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Penguins Practice Notes: Blueger Out, Carter Skates, Pickering’s 1st Practice

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Owen Pickering

CRANBERRY — Sam Poulin got the call to skate with the big group on Thursday during Pittsburgh Penguins practice. Poulin was in the minor league group when the team first split on Wednesday.

The space for Poulin was created by Teddy Blueger suffering an upper-body injury in practice on Wednesday. Jeff Carter has also been absent for several days with an upper-body injury.

Poulin, the Penguins’ 2019 first-round pick, has opened a few eyes in training camp. He’s significantly quicker and has been aggressive with puck pursuit and the forecheck. He’ll likely start the season with the WBS Penguins, but he’s close. Poulin feels it, too. We’ll have more on Poulin over the next couple of days.

“I think I can play this year (in the NHL), but you never know what can happen,” Poulin said on Wednesday.

According to Shelly Anderson, Carter was one of several players to skate before the morning practice — typically the rehab step before joining practice. It was Carter’s first time skating since his injury during the team scrimmage on Saturday. He’s listed as day-to-day.

 

Blueger did not skate. Jonathan Gruden, Brooklyn Kalmikov, and Taylor Fedun also skated with Carter.

UPDATE: Sullivan said both Blueger and Carter are day to day.

UPDATE: 2022 first-round pick Owen Pickering practiced for the first time in training camp. He was felled by an upper-body injury that kept him out of development camp and training camp until Thursday.

Pickering, 18, is scheduled to chat with the media after practice. We’ll update the story with the relevant info. The young man speaks well, so we should have an interesting update.

Kasperi Kapanen

Kapanen has been absent from practice this week due to illness. He returned to practice, with the big group, Thursday morning.

Kapanen skated with the third line, now centered by Radim Zohorna with Danton Heinen on the left.

Kapanen is trying to erase a bad, very bad, 2021-22 season. He scored only 11 goals and was a healthy scratch later in the season. Perhaps bygones should be bygones. Sullivan flatly said he didn’t have a good answer regarding Kapanen’s nose dive last season.

New season. New start.

Penguins Lines

Guentzel-Crosby-Rust

Zucker-Malkin-Rust

Heinen-Zohorna-Kapanen

McGinn-Poehling-Archibald

Extra: Sam Poulin.

Defense:

Dumoulin-Letang

Pettersson-Petry

Smith-Rutta

PHN will update the story after head coach Mike Sullivan speaks to the media later in the day. Sullivan was in a good mood on Wednesday as he joked about it feeling like old times. It’s been more than two years since media was allowed in the locker room. As we crowded around, maskless, Sullivan noted it was like old times, including Jason Mackey’s presence.

Welcome back to our colleague Jason Mackey, who recently returned to the Penguins beat with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

As usual, most of the NHL regulars stayed on the ice after practice for skills work.

 

WBS Penguins

We’re beginning to wonder when the next round of Pittsburgh Penguins cuts will be made. WBS Penguins camp begins on Saturday, but the Penguins have an intra-squad scrimmage planned for Friday.

Plenty of players will have to pack quickly and get on the road Friday afternoon.

There isn’t a more monotonous drive than I-80 for five hours.

The Penguins play at Buffalo on Saturday afternoon, then Detroit on Monday night.

Coming Attractions:

PHN chatted with Ty Smith again on Thursday morning. Shelly Anderson had a convo with Bryan Rust about his versatility and playing with Evgeni Malkin.

I also needled Rickard Rakell just a bit on the differences between playing with Sidney Crosby and Malkin. He didn’t budge from his answer.

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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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Katz is Dumb
Katz is Dumb
2 months ago

Rust practiced on the 1st & 2nd line and Rakell didn’t practice??

Vince Gori
Vince Gori
2 months ago

Injury bug striking early. Not to late to call Brian Boyle for a PTO.

Rob
Rob
2 months ago
Reply to  Vince Gori

They have enough depth this season that they don’t need to reach out to Boyle, unfortunately. I liked what he brought to the team last season though.

ric Jefferies
ric Jefferies
2 months ago

Boyle yes! Please not another season team held together with spit and bubble gum.

William Maloni
William Maloni
2 months ago

Wilkes Barre from Washington DC is no better, probably worse. Took kids to camp there, a few times, and it was the most forgettable/boring highway.