Lineup updates from Bylsma Morning skate info Pens' quotes Kennedy quotes Pens pics PensTV sound Emotional return for Kennedy Pens-Sharks preview Despres improving consistency Flexxcoach software Start the day
PENS PROVIDE FLEXXCOACH TO AMATEUR AND HS COACHES IN PITTSBURGH
As part of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ continued commitment to local amateur hockey, the Penguins have provided free “FlexxCoach” software to amateur and high school coaches in the Pittsburgh area.
The FlexxCoach software program is an interactive tool that allows coaches to access a vast database of drills, helping them to plan practice sessions and maximize practice time.
More than 300 local coaches received the software last week.
QUOTE THE OL' BOY
Coach Dan Bylsma provided a few other updates in addition to the one on Malkin...
- Marc-Andre Fleury will be in net tonight vs. the Sharks
- Defenseman Rob Scuderi is in his fifth week of recovery after undergoing surgery for a broken ankle
- He has progressed and skated now four times, and last two have been more rigorous
- Forward Tanner Glass is 12 days deep into his recovery from a broken hand
- Glass has been skating as well with Rob and he’s probably another 5-6 days away, maybe a week away from joining the team in practice
In addition, forward Chuck Kobasew said after morning skate he is ready to play after missing the last 17 games with a lower-body injury and it is now just the coaches' decision. "It’s been great to be back out there with the guys," he said. "Wait for the coaches’ call and see what happens. I feel really good."
Evgeni Malkin left the team's morning skate early and will miss tonight's game against the San Jose Sharks. He has a lower-body injury and is day-to-day, per head coach Dan Bylsma.
Captain, my captain
Players gathering around
Tyler Kennedy reunion tour
Olli and Nealer
Everyone vs. the goalie
Crosby looking for a secret puck hidden beneath Fleury's pad
Kunitz would look great in Red and White
Engo has regrown the beard. He looks so different when he shaves
MORNING SKATE INFO
The usual suspects at the Pens morning skate. All the healthy players, plus Kobasew. Below was the team's workflow...
Note: Malkin left the morning skate early and missed the power play session. Units adjusted below.
1st PP: Letang, Niskanen up top. Crosby, Kunitz, Neal down low.
2nd PP: Maatta, Ebbett up top. Jokinen, Sutter, Kobasew down low.
EMOTIONAL RETURN FOR KENNEDY
Kennedy was relaxed, open, honest and funny as he spoke to the media on Wednesday afternoon from an unfamiliar area of a familiar building – the visitors’ locker room – as he prepares for a big moment: playing the Penguins for the first time in his career.
He admitted that returning to Pittsburgh for the first time since being traded to San Jose for a second-round pick at the 2013 NHL Draft is “definitely a little bit of an emotional roller coaster.”
“I was here for six years and it was a great six years,” he continued. “I think I really grew as a person and as a player. Pittsburgh was like a second home to me, so it means a lot to be back here and I am excited to be back here.”
Full story here.
DESPRES IMPROVING HIS CONSISTENCY
Despres, 22, has played a key role at even strength and on special teams in four games with the Penguins. And even though he has not recorded a point, Pittsburgh just keeps winning.
“I love winning,” Despres said. “I have always been on winning teams. It is fun. Everything is better when you are winning. And that is what we try to do every game, just keep a competitive atmosphere and win games.”
Full story here.
For a preview of tonight's matchup with the Sharks click here. If you're coming to the game here is the fan guide. For a scouting report on San Jose watch Michelle's video below.
START THE DAY
Good morning hockey fans. Tonight the Pens will battle one of the best teams in the NHL in the San Jose Sharks, and also welcome back former 'guin Tyler Kennedy.
- The Penguins return home to host the San Jose Sharks (TV: ROOT SPORTS; Radio: 105.9 the X) at CONSOL Energy Center.
- A win tonight would give the Penguins a season-high five-straight wins.
- Pittsburgh is currently riding a season-long five-game unbeaten stretch (4-0-1) dating back to Nov. 25.
- The Penguins enter tonight having gone 8-2-1 in their last 11 games.
- Tonight the Penguins are hoping to end a three-game winless stretch against the Sharks (0-1-2). Pittsburgh’s last win against San Jose was a 2-1 overtime victory on Feb. 11, 2009 –the final win of the Michel Therrien era.
- Pittsburgh has a four-game home unbeaten streak (2-0-2) against San Jose. The Sharks last regulation win in Pittsburgh came on Jan. 30, 2002 (6-3). Both of their wins since then have come beyond regulation.
- Six of the past seven meetings between the Penguins and Sharks have been one-goal affairs. Four of those contests have gone to overtime/shootout.
- This is the first meeting between the Penguins and Sharks since San Jose notched a 4-3 shootout victory on Nov. 3, 2011 at HP Pavilion. In that game the Penguins jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead behind goals from Deryk Engelland and Evgeni Malkin; chasing Sharks netminder Antti Niemi (2 goals allowed on 6 shots). San Jose trailed 3-1 after two periods but forced overtime thanks to third-period markers from Ryane Clowe and Jamie McGinn. Malkin finished that game with three points (2G-1A) and James Neal had two helpers.
- San Jose is visiting Pittsburgh for the first time since the Sharks earned a 3-2 overtime win in their only previous visit to CONSOL Energy Center on Feb. 23, 2011. Patrick Marleau scored two goals for the Sharks –including the overtime game-winner with just four seconds left in the extra session. Current Shark –and then Penguin –Tyler Kennedy scored both Pittsburgh goals.
- D Deryk Engelland has points in both of his career meetings against the Sharks (1G-1A-2PTS).
Stick tap: Pens PR
Tonight marks the return of "The Ol' Boy" Tyler Kennedy. Or "TK" as the fans affectionately call him. Kennedy was traded at the 2013 NHL Draft for a second-round pick from San Jose. But he began his career right here in Pittsburgh. His legacy with the Pens will be his willingness to shoot the puck (in any and all situations) and his Game 6 winning goal against the Detroit Red Wings in the 2009 Stanley Cup Final to help the Pens win the Cup.
Oh, and he had the best jumbotron goal celebration ever...
Plus, we cannot forget gems like this below. "I suck at this."