilkes-Barre, goals might be hard to come by.

Preventing goals, though, shouldn't be so difficult, not with one of the league's elite goaltenders and a strong defensive group still intact.

"We need to get the puck deep and play a simple game right now," Michalek said. "We aren't doing that right now, and it's why we're giving up so many goals."

The Penguins spoke privately about playing within themselves and believe it could be a key to success without so many top-notch players.

"We talked about it before practice," Michalek said. "Nothing should change. You can't go out there and be someone that you're not."

The Penguins have permitted an unusually high number of odd-man rushes in their past two games and have left countless forwards open in front of Fleury and Johnson. A team that has been so good defensively suddenly looks flawed in that area, but the Penguins believe this is simply an aberration.

"We'll be fine," Rupp said. "On my best day, I can't do things Sid and Geno can do. If we stay within ourselves, we'll be fine."

Bylsma said before the season that the Penguins needed to improve at winning 2-1 games.

Here's their chance.

"We take pride in what we do," Talbot said. "I believe in everybody in this dressing room."

Read more: Porous defense concerns Penguins - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1E8W2dMNj
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:54 AM   #462
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Default Re: New Official Pens Tidbits Thread

Aftermath: Penguins 3, Avalanche 2 (OT)
Thursday, 02.17.2011 / 12:27 AM / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=552990&navid=DL|PIT|home

Photos | Podcasts | Bylsma | Staal | Kennedy
Vitale | Fleury | PensTV Special: Beau Bennett
Kennedy Settling Into Expanded Role




Pittsburgh and Colorado played a fast-paced game that had a physical edge, trading opportune scoring chances throughout the course of the game. But in the end, it was the Penguins who came out on top 3-2 in overtime – getting their first victory in Colorado since Feb. 25, 1999.

The Penguins performed solidly all game, but the third period is where they really shined. The final 20 minutes was a textbook display of Dan Bylsma hockey, which is activating the defense, establishing offensive zone time and keeping their opponents on their heels. All four lines looked sharp, especially the trio of Brett Sterling, Jordan Staal and Nick Johnson.

The Penguins controlled play for most of that period and their battle level was sky high, forcing the Avalanche to take two penalties in the final frame and one in overtime – which opened the door for Tyler Kennedy to slam home a power-play goal with 50 seconds left to win the game for his team.

Both goalies had to be sharp early, and Marc-Andre Fleury was alert as ever. He ended the night with 29 stops and his save of the game came five minutes into the third period when he stoned Colorado’s Brandon Yip on a shorthanded breakaway. That save preserved the 2-2 deadlock and gave Pittsburgh momentum to eventually win the game in overtime.



Forward Tyler Kennedy has been stepping up and providing an offense spark for the Penguins, who entered Thursday's tilt missing 52.9 percent (95 of 169) of their goal-scoring output from this season with injuries to key forwards.

He tallied his fifth goal in seven games on Thursday when he scored the game-winning goal for the Penguins with just 50 seconds remaining in overtime. Kevin Porter had gone off for tripping with 1:26 left in the extra period and the Penguins were pressuring hard on their 4-on-3 opportunity.

After Kris Letang made a leaping play to keep the puck in the zone, Pittsburgh attacked the net with a vengeance, but none of their blasts were solving Budaj – until a rebound on Alex Goligoski’s shot landed on the stick of a hovering Kennedy.

He wasted no time slamming the puck home to get the power-play goal. Kennedy finished the night with five shots through 17:54 of ice time.

HONORARY STAR: JOE VITALE




The Penguins got an opportune chance to take the lead when Ryan O'Byrne went to the box for tripping just over three minutes into the third period.

But the best chance of Pittsburgh’s power-play opportunity went to the Avalanche, when Brandon Yip embarked on a shorthanded breakaway.

Fleury came up with a huge save on the play, keeping the Avalanche from gaining a huge lift by scoring a shorthanded tally to go up a goal. It kept the score tied 2-2 and turned the tides the Penguins' way. Pittsburgh turned it on after that chance, going on to win the game 3-2 in overtime.



DENVER (AP) - Tyler Kennedy scored a power-play goal 4:10 into overtime and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots in the Pittsburgh Penguins' 3-2 victory Wednesday night that sent the Colorado Avalanche to their ninth straight loss.

Joe Vitale and Jordan Staal added goals for the injury-plagued Penguins, who snapped a two-game skid.
Kennedy knocked in a rebound after a shot from Alex Goligoski bounced to him off the pads of Peter Budaj. Kevin Porter was called for tripping moments before Kennedy's 12th goal of the season.

Chris Stewart and Cameron Gaunce scored for the Avalanche, who are in the midst of their longest skid since moving to Denver for the 1995-96 season.




- The Penguins earned their first win in Colorado since Feb. 25, 1999. With the win Wednesday, the Penguins snapped their five-game losing streak at Pepsi Center.

