POULIOT TAKING NEXT STEP
Mike Johnston used his first-ever draft pick as coach and general manager of the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks in 2009 to select defenseman Derrick Pouliot first overall in that year’s Bantam Draft.
Pouliot spent the next several seasons playing under Johnston, who left to become head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins – the team that drafted the young defenseman 8th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft.
Tonight Pouliot, who is in his first professional season, will be taking the next step in his career – making his NHL debut – under Johnston, the man who played a crucial role in his development to help get him to this point.
“It’s kind of neat how that happened because he played for us at age 15 in Portland and played five years there,” Johnston said. “I had an opportunity to watch him grow as an individual, watch him grow as a player and now to be here with him for his first NHL game, it’s a unique experience for sure.”Full story here
GAME DAY REPORT --Sam Kasan
PENSTV SOUNDSidney Crosby
Derrick Pouliot Chris Kunitz --Sam Kasan
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
Nick Bjugstad, the hero in the 20-round shootout three days ago against the Washington Capitals
Bobby Lou was the first goalie off the ice, which means he'll probably get the start vs. the Pens
Ladies and gentlemen, the 2014 first-overall pick, defenseman Aaron Ekblad
Jonathan Huberdeau has three goals and nine assists for 12 points this season
Jimmy Hayes--Joey Sykes
THEY SAID IT--Michelle Crechiolo
Pens head coach Mike Johnston had a few updates on the team's lineup for tonight...
- Craig Adams' franchise-record iron-man streak comes to an end at 319 games. He will sit out tonight.
- Defensemen Christian Ehrhoff and Paul Martin will both be out of the lineup tonight.
- No update yet on Olli Maatta (upper body).
- Defenseman Derrick Pouliot will make his NHL debut tonight for Pittsburgh.
Also, Chris Kunitz told Michelle Crechiolo that he feels "good" and "ready to get back at it. Hopefully, that will be the case tonight. I'm preparing myself to play tonight. If something changes it would be a step backwards."
Exact quotes from Johnston...
"Craig Adams won't play tonight. He's got an injury. Unfortunately he'll be out of the lineup. It's a very impressive streak that he's had over the course of several years.
"We're still getting test results back, but (Ehrhoff) will be out for these (next) three games for sure. He'll be out.
"Paul Martin is going to be out. I'm not sure if he's going to be out for all three games. But he'll be out tonight."--Sam Kasan
Bryan Rust looks to notch his second career goal tonight vs. the Panthers
Recent WBS callup Taylor Chorney hopes to don a black and Vegas-gold sweater for the first time ever tonight
Scuds ready to fire a laser
Goc, an ex-Panther, will play against his former club for the first time this season
The other WBS callup, Derrick Pouliot, was Defenseman of the Year in the CHL for the 2013-14 season
Would love to hear what this joke was about
Sutter eyes something strange in the stands
Craig Adams shares a laugh with Chris Stewart after warming up this morning
Hornqvist looks for the perfect spot to snipe the puck--Joey Sykes
MORNING SKATE INFO
Early this morning the Pens recalled defensemen Derrick Pouliot and Taylor Chorney from WBS. Looks like they'll need them as Robert Bortuzzo, Christian Ehrhoff and Paul Martin are absent from the skate.
The team did something different instead of rushes. The power-play units worked on breakout and entries and the rest of the lineup worked in rushes. So this is what it looked like...
DIGITAL PREVIEW--Sam Kasan
SCOUTING THE PANTHERS --Sam Kasan
START ME UP
Good morning hockey fans. Tonight the Pens host the Florida Panthers for the first time this season. Below are some game notes to get your ready for the action...
- The Penguins conclude a three-game homestand against the Florida Panthers (TV: ROOT SPORTS; Radio: 105.9 the X) at CONSOL Energy Center.
- The Penguins are 4-0-2 in their last six games.
- Pittsburgh has gotten at least one point in 14 of its last 17 games (11-3-3).
- The Penguins have won four consecutive home games entering tonight, equaling a season high.
- Pittsburgh is 11-2 in its last 13 home games against the Panthers.
- Overall, the Penguins have won 20 of the last 28 meetings between the teams.
Stick tap: Pens PR
Yesterday the Pens released their Xmas E-Card to season-ticket holders. Then it was placed on the website and on social. Of course, it blew up. Because it is absolutely incredible. I'm hoping by now you've all seen it. But if not, I won't ruin it for you. Just click the play button below and enjoy. --Sam Kasan