Found September 24, 2013 on
Starting next Thursday the puck will drop on a new season for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Much like preseason in any sport, it gives the fans a taste of what to expect from the team and give a look at some younger talent. The Penguins are 2-2-1 with their final preseason game Wednesday against at the Detroit Red Wings.
Despite his age, Derrick Pouliot could be NHL ready.
Penguins opened the preseason with a 4-5 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Froward Chuck Kobasew scored twice for the Penguins, including at 13:05 of the third period to knot the score at 4-4. Kobasew joined the Penguins for the start of training camp on a tryout contract, and there are potential openings among the bottom-six forwards for the Penguins. Marc-Andre Fleury started in net for the Penguins and allowed two goals on 14 shots in two periods of work. The one takeaway from the game was the power play unit of Bennett-Malkin-Neal.
The following night, Pittsburgh faced the Detroit Red Wings and yet again dropped the game, this time 4-1. Pittsburgh outshot Detroit 24-19 but failed to convert on three first-period power plays and lost for the second time in as many nights. Tomas Vokoun faced 15 shots while allowing four goals.
Pittsburgh picked up its first victory in a 5-4 shootout. Beau Bennett had the shootout winner, in the last appearance in Chicago before the teams meet at Soldier Field on March 1 in the fourth and final game of the NHL’s Coors Light Stadium Series. One of the takeaways from the game was 19-year-old defender Derrick Pouliot getting his first goal. Pouliot looked poised and mature working with Matt Niskanen on the second line.
Saturday, Pittsburgh dropped another heartbreaker to the Blue Jackets losing 5-3. Jussi Jokinen scored a hat trick in the loss. Marc-Andre Fleury was on his way to another rough outing, allowing two goals on the first three shots he faced.
After the game ended, Pittsburgh announced that Tomas Vokoun would be out indefinitely after undergoing a procedure Saturday to dissolve a blood clot in his pelvis. With Vokoun almost certainly unavailable to begin the season, the Penguins will turn to goaltender Jeff Zatkoff — who has never played in an NHL game — as starter Marc-Andre Fleury’s backup. However, Fleury has not looked steady this preseason. To note; Vokoun’s surgery was a success.
In a recent article with the Pittsburgh Tribune, GM Ray Shero didn’t give Fleury a ringing endorsement when asked about his off-ice work during the past few months stating, “It’s been OK,” Shero said. “A work in progress.”
In a previous article, I talked about the goalie situation in Pittsburgh. It is interesting to hear Shero as describing Fleury’s off-ice work as “OK.” It’s not very warming to hear it being described this way, as Fleury needs to have a great start to the season to build his confidence. It is also discerning to have Vokoun out. When Vokoun came in last year it was a peace of mind. Vokoun recorded 14 victories in the 17 games he started. Vokoun is still a valuable piece to the Penguins team, especially if Fleury is struggling.
Zatkoff has a plenty of experience at the American Hockey League level. He has a career record of 77-63-6, hitting the 20-win mark three times in four seasons with Manchester and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Zatkoff played his first season with WBS last year and was voted as the team MVP after posting 26-20 record with a 1.93 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and five shutouts.
The Penguins will turn to WBS goalie, Jeff Zatkoff, for the back up role.
As much as I like Hartzell, I do think he could benefit from time in the AHL to grow and get some experience under his belt. However, he’s now the Pens’ primary back up at the moment with no NHL experience, creating a bleak scenario for Pittsburgh.
Could there be a trade in the near future for another veteran goalie for Pittsburgh? Possibly. In another previous article, it has been mentioned that the Penguins could wheel and deal defender Matt Niskanen to another team to clear up some cap space. With young defenders like Pouliot playing pretty decent, and Simon Despres having a partial season under his belt, it could be their time to step up for the Penguins in October.
The Penguins on Sunday trimmed their camp roster to 35 players. Pittsburgh needs to trim the roster a bit more before Monday’s deadline.
Update: Pittsburgh defeated Chicago Monday night, 3-2 in Pittsburgh. Chicago jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, those Penguins stars led a comeback attempt for the Penguins. Letang had two third-period goals to force overtime, while Neal and Crosby scored in the shootout to give Pittsburgh the win. Zatkoff did get the start and stood strong allowing two goals on 32 shots.
BEST OF MAXIM
Marc-Andre Fleury will have to step up to shoulder the load with Vokoun out long term.
As if the Pittsburgh Penguins goaltending situation couldn’t get any cloudier, news broke a few days ago that Penguins back-up net-minder Thomas Vokoun would be out indefinitly with a blood clot in his pelvis.
