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Penguins Report: Game Day vs. Calgary

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins




CROSBY TO MISS NEXT TWO GAMES
As of 4:00 p.m.:

Sidney Crosby will be held out of the Pittsburgh Penguins' next two games as a precautionary measure, Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said today.

Crosby has not been feeling well. Medical specialists made the recommendation after further test results came back today.

"There is no indication at this time that this is the mumps, but we are going to hold him out as a precaution," Rutherford said. "We'll have additional test results in a few days."

The Penguins host Calgary tonight and play at Columbus Saturday.

A number of NHL players have been diagnosed with mumps in recent weeks.

--Michelle Crechiolo


HYNES, NASREDDINE EXTENDED


Every NHL team is built the same way. Through the draft.

The procedure is simple. Scouts put together year-long reports on every prospect. On draft day management selects the players they feel would best fit with the team. Then it’s up to the coaches in the minor-league level to develop those prospects into NHL-caliber players.

It’s a dynamic relationship between management and the coaches. Over the past several years Penguins associate general manager Jason Botterill, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach John Hynes and assistant coach Alain Nasreddine have built one of the most successful organizations in Wilkes-Barre over the past four-plus years both on and off the ice.

Want proof? There’s the on-ice success.

Hynes, 39, arguably the organization’s greatest coach of all time, is the winningest coach in team history with a 200-111-8-14 mark, led the team to the Calder Cup playoffs in all four seasons behind the bench, was named AHL Coach of the Year in 2011 and has established WBS as a premiere AHL team. Since Hynes took over as head coach no other team in the AHL has won more games than WBS.

Nasreddine, a former NHL defenseman, has put his imprint on the team’s defensive unit. During his four-year tenure, WBS has led the league in team defense on three occasions (2010-11, ’12-13, ’13-14).

Hynes and Nasreddine have fostered a culture of winning, success and development. That atmosphere will continue over the next several years as both men signed multi-year extensions with the franchise on Friday. (See release here)

Coaches are no doubt the most instrumental people when it comes to developing talent and teaching them the tools to success. The Penguins have two of the best men in the business in WBS. Pittsburgh made sure to lock those valuable men up for the next couple of years.

Want more proof of their success?

The Pens have been riddled with injuries – and I’m not talking about just this season. Over the past several years Pittsburgh has had to deal with an astronomical amount of injuries, and to key players like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Jordan Staal and Brooks Orpik.

Yet, despite all the injuries, the Penguins have still managed to finish in the top-6 in the NHL standings over the last four years. A big reason for that success is the team’s depth and development. That all starts in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. And it all starts with those two men.

The Pens current roster features several players that cut their teeth with Hynes and Nasreddine at the AHL level, such as Robert Bortuzzo, Beau Bennett, Simon Despres and Zach Sill. With the team’s current injuries, Pittsburgh has been able to call up players like Brian Dumoulin, Jayson Megna and Andrew Ebbett to fill roles without missing a beat.

The Pens have become spoiled. They know that if a player goes down, the next man up will fill that void. And they have Botterill, Hynes and Nasreddine to thank for that.

WBS has two of the best coaches in the AHL. And now, they’ve got them locked in for the future.

--Sam Kasan



GAME DAY INTERVIEWS

Sidney Crosby



Kris Letang



Nick Spaling



--Michelle Crechiolo


QUOTE 'EM






--Michelle Crechiolo



COACH'S CORNER
Head coach Mike Johnston had a few updates for tonight's lineup...
  • Crosby confirmed that he will play tonight vs. Calgary
  • Johnston anticipates that both Hornqvist and Letang will return tonight
  • Fleury was the first goalie off and the likely starter
"(Crosby) was sick yesterday so he saw the doctors," Johnston said. "The doctors cleared him to skate this morning. He looks fine." The team announced later that Crosby will NOT play in the next two games. Click here for more.

"I would expect both (Hornqvist and Letang) to play tonight," Johnston continued. "I'm going to see (head athletic trainer) Chris Stewart after they finish their skate. I talked to them briefly. We'll probably clear them officially sometime this afternoon."


--Sam Kasan


PENS PICS


Goalie coach Mike Bales showing Greiss the VH post-play style


Megna gets in the stretch


Dumoulin on the follow through


Ebbett shares a laugh with Danny "Banker" Kroll


Crosby is back for the morning skate following his illness


The Preds connection


Please Klinkhammer, don't hurt 'em


Assistant coaches try to reason with Downie


Fleury was the first goalie off the ice, thus likely tonight's starter

--Sam Kasan & Joey Sykes


SKATE INFO
The Pens are holding an optional morning skate. Sidney Crosby, who missed practice yesterday due to an illness, returned. Patric Hornqvist and Kris Letang, both game-time decisions for tonight, were also on the ice.

Notable absences were Evgeni Malkin, Paul Martin, Christian Ehrhoff, Rob Scuderi and Mike Johnston. 


--Sam Kasan


DIGITAL PREVIEW


--Sam Kasan


SCOUTING THE FLAMES



--Sam Kasan


START ME UP
Good morning hockey fans. Tonight the Pens will host the NHL's good story of the year, the Calgary Flames. The Flames have shocked many with a great start to the year, and are in third place in their division, though they do bring a 3-game losing streak to Pittsburgh. It also marks the first game for Flame defender Deryk Engelland in Pittsburgh since leaving the Pens over the summer in free agency. Here are some game notes to get you ready for the action...
  • The Penguins play their first game of the season against the Calgary Flames (TV: ROOT SPORTS; Radio: 105.9 the X) at CONSOL Energy Center.
  • Pittsburgh enters tonight’s game having gone 5-2-1 in its last eight games.
  • The Penguins have won seven consecutive games against the Flames. Calgary’s last win against Pittsburgh came Dec. 3, 2005 at Mellon Arena (3-2).
  • Calgary has won just twice in Pittsburgh overall dating back to Feb. 12, 1989. Since that game, which was a 4-2 Flames victory, the Penguins have gone 13-2-2 against Calgary here in Pittsburgh.
  • Tonight the Penguins begin their fifth set of back-to-back games. Thus far they have a cumulative record of 3-3-2; including 1-2-1 the first night and 2-1-1 in the second game.
Stick tap: Pens PR
---
The Flames are in town. So you know the building will be on fire just like Bruce Springsteen - bad pun, yes. There's no other segway for that other than to be cheesy. So I went for it.



--Sam Kasan
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