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Penguins Practice: Malkin Shows a Burst, Matt Cullen on the Ice, Chiodo Fools DeSmith



Pittsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin

There’s a stunning new video of Pittsburgh Penguins backup goalie Casey DeSmith getting fooled by a wrister. Or at least that’s what a TMZ anchor would say before opening a “newscast.” DeSmith was solid in a 1-0 shutout over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday, his second win of the week and first shutout of the season.

The Penguins have won four in a row. 

Monday morning, Penguins goalie coach Andy Chiodo put in some time with DeSmith and Tristan Jarry. Chiodo directed DeSmith on directional rebounds, how to play “bigger,” and, apparently, how to stop pucks falling face first.

Chiodo hesitated on his last shot, and DeSmith went for a tumble. All is well, no injuries to report as smiles could be seen…



Dad is Home

Penguins Player Development coach Matt Cullen was in the house on Monday. Per the Penguins’ request, Cullen spends three or four days per month with the big club, primarily working with centers on the game’s finer points, including faceoffs. 

Cullen was on the ice during practice and working with the Penguins after the 45-minute workout.

According to head coach Mike Sullivan, Malkin skated for 30 minutes with Cullen before practice.


Malkin skated in a non-contact jersey. Sullivan said Bryan Rust and Jake Guentzel are progressing as the medical staff expected. Each skated early Monday morning.

Evgeni Malkin:

Did he just…??

Malkin was still in a white non-contact jersey when he participated with the team on Monday, but he had a little more hop in his step. He jumped off his skates to retrieve pucks in the corner and galloped, just a little, around the zone. Penguins coaches let Malkin work on the PP2. The big Russian worked the top of the zone but charged the net and tried to slip a backhand past Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry.

That’s where things got interesting.

It appeared Malin went backhand “Michigan,” otherwise known as a lacrosse style goal. PP2 celebrated as if it went in. However, Tristan Jarry firmly denied Malkin had scored. PHN had to ask.

“No,” Jarry said flatly.

Was it just a good backhander?


“Danton (Heinen) caught it and threw it in,” Jarry said.

A bit amused, Jarry had to give us a little poke after his media availability. “You have to get closer,” he laughed.

It was a good burst of personality from Jarry, who has kept media at twice arm’s length for the last few years. In Jarry’s WBS Penguins days, he was known for being a personality and one of the boys–which is not typical for a goalie.

Though we are disappointed that Malkin did not score what would have been an amazing goal. Perhaps you’ll settle for a player of Malkin’s caliber getting closer to rejoining the team in an official capacity.

Pittsburgh Penguins Lines:

The Penguins lines remain unchanged over the last two games, both victories.


Evan Rodrigues-Sidney Crosby-Kasperi Kapanen

Jason Zucker-Jeff Carter-Danton Heinen

Zach Aston-Reese–Teddy Blueger–Brock McGinn

Drew O’Connor-Brian Boyle-Dominik Simon


Brian Dumoulin-Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson-John Marino

Mike Matheson-Chad Ruhwedel


Tristan Jarry

Face-up Casey DeSmith

Pittsburgh Penguins Streaky?

The Penguins have 13 wins this season, but they have come in clumps. The team has a five-game streak and is currently on a four-game streak. PHN asked Letang about being streaky.

“Because we lost a game in between,” he smiled.

To be fair, the Penguins are 9-1-2 in their last 12 games, but it wasn’t one game, it was a three-game winless streak between the five and four-game streaks. However, Letang’s point is well taken.

The Penguins have rolled through the last month of their schedule, rallying from near the basement of the Eastern Conference to a wild-card position. They have to maintain that level of success to have any hope of catching the top three of the Metro Division. They trail third-place New York Rangers by six points. Both teams have played 27 games.

Mike Sullivan on Jim Rutherford:

Sullivan was asked about former Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford becoming the President of Hockey Operations for the Vancouver Canucks.

“I’m happy for him, excited for him. You know, he’s a good friend, and we went through a lot together here, and I think he’s terrific at what he does,” Sullivan said. “I think he’ll he’ll do a tremendous job for Vancouver. He has a wealth of experience…the Canucks will be the benefactors of the experience that he will bring to the table. And he’s a great person to work for. He’ll set the standard and the vision there that I think will move the team in the right direction.”

The Vancouver media are already digging into why he left the Penguins. I’ve taken a couple of calls, off the record, from folks fishing around. No, I don’t know, officially, what went down. You’ve probably heard the same rumors, hints, and allegations that I have, but I’m curious if he’ll open the vault just a bit on Monday.