PENS REACT TO SENS
Get all the Pens' players reactions and thoughts on taking on the Senators here
. Below is a teaser...--Sam Kasan
SCOUTING THE SENS
For everything you could possibly want to know (and more) about the Senators, check out Michelle Crechiolo's scouting report below... --Sam Kasan
SENS ROUND UP
Jason Spezza has returned to practice with the Sens as he recovers from back surgery in February. His return is unknown. Some people think he won't be back for this series. The Sens are not setting any timeframe for return. But all you need to do is look at how quickly Karlsson returned from his cut Achilles tendon (nine weeks and not the projected six months) to know you shouldn't rule Spezza out. Although it looks like he will definitely not be back for Game 1 Tuesday night. Paul MacLean Craig Anderson --Sam Kasan
SHERO NOMINATED FOR GM OF THE YEARThe Penguins Ray Shero was named one of the finalists for the NHL General Manager of the Year Award. This is the first time in his career Shero has been nominated.
The GM of the Year Award is presented annually to recognize the work of the league’s 30 general managers. Among those who vote for the winner are each of the 30 club general managers and a panel that includes NHL executives and members of both the print and broadcast media.Full release here.
This is a great accomplishment for Shero, although I must add that it is long overdue. With all the success Shero had in turning around the Penguins franchise from bottom feeder to Cup winners cannot be understated. It's kind of surprising that it's taken this long for recognition. Sure, he inherited Crosby, Fleury, Malkin, Orpik and Letang, but he has managed the roster well by signing those players long-term and adding the other pieces. Think of Kunitz, Dupuis, Neal, Iginla, Cooke, Martin and Vokoun - all players Shero added with his boss working of the salary cap. And after he stole every big name at the NHL trading deadline, not sure how he doesn't win this. Guess we'll see...
(Getty Images)--Sam Kasan
SOUNDS HEARD AROUND THE ROOM
THEY SAID IT...--Sam Kasan
Head coach Dan Bylsma wouldn't tell the media who his starting goalie would be in Game 1 Tuesday night. He opened his media conference by saying that the starting goalie, lineup and injuries are non-discussion points.
But no matter what his decision ends up being, both Tomas Vokoun and Marc-Andre Fleury said it doesn’t matter who’s in goal. Both guys just want to do whatever they can to help the team, and they'll do that no matter what their situation is. Click here for the goalie's comments and full story.
(Getty Images)--Michelle Crechiolo
Here come the Men in White...
Murray to Letang: I will teach you the ways of the Viking
Crosby with the toes-in shot
Underneath this mask is pure intensity - as well as Tomas Vokoun's head
Bylsma: Today's letter of the day is P. As in pneumonia
Nordic stares of intimidation
The players line up for cake and ice cream
Vitale screams for repentance
My favorite Martin
Estelle Fleuy's daddy
Crosby chats up the head coach--Sam Kasan & Drew Hancherick
The Pens are on the ice for practice. Perfect attendance for the team.
The forward group remains the same, although there appear to be some changes on the back end. Letang skated with Niskanen, while Murray worked with Engelland. Despres did the "fifth" rush with Orpik.
(Orpik-Despres)Update 12:07 pm:
1st PP unit: Letang, Iginla, Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz/Neal
2nd PP unit: Martin, Niskanen, Morrow, Dupuis, Kennedy--Sam Kasan
PENS-SENS SERIES STORYLINES
We spent yesterday previewing this second-round matchup between the Penguins and the Senators. This is the fourth time in seven years these teams will meet in the postseason. Ottawa won the first of those matchups, 4-1, in 2007. The Penguins won the last two series, sweeping the Senators in 2008 and recording a 4-2 series victory in 2010. The Penguins have won the last five playoff games in Ottawa between the teams – including the series-clinching win in Game 6 of the 2010 meeting – and swept the regular season series with the Senators this year, winning all three games.
Take a look at the main storylines to follow as the series progresses
(spoiler: the names Craig Anderson and Erik Karlsson come up a lot...)--Michelle Crechiolo
START THE DAY
Good morning everyone! The Penguins clinched their first-round series against the New York Islanders in six games, so now it's time to get ready for the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The No. 1-seeded Penguins will play the No. 7-seeded Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The full schedule has yet to be released, but the NHL announced that Game 1 will be Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins are practicing today at 11:15 a.m. at CONSOL Energy Center after having Sunday off.
It's "on to the next one" for the Penguins, as Jay-Z has so gloriously rapped -- so we're going to start the blog with that song today. Hopefully, we play it two more times these playoffs. Get pumped! --Michelle Crechiolo