VERIZON GAME DAY REPORT
SOUNDS HEARD AROUND THE LOCKER ROOM
THEY SAID IT
Head coach Dan Bylsma had a few updates:
- Letang will be playing tonight vs. Tampa Bay
- Vokoun will start in net
- Martin has begun skating on his own
- No updates on Crosby and Neal
The Penguins in the cold confines of the ice arena in sunny Florida...
Cool shot of Iggy coming down the ice...
Former Panther Tomas Vokoun waits patiently for the action to come to his end of the ice...
As soon as Marc-Andre Fleury is done
The guys who took the option to skate gather around their coach
Assistant coach Todd Reirden with two D and a forward
Beau Bennett, who scored a goal in his first game back, swings up the ice
--Michelle Crechiolo and Sam Kasan
MORNING SKATE INFO
The Pens held an optional morning skate at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Those that took part were forwards Dustin Jeffrey, Joe Vitale, Brenden Morrow (who had a maintenance day yesterday), Jarome Iginla, Jussi Jokinen, Tanner Glass, Tyler Kennedy, Brandon Sutter, Craig Adams and Beau Bennett, defensemen Deryk Engelland, Robert Bortuzzo, Matt Niskanen, Simon Despres and Kris Letang and goalie Tomas Vokoun and Marc-Andre Fleury.
The Penguins and CONSOL Energy Center are hosting the 2013 NCAA Men's Frozen Four. And not only will fans get a look at some of hockey's best college players, they also may see a future Pittsburgh Penguin. Scott Wilson of UMass-Lowell was the Penguins' seventh-round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft.
Wilson and the UMass-Lowell Riverhawks have made the Frozen Four for the first time in the university’s history, and it just so happens that his year’s contests will take place Wilson is somewhat familiar with. Coming into Pittsburgh and CONSOL Energy Center, Wilson said Penguins management has reached out to him to accommodate him while in the city.
“My advisor got a call from management,” Wilson said. “Obviously my parents came into town and (they) said ‘If you guys need anything, if you guys want to tour the city or anything, just let us know.’ Like everything else in Pittsburgh, it’s always first class.
Full story here.
Pittsburgh native and Yale Bulldog Jesse Root also is returning home for the Frozen Four.
Jesse Root, Yale’s junior forward from Mt. Lebanon, was born and raised a Penguins fan. This weekend, he and the Bulldogs will compete in the Frozen Four on the ice his childhood team now calls home.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” Root said. “I was a little sad (on) the trip in seeing the old Mellon Arena just a parking lot. I spent a lot of great years there with my dad and my brother going to games. My dad had season tickets growing up, so I was a huge Mario (Lemieux) fan, a huge (Jaromir) Jagr fan, so the Penguins definitely played a huge role in developing my passion for the game.”
Full story here.
And for a full Frozen Four tournament preview, click here.
TWITTER Q&A: MARK EATON
Tampa Bay sent promising rookie Cory Conacher to Ottawa for goalie Ben Bishop at the trade deadline. Bishop has starred in four straight starts with his new team while Anders Lindback is out with a high-ankle sprain, getting a 45-save shutout in his Lightning debut. That tandem is the tallest in the NHL, with Bishop at 6-foot-7 and Lindback at 6-foot-6. Lindback participated in Tuesday’s morning skate and said after that he’s close to returning. It remains to be seen whether that is Thursday against the Penguins, but Cooper did say he wants to see Lindback in a game and views him and Bishop as starters “1A and 1A.” In the meantime, veteran Mathieu Garon is the backup.
Pittsburgh should see former Penguin Ryan Malone for the first time this season. He’s played just 17 games due to injury, returning to the lineup Tuesday after missing nine games in a row with a shoulder injury. While ‘Bugsy’ is back, the Lightning recently lost top defenseman Victor Hedman to a lower-body injury. With him out, Tampa Bay called up Mark Barberio – last year’s top AHL defenseman – to take his place in the lineup.
Full preview here.
START ME UP
Good morning Pens fans! The team is in Tampa, Fla. and will battle the Lightning at Tampa Bay Times Forum tonight at 7:30 p.m. But first they'll hit the ice at 11:30 a.m. for a morning skate. Stay tuned for updates throughout the day.
During the Pens' 5-3 win in Carolina the game entertainment people at PNC Arena were playing a lot of songs by from my high school days like Rancid and Less Than Jake.
I tweeted the above and found out there are a lot of Less Than Jake fans out there. Had some great responses. So to start the day I'm going to play "Johnny Quest Thinks We're Sellouts" by Less Than Jake. Even the old dude Howard J. Reynolds would approve.