- Joe Vitale scored his first-career NHL goal with just 2:33 remaining in the first – a goal that would prove to be crucial in a game that went into overtime. He streaked into the slot, received a pass from fellow call-up Brett Sterling and promptly blasted the puck top shelf past Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead. Vitale earned his first NHL point, an assist, on Feb. 11 versus the New York Islanders.

- Sterling notched his fourth point in as many games when he earned the primary helper on Vitale’s goal with a beauty of a feed. Since being recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Feb. 10, Sterling has notched two goals and two assists in his four games with Pittsburgh.

- He’s no stranger to the thin air in the mountainous state of Colorado, as Sterling played four seasons for Colorado College from 2002-06. The forward totaled 108 goals and 184 points in 149 contests in his collegiate career, finishing as a top-three finalist for the Hobey Baker Award (top collegiate player) in his junior campaign.

- Jordan Staal played yet another outstanding game for the Penguins. He scored the game-tying goal – his third in four games – to help power the Penguins to victory. He's now riding a four-game point streak and has logged 21-plus minutes in each of the last seven games, as he led the team with 24:26 minutes against Colorado.

- The Penguins fired 36 shots at Budaj, with Staal and Kennedy leading the way with five apiece. Zbynek Michalek and Mike Rupp each had four.




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Old 02-17-2011, 04:34 PM   #463
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Default Re: New Official Pens Tidbits Thread

Pens' Wallace sent down to make room for Matt Cooke
By Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Last updated: 1:43 pm

The Penguins have re-assigned winger Tim Wallace to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, presumably to make room for left wing Matt Cooke, who is eligible to return to action Sunday in Chicago after serving a four-game suspension.


It is unknown if any other injured Penguins will return in Chicago, though the closest to coming back appear to be left wing Chris Kunitz and right wing Arron Asham.


Wallace did not record a point in four games with the Penguins and was a minus-3.

Read more: Pens' Wallace sent down to make room for Matt Cooke - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1EG4jVrMh
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Old 02-18-2011, 12:46 PM   #464
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Default Re: New Official Pens Tidbits Thread

Penguins Report: 2/18/11
Friday, 02.18.2011 / 10:45 AM / Penguins Report
By Sam Kasan
http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.ht...id=DL|PIT|home

1:05 PM:
Lots of injury updates from head coach Dan Bylsma:
  • Kunitz, Letestu and Jeffrey are progressing, but won't play this weekend.
  • Arron Asham is experiencing concussion-like symptoms.
  • Nick Johnson left the ice with an upper-body injury. Not available this weekend at the moment.
  • Malkin is one week into his six-month rehab.
  • No new updates on Crosby.
  • Team is considering a callup from WBS.
"You saw Kunitz and Letestu on the ice," Bylsma said. "Jeffrey is in a similar situation. They're progressing. None of them will be available this weekend.

"Arron Asham, we listed him as upper-body, he has been experiencing concussion-like symptoms. Day-to-day is not accurate at this point in time. He has been progressing. He hasn't gone to exercise. That's where Arron's at.
"Nick Johnson left the ice today with an upper-body injury. He is under evaluation. He will not be available this weekend at this point in time.

"Geno, you saw him walking around here today. He's one week into his six-month rehab.

"There is no new update on Sidney."
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:14 AM   #465
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Default Re: New Official Pens Tidbits Thread

Come on Shero...time to do something...9 days left in the trade deadline!

Asham joins Crosby, Tangradi as Penguins with concussions
By Josh Yohe, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Read more: Asham joins Crosby, Tangradi as Penguins with concussions - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1EQSwM1Zd

It turns out that three Penguins players have suffered concussions over the past six weeks.

Right wing Arron Asham joined Sidney Crosby and Eric Tangradi on the sidelines with concussion symptoms. Asham hasn't played since Feb. 1 against the Rangers. The Penguins have maintained over the past couple of weeks that Asham had sustained an "upper-body injury," and indeed he had. It does not appear likely that Asham will return to the lineup anytime soon.

"Day-to-day is not accurate at this point in time," Bylsma said. "He has been progressing. He hasn't gone to exercise. That's where Arron's at."

Asham attended practice Friday, along with a number of injured Penguins.

Dustin Jeffrey, out with a knee injury, was in attendance at Southpointe. So, too, was Evgeni Malkin. The star center underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee a week ago and was all smiles while hobbling around on crutches in the locker room.

Bylsma said that Malkin's recovery period is expected to be six months, which would put him in line to be ready for next season's training camp in September.

Crosby remains out with a concussion, and Bylsma said there is no further update on his condition. Tangradi has not practiced since being ambushed — and concussed — last Friday on Long Island.

