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Penguins Practice (UPDATED): Zohorna Elevated, Blueger Injured

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Radim Zohorna, Rickard Rakell

CRANBERRY — With cuts and roster trimming looming, the Pittsburgh Penguins split their squad into two groups on Wednesday. The early group began practice just after 10 a.m. and was filled with the players expected to begin in the minor leagues and a couple battling for NHL roster spots.

In addition to emerging prospects such as Sam Poulin and Valtteri Puustinen and first-year pros such as Lukas Svejkovsky and Corey Andonovski, Penguins coaches put Drew O’Connor and Drake Caggiula into the early group.

Caggiula and O’Connor were part of the Penguins’ lineup, which was heavy on NHL talent, against the Detroit Red Wings, Tuesday. The Penguins lost, 6-2, at PPG Paints Arena, as they gave up two power-play goals, a shorthanded tally, and a couple of fluky goals. They were also 0-for-9 on the power play.

More distressing than the un-special teams, which the team hasn’t yet practiced, was the lack of offensive output. Get the Penguins takeaways, including what to worry about and what to ignore.

UPDATE (2:58 p.m.): When PHN asked Sullivan how much to read into the groups, he noted that–obviously–the afternoon group was the “semblance of the Pittsburgh Penguins” and then cited Radim Zohorna as a player who earned inclusion.

“There might be some movement between the groups with some people depending on performance in the exhibition games. For example, (Zohorna) was part of the group today. We thought he’s played really well to this point, some of the exhibition games and that’s why that decision was made.”

In short, watch for who is included in the afternoon group tomorrow. That’s not the first time in the camp that Sullivan mentioned Zohorna, unprompted.

If the early group indeed becomes the WBS Penguins roster, it appears to be significantly improved from last season. Players such as Poulin, Filip Hallander, and Andonovski appear to be closer to the NHL than they were at the end of last season.

The WBS Penguins training camp begins Oct. 1.

The Pittsburgh Penguins presumably will make cuts in the next couple of days as they prepare for the regular season, which begins on Oct. 11. The Penguins’ first game will be Oct. 13 at home against Arizona.

Penguins Injuries:

Teddy Blueger left practice. Sullivan said he’s being evaluated for an upper-body injury.

Kasperi Kapanen is still stick. No update.

Jeff Carter has an upper-body injury. He’s day to day and making progress, according to Sullivan.

Early Group:

10 Drew O’Connor
18 Drake Caggiula
19 Alex Nylander
22 Sam Poulin
27 Corey Andonovski
32 Mitch Reinke
34 Nathan Legare
36 Filip Hallander
37 Jack St. Ivany
41 Nolan Collins
48 Jon Lizotte
50 Josh Maniscalco
51 Ty Glover
55 Chris Ortiz
57 Jamie Devane
61 Xavier Ouellet
62 Colin Swoyer
72 Lukas Sevjokovsky
75 Kyle Olson
76 Valtteri Puustinen
80 Raivis Ansons

Goalies:

Dustin Tokarski
Tyler Gauthier
Tommy Nappier
Filip Lindberg

Absent:

Jonathan Gruden
Jordan Frasca
Brooklyn Kalmikov
Taylor Fedun

Skated Before the First Group (Updated)

Sam Houde
Owen Pickering

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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John
John
2 months ago

Dan, do you see the Pens calling up Devane when/if they anticipate any shenanigans?

John
John
2 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

Gotcha. Thanks for the response!

Stephen Powanda
Stephen Powanda
2 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

That is to bad because the Flyers aren’t going to win much but they are built to hurt people.

Drew
Drew
2 months ago
Reply to  John

I’m pretty sure Devane doesn’t have a two-way contract. Only AHL contract. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s my understanding that they would have to re-sign him to a two-way contract in order to call him up. For that reason I doubt they would call him up.

Joe
Joe
2 months ago

Still sick? That’s one heckuva bender.

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