After an off-day on Wednesday, a few Pittsburgh Penguins got an early start to practice on Thursday, including goalie Tristan Jarry who was peppered with wristers and one-timers from P-O Joseph.
The Penguins are on a two-game winning streak after beating the Washington Capitals on Sunday and Tuesday (There was no real reason to mention that other than I thought you would enjoy seeing it).
The 2-2 Penguins will host the New York Rangers and former assistant coach Jacques Martin on Friday night at PPG Paints Arena. Since Martin won a pair of Stanley Cup with the Penguins, you can expect a welcome back montage in the first TV timeout.
PHN Exclusive Non-News: A team source told PHN the team did NOT submit a claim on waived Dallas defenseman Julius Honka, who is currently playing in Finland.
Per Mike Sullivan, Marcus Pettersson is out week to week with an upper body injury and Mike Sullivan said Juuso Riikola is “longer term.”
The forward lines were as expected. However, the defensive pairings were mix-and-match. Pettersson and Riikola were absent due to injury. Chad Ruhwedel was excused to be with his wife as they welcomed their first child.
“I know he’s going to be a great father, he’s a great teammate,” Brian Dumoulin praised.
It will be interesting to see if the Penguins keep Marino and Ceci as their second pairing on Friday night, thus moving Marino to his backhand.
Kasperi Kapanen continued to work with the top line, but he’ll probably start on the fourth line for a couple of more games until he gets his sea legs and conditioning. And Brandon Tanev was back with the third line.
Jarry remained in what would be the starters net, though that term may be losing its luster after Matt Murray kept it last season even during Jarry’s run as a starter.
Jarry was the first Pittsburgh Penguins player on the ice on Thursday. He worked with goalie coach Mike Buckley on drills as Joseph and Czuczman peppered him with one-timers, wraparounds, and one-timers from the slot.
After some brisk skating, the usual line rushes, and two-on-none full speed rushes, the Penguins got into odd-man rushes. After a defensive zone faceoff, the forwards line would bolt for a three-on-two, and the opposing forwards line would try to catch them through center ice and pick up a man in the offensive zone.
The Penguins also worked on creating offense from the mid-wall and cycling in the corners.
The NHL is taking the technology pucks embedded with tracking chips out of commission because there was an error in manufacturing. Some said they didn’t slide.
“I didn’t even know we had technology pucks,” Brian Dumoulin jokingly shrugged. “I don’t pay attention to the pucks.”