• Left wing Chris Kunitz and center Mark Letestu appear to be making progress with their respective injuries. They took the ice at the conclusion of yesterday's practice, each hearing applause from teammates. Bylsma acknowledged that it was nice to see them on the ice but said neither Kunitz, Letestu nor Jeffrey would be available in Chicago.

Add another Penguin to the injury list. Right wing Nick Johnson, who made a terrific play on Jordan Staal's game-tying goal Wednesday in Colorado, left practice early with an upper-body injury. Bylsma was unsure of the injury's severity but said that Johnson will not play in Chicago. The Penguins are likely to recall a player from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to replace Johnson, though Bylsma is unsure which player that will be.

• Left wing Matt Cooke has been permitted to practice with the Penguins during his four-game suspension and is eligible to play Sunday in Chicago.
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:32 PM   #466
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Default Re: New Official Pens Tidbits Thread

Well, Pens played a really good game today (all things considered) and at least walked away from it with a point. What may be worse though is Staal blocked a shot with the side of his face/ear towards the end of the game. It would just be fitting I guess if he broke something, considering this teams luck with injuries right now.

**Early Update**

Quote:
Staal could be OK
Sunday, 20 February 2011 18:40
Written by Shelly Anderson

The Penguins, already without eight forwards because of injury, lost Jordan Staal during overtime of their 3-2 loss at Chicago today after he was hit in the left cheek area by a Kris Letang shot.

While there was no firm update on his status, coach Dan Bylsma seemed to believe it wasn't anything serious.

Bylsma said after the game that Staal "gave me the thumb's up when I came into the [locker] room, and I'm assuming that means he's good."
http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/i...al-could-be-ok
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:42 AM   #467
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Default Re: New Official Pens Tidbits Thread

Game tonight at 7:30 against the Caps....

Staal will be playing, Martin is a gametime decision and Fleury will be in net again tonight.

Kunitz participated in practice today...which is a great sign that he'll be back fairly soon. (will not be in lineup tonight)

Letestu and Jefferey did some drills before practice, and Comrie did some skating in warm-up gear.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:39 PM   #468
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Default Re: New Official Pens Tidbits Thread

Capitals 1, Penguins 0
Associated Press
http://penguins.nhl.com/club/recap.htm?id=2010020893

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Alex Ovechkin scored the only goal and Michal Neuvirth was perfect for the second straight time against the Penguins, leading the Washington Capitals to a 1-0 win at Pittsburgh on Monday night.

Neuvirth made 39 saves, including 18 in the first period, for his third shutout of the season, and second against the Penguins after a 3-0 victory on Feb. 6. Ovechkin secured the Capitals third win in four games by blasting a 35-footer over Marc-Andre Fleury's right shoulder late in the second period.

Ovechkin's goal - his first in four games this season against Pittsburgh - made up for Fleury stoning him on a breakaway in the first period in an entertaining back-and-forth game between two Eastern Conference rivals. The Capitals continue to have the edge on the Penguins, winning their season series 3-0-1 and improving to 10-0-2 since March 2008.

Fleury was solid in stopping 23 shots as the offensively depleted Penguins dropped to 2-4-1 in their past seven. Help is on the way for Pittsburgh, which hours prior to the game traded defenseman Alex Goligoski to Dallas in exchange for forward James Neal and defenseman Matt Niskanen.

Pittsburgh out-shot the Capitals 39-24, including 14-3 in the third period, but couldn't solve Neuvirth.

The Penguins had plenty of jump but no finish for a team that's down 10 regulars, including Sidney Crosby. Pittsburgh hasn't scored against Washington in 157:47 since Evgeni Malkin's second-period goal in a 3-1 loss during the Winter Classic on Jan. 1.

The Capitals (32-19-10), coming off a 2-1 win at Buffalo a day earlier, went 3-2 in completing a five-game road trip and inched to within a point of Southeast Division-leading Tampa Bay and three points of the fourth-place Penguins in the East.

Ovechkin scored on the power-play with 3:22 left in the second period, and about 50 seconds after Neuvirth kicked out his right pad to stop Jordan Staal on a short-handed breakaway.

Mike Knuble had a hand in setting up the goal by gaining the Penguins zone and getting a shot off that Fleury stopped. The rebound popped into the air and to Marcus Johansson, who gloved the puck down and fed a pass to Ovechkin, who wound up and blasted a shot beating Fleury over the right shoulder with 3:22 left in the second period.

Ovechkin then punctuated the goal by punching the air and giving out a big yell.

The Penguins got off to a fast start, outshooting the Capitals 10-2 through 13 minutes and finished the first period with an 18-7 edge.

Neuvirth was very sharp. He kicked out his right pad to block Pascal Dupuis' backhander from the left circle with 6:12 left in the first period. Less than 3 minutes later, Neuvirth punched out his blocker to turn away Ryan Craig's shot from the left circle, set up following a turnover by the Capitals in their own zone.

