GAME DAY REPORT
Sam breaks down what to expect from tonight's home opener against the Maple Leafs (with help from Kris Letang and coach Bylsma). To steal a line from Sam, happy game day everyone!
SOUNDS HEARD AROUND THE LOCKER ROOMCOACH DAN BYLSMA
LEAFS MORNING SKATE PICS
Ben Scrivens tending goal
Kessel sneaking one past Scrivens
James Reimer down at the other end
Captain Dion Phaneuf skates with asst coach Greg Crocin--Wes Crosby and Michelle Crechiolo
QUOTES HEARD AROUND THE LOCKER ROOM
MORNING SKATE PICS
Fleury doing Gangnam Style
Orpik and asst coach Tony Granato
Niskanen and Martin
Dupuis winds up...
...and follows through
--Michelle Crechiolo & Sam Kasan
MORNING SKATE INFO
There appear to be no lineup changes judging by the line combinations and defensive pairings...
UPDATE: Following morning skate, head coach Dan Bylsma said Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start in goal and there are no injuries of note to his lineup.
MARTIN STARTS STRONG
“I’ve always been confident in my abilities. I think last year when things weren’t going my way, I’ve always been hard on myself and expected a lot out of myself. Certain times (I) definitely got frustrated with the game and with myself. I think this year a different mindset will serve me well.”
Martin, 31, returned to Pittsburgh for training camp determined to have a better year for the team. And his new mindset certainly served Martin well through the Penguins’ opening weekend, as he got off to the strong start he wanted in wins over the Flyers and the Rangers while anchoring Pittsburgh’s shutdown defense pairing with Brooks Orpik.
Full story here.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR VS. TORONTO
Lupul, Bozak and Kessel remain together this season to provide Toronto’s most potent offensive threat, but the rest of the line combinations seem to be fluid. During practice on Tuesday, new addition James van Riemsdyk – who spent the last three seasons with Philadelphia – moved up to left wing on the second line with center Mikhail Grabovski (who had 23 goals and 51 points last season) and right wing Nikolai Kulemin. That puts Clarke MacArthur (20 goals, 43 points) on the third line with Marlies call-ups Nazem Kadri and Leo Komarov.
For a full scouting report on the Leafs and things to watch for in tonight's game click here.
START THE DAY
Good morning Pens fans! Today the Pens open the season at home with a 7 p.m. tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs. This will be the first contest held at CONSOL Energy Center since April 20, 2012 (not counting the Black and Gold Game). Fans have been patiently waiting for over nine months to watch hockey in Pittsburgh.
The team will hit the ice at 10:30 a.m. for their morning skate. We'll be tracking to bring you tonight's lineup, line combinations, defensive pairings and starting goaltender, as well as any other tidbits we pick up along the way. So stay tuned to the Pens Report throughout the day for continuous updates.
And within a few hours, Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike Lange's voice will ring out over the airwaves, "It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh!"
By special request from Michelle, we'll open the day with Phillip Phillips "Home."
Question: if your last name was Phillips and you had a son, would you name him Phillip?
Also, I wanted to start the day with "Home" by American Music Club. But Michelle said it was too esoteric (OK, she didn't use the word esoteric, but it's what she meant). So if you want to treat yourself, look up the song on YouTube.