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Penguins Report: Fleury Ready to Go

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has been given a clean bill of health and is ready and able to play for the Pittsburgh Penguins.


“I’m happy to be at practice with the guys and now to be able to play with them,” Fleury said. “The trainers have helped me recover. I feel good.”

The Penguins have re-assigned goalie John Curry, meaning that Fleury will either start in Pittsburgh’s Saturday afternoon matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers at 1 p.m. or he will backup Dany Sabourin.

“He hasn’t said yet who will be playing tomorrow,” Fleury said. “Whatever the coach wants me to do.”

Head coach Michel Therrien wasn’t ready to reveal his plans on who the starting goalkeeper will be.

(Therrien) hasn’t said yet who will be playing tomorrow. Whatever the coach wants me to do. - Marc-Andre Fleury
“He’s available,” Therrien said of Fleury. “I don’t have to answer today and that’s a good thing. We’re glad that Marc-Andre is ready to play but we’ll see (Saturday).” 

Fleury has been sidelined since suffering an undisclosed injury Nov. 15 against the Buffalo Sabres. He’s been skating for a couple weeks and returned to practice on Tuesday.

“I’ve been out so long,” Fleury said. “It’s been good the last week or so. I’m trying to get back into game shape for when the coach needs me.”


> Only two players were missing from Penguins Friday afternoon practice at Southpointe. Evgeni Malkin took the day off to rest while Max Talbot is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

“We’re not sure Max can’t play (Saturday at Philadelphia),” Therrien said. “We’ll see.”


> Instead of holding a normal practice, the Penguins partook in a game of baseball. Baseball is a competitive concoction of Therrien’s to give the players a good workout while inciting their competitive juices.
     
 

 
     

The Penguins were divided into four teams: Team Black featured Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke, Jeff Taffe and Eric Godard; Team Grey featured Ryan Whitney, Petr Sykora, Miroslav Satan and Alex Goligoski; Team White featured Philippe Boucher, Mark Eaton, Rob Scuderi and Ruslan Fedotenko; Team Gold featured Kris Letang, Jordan Staal, Tim Wallace and Brooks Orpik.

One team spreads out in front of a goalie (example Team Black). The other team (Team Grey) positions along the wall. One player from Team Grey (Miroslav Satan) flips the puck into the middle of the other team’s players. Satan then races from the goal line to blue line, to the far boards and back to the goal line. If Satan can reach the goal line before Team Black scores a goal on the goalie then Team Grey is awarded a home run. If Team Black scores before Satan reaches the goal line, then Satan is considered out.

In the first round Team Black beat Team Grey (Fleury in net) while Team White defeated Team Gold (Sabourin) in an upset. In the championship round, Team Black triumphed over Team White (Fleury).


> The Penguins announced earlier today that John Curry and Chris Minard were re-assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL.

Therrien was pleased with what he saw in Curry, who went 2-1-0 with a 2.40 goal against average and .913 save percentage during his short stint in Pittsburgh.

“It was a great experience for him,” Therrien said. “He’s a good kid. He battled hard. He’s got two wins in the NHL. It’s a big step for him comparing to last year. He’s going in the right direction.”

Therrien, however, was expecting more production from Minard, who ranked second in the AHL with 30 points (17G-13A) at the time of his recall.

“I was expecting a little bit more offensively because he was playing well in the minors,” Therrien said. “He’s got to go down with a good attitude and get another chance. In his next chance, he’ll know what to expect from us.

“One thing I want to make sure when players come in, it’s not only about being here but they have to contribute. This is what I’m expecting. I don’t want them being just happy to be in the NHL. They have to make sure that they contribute.”


I just wanted to put it on net and see what happens. I got lucky and it went in. - Philippe Boucher
> Philippe Boucher returned to the lineup for Pittsburgh in its 9-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night. He had been sidelined for nearly two weeks with an undisclosed injury.

“You come to a new team and you want to fit in and be a part of things,” Boucher said. “Then you miss a couple games. That’s part of the game. It’s hard. (Thursday) night was a good one to come back to.”

Boucher didn’t just come back. He scored his first goal as a Penguin in the game.
 
“I just wanted to put it on net and see what happens,” Boucher said. “I got lucky and it went in.”



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