GM Ray Shero made the announcment at a press conference after a preseason game against...
The Penguins are in an uncomfortable spot at the NHL's most important position.
Marc-Andre Fleury — the franchise goalie who was benched because of ineffectiveness in the Stanley Cup playoffs and is coming off management's mandated sessions with a sports psychologist — suddenly is the franchise's lone proven goalie.
Tomas Vokoun star of the Penguins' playoff...
Credit: Rich Lam/Getty Images
Forward Steve MacIntyre is heading back to Edmonton, where his NHL career began. The enforcer was claimed off waivers today by the Oilers after the Penguins put him on the waiver wire yesterday. If he cleared, he would have reported to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. However, that will not be happening. The Oilers felt they needed an enforcer after losing Sam...
The Pittsburgh Penguins didn't panic when the bitter disappointment of last spring's sweep at the hands of the Boston Bruins wore off.
If anything, the Penguins went the other way. While other NHL powers underwent substantial roster overhauls, Pittsburgh did what it could to keep the core of one of the league's most consistent winners in tack.
The Penguins awarded coach...
On Wednesday the Penguins announced that goalie Tomas Vokoun had been released from hospital after undergoing a procedure to dissolve a blood clot in his pelvis.
Vokoun 37 underwent the procedure on Saturday after noticing swelling in his thigh following practice. The decision was made for an immediate operation and it was later announced Vokoun would be out indefinitely.
Chris Kunitz had two goals and an assist to help the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-1 on Wednesday night in an exhibition game.
Jussi Jokinen, Pascal Dupuis and Craig Adams also scored for Pittsburgh. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each had two assists, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 16 saves.
Drew Miller scored for Detroit, and Petr Mrazek stopped 32 shots.
James Neal scored in the shootout to give the Penguins a 3-2 preseason win over the Blackhawks after Chicago's Bryan Bickell and Pittsburgh's Kris Letang scored two goals apiece in regulation on Monday night.
Letang pulled the Penguins within 2-1 at 9:23 of the third with an unassisted breakaway goal and then pulled the Penguins even at 17:44 with a power-play goal via a...
Welcome back Pens fans! If you’re new or have forgotten what I do in the postgame thoughts, here’s a quick introduction/recap. Speaking of, don’t expect recaps. It’s purely thoughts and analysis of specific plays and players. I hate +/-, so I do my own goal assessments and award a “+” if a player contributes to a goal for and a “-“ if a player is at fault for a goal...
Penguin’s defenseman Kris Letang attended the Steelers game Sunday and saw how Pittsburgh fans react to losing. He obviously did not want to be included in a bad weekend with Chicago teams and ensured it did not happen by scoring two regulation goals in route to defeating the Chicago Blackhawks. The first period proved to be a game of back and forth with little action occurring...
We're incredibly late on this, but Steve MacIntyre has been claimed off of waivers by the Edmonton Oilers.
The time you took to read this post was longer than the time MacIntyre spent on the ice for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
James Neal and Sidney Crosby scored during a shootout to give the Penguins a 3-2 victory over Chicago in a preseason game at Consol Energy Center tonight.
The Penguins 2-2-1 in exhibition play will wrap up their six-game preseason schedule in Detroit Wednesday.
Bryan Bickell put Chicago in front 1-0 with a shorthanded goal at 1:09 of the second period as he knocked a puck out of...
Chicago Blackhawks @ Pittsburgh Penguins
The CW Pittsburgh - 7:00 pm/et
Consol Energy Center - Pittsburgh, PA
Crosby and Malkin will both play tonight. This is the first preseason game that the Two-Headed Monster has been together. Jeff Zatkoff will start in goal for Pittsburgh. The Penguins won the first preseason match-up between these two teams.
Veteran forward Brenden Morrow patiently waited to see the situation around the league in his search for a contract and it finally paid off. Morrow is headed to the St. Louis Blues.
Morrow had been picking up some interest as training camps rolled along and was mulling over the offers. According to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com he liked the offer from the Blues enough to take it.
I'd like to introduce a new format for my Monday column here at Pens Initiative called "Mad Monday with Mad Chad". In short, it's basically going to be me ranting about the Pittsburgh Penguins for the good and the bad. So here we go.
What I'm mad about:
Go ahead, read the rest »
**Sorry for the post delay, blame preseason and weddings**
Welcome back Pens fans! If you’re new or have forgotten what I do in the postgame thoughts, here’s a quick introduction/recap. Speaking of, don’t expect recaps. It’s purely thoughts and analysis of specific plays and players. I hate +/-, so I do my own goal assessments and award a “+” if a player contributes...