The Capitals did have their chances, the best coming 9 minutes in when Ovechkin got in on a partial breakaway after he blocked Deryk Engelland's point shot. With a step on two defenders, Ovechkin went forehand and then got of a sharp backhander, which Fleury stopped by getting his stick and arm out.

The Pens-Caps rivalry has escalated this season, particularly after the Capitals' 3-1 win in the Winter Classic at Pittsburgh on Jan. 1, a game in which Washington's David Steckel collided with Crosby. It was the first of two hits to the head Crosby sustained in consecutive games, which has led to the Penguins' captain missing the past 20 games with a concussion.

Penguins agitator Matt Cooke then targeted Ovechkin, tripping him with a knee-to-knee hit in the rematch on Feb. 6, which Washington won 3-0.

On Monday, Penguins fans did let up a cheer in the first period Pittsburgh defenseman Ben Lovejoy shoved Ovechkin, causing the Capitals captain to fall backward, after the whistle during a scrum in front of the Penguins' net.

Cooke was targeted, as Washington's Matt Bradley was penalized for charging for a heavy hit on the Penguins player in the Capitals zone midway through the second period.

NOTES: The Penguins are in the midst of a two-game homestand sandwiched between nine road games. After hosting San Jose on Wednesday, Pittsburgh leaves on a five-game road swing. ... Penguins D Paul Martin is day to day after being shaken up by a hit at Chicago on Sunday. To fill his spot, Pittsburgh recalled D Brian Strait from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. ... Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau entered the game with a 10-1-3 career record against the Penguins. ... Penguins LW Chris Kunitz resumed practicing Monday after missing six games with a lower body injury, and could be ready to return this week.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:51 AM   #469
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Default Re: New Official Pens Tidbits Thread

Quote:
Update on the arrivals of Neal and Niskanen: The two were supposed to fly last night to Pittsburgh and practice with the team today. However, their flight was diverted to Newark last night due to the weather. Then their flight today to Pittsburgh was delayed. Thus they are not practicing, but are still expected to make it to CONSOL Energy Center at some point.
http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=553709

Quote:
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins have to wait another day before their reinforcements arrive.

Forward James Neal and defenceman Matt Niskanen missed practice Tuesday, a day after being acquired in a trade with Dallas. The two were initially set to arrive late Monday, but their flight was diverted to New Jersey because of a snowstorm that hit Pittsburgh.

Coach Dan Bylsma said the two are to arrive later in the day when they'll take their physicals and meet with the coaching staff. Both will practice Wednesday morning before making their debuts later in the day against San Jose.

Bylsma joked that he hoped Neal and Niskanen didn't think they had been traded to the Devils after arriving in Newark. The two were acquired in exchange for defenceman Alex Goligoski.

They join a Penguins team that's down 10 regulars, including Sidney Crosby, who has missed 20 games and is out indefinitely with a concussion.

With 21 goals, Neal will immediately become the Penguins second-leading scorer, behind Crosby, who has 32.

Bylsma said Neal will play on the left side on the team's top line with centre Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy.

The Penguins are 2-5-1 in their past eight and coming off a 1-0 loss to the Washington Capitals. Pittsburgh remains in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings, but only a point ahead of the Capitals.

Offence has become a problem for Pittsburgh, which has gone 14 games without scoring four or more goals in regulation while being shut out three times over that span.

The Penguins lacked finish against the Capitals in a game they managed 39 shots.

"I think he's going to make us a better team going into tomorrow night's game and give us a chance to get what we need to get wins," Bylsma said, referring to Neal. "With Jordan, I can see them being a real formidable pair."

Updating his long list of injuries, Bylsma said defenceman Paul Martin will miss his second game with an upper body injury. Martin was hurt when he was hit from behind into the boards in a 3-2 shootout loss at Chicago on Sunday.

Forward Chris Kunitz, who has missed seven games with a lower body injury, has still not been cleared for practice.

Bylsma said forwards Mark Letestu and Dustin Jeffrey -- both listed as having lower body injuries -- have been cleared for practice, and could resume playing in a few days.

The Penguins complete their two-game homestand against San Jose, before opening a five-game road trip at Carolina on Friday.
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/teams/story/?i...ns#YourCallTop
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:34 PM   #470
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Default Re: New Official Pens Tidbits Thread

Quote:
Head coach Dan Bylsma had a couple injury updates after practice:

* Paul Martin will not play Wednesday vs. San Jose with an upper-body injury
* Letestu and Jeffrey will return to full practice Wednesday
* Kunitz is not yet cleared for full practice
* N.Johnson, Tangradi and Asham continue to have concussion symptoms
http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=553709
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People assume that time is a strict progression of cause and effect, but actually from a non-linear non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey...stuff.


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