Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma gave an update on the status of injured players Chris Kunitz
and Alex Goligoski. Both players are sidelined with lower body injuries but have been participating fully in practice.
“They haven’t had any setbacks and both are progressing,” Bylsma said.
When the players do return to the lineup, Bylsma said that he would like to monitor their ice time so they don’t take on too heavy of a workload too soon.
“Going into a game you have roughly a general idea about the amount of ice time you’ll give them,” Bylsma said. “In terms of guys like Alex and Chris coming back, yes there will be an ideal number of minutes that we’d like to play them. It wouldn’t mean that they wouldn’t get the normal regular shift if we weren’t considering their injury. But in situations like that it is monitored.”
> Forward Mike Rupp continues to shine as an offensive force for the Penguins. He scored his ninth goal of the season against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night. Rupp’s nine goals place him second on the team and shattered his previous single-season career high of six (set on two occasions).
As a reward for his strong play on the ice, Rupp skated alongside Sidney Crosby
and Bill Guerin at Pittsburgh’s Thursday morning practice at Southpointe.
“Mike has shown he can play on that line,” Bylsma said. “It’s not the first time this year that he’s been slotted up into Geno’s line or Sid’s line or with Jordan Staal
’s line. The more he’s comfortable and the more we’re comfortable with him we can see what he can do physically and in the offensive zone, shooting the puck, the more opportunity he’s gotten in that spot. His practicing there (Thursday) is an example of him earning the ability to prove he can play up in that position.”
> It was a crazy morning for the Penguins on Wednesday in terms of their practice and travel schedule. The team originally had a 10:30 a.m. practice at Southpointe and a 2 p.m. flight to Montreal.
However, a snow storm was expected to hit Montreal around that time so on Tuesday evening, the team canceled its practice at Southpointe, moved its flight to Montreal to 8 a.m. and scheduled an 11 o’clock practice at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
But Mother Nature threw another wrench into the Penguins’ plans as the snow storm arrived early in Montreal. So Pittsburgh changed its plan Thursday morning, hitting the ice at the Southpointe at 9:30 a.m. and waiting for the snow storm to calm before flying to Montreal. The team is expected to leave sometime Wednesday evening.