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UPDATED: Sullivan Juggles Lines, ‘Not Getting Enough’ Sustained Offense

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Kaperi Kapanen

Cranberry, Twp — Teddy Blueger is still a few weeks away from rejoining the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup after suffering a fractured jaw against the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 23. Blueger had successful surgery the following day. This week, he resumed skating on his own with skills coach Ty Hennes.

Head coach Mike Sullivan said there was not an updated schedule for Blueger’s return which was estimated to be six to eight weeks from Jan. 24.

The progress remains a step forward for the zippy center, who successfully pivoted the Penguins shutdown fourth line with Zach Aston-Reese and Brock McGinn.

In his stead, Brian Boyle has played the best hockey of his season. He led all players with five shots against the Philadelphia Flyers, and the fourth line has scored goals in three consecutive games–all Penguins wins.

This season, Blueger has 17 points (8-9-17) in 40 games.

Crosby off to St. Andrews…After the Season

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ new (and old ownership) and teammates are getting rid of Sidney Crosby. Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?

Everyone pitched in to send the captain on vacation to St. Andrews, presumably after the season.

No word if everyone signed the card.

 

Also, Evgeni Malkin congratulated…Evgeni Malkin for assisting on No. 500:

 

What a picture. Those three. Count your blessings.

Some Penguins lines juggling and fun?

Wednesday, the Penguins had a casual, 39-minute practice after their emotional 5-4 OT win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night. There wasn’t much power-play work or heavy line rushes. It was localized drills, some 5v2, and skills work.

The team will depart for Toronto and their Thursday night match against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Don’t go bonkers or throw a party. Head coach Mike Sullivan did a little tinkering with the Penguins lines on Wednesday.

Jeff Carter skated on Malkin’s right-wing.

“I’m comfortable with both. I played a couple of games with (Malkin), and they went pretty well….,” Cartrer said, and later added, “You’ll have to ask (Mike Sullivan) where he’s headed with that, but I’m prepared to play either.”

Rodrigues was optimistic about skating with Kapanen in Toronto.

“I’ve had a lot of success with Kappy this year and in the past, and I think we work really well together because we both like to play a high-octane type of game,” Rodrigues said.

Sullivan also didn’t back away from coming changes. He steered into the skid but reminded us that nothing is etched in stone.

“…Just more sustained offense, just more sustained play. I just think with what we’ve had here over the last few games, we’re not getting, in our estimation, enough sustained zone time that I think helps us create the balance… And so we’re trying some different combinations that try to generate that,” Sullivan said.

All players were present and accounted for, including Brock McGinn, who writhed in pain after blocking a shot with his wrist, and Brian Dumoulin, who blocked a shot with his face.

Both left the ice, and both finished the game.

Matt Cullen continued his role as an on-ice “assistant” coach in the injury absence of Todd Reirden.

Pittsburgh Penguins Lines:

Guentzel-Crosby-Rust

Carter-Malkin-Heinen

McGinn-Rodrigues-Kapanen

Aston-Reese–Boyle–Simon

Editor’s Note: PHN updated the story to confirm the changes after head coach Mike Sullivan spoke to the media.

 

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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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Wasnt
3 months ago

Glad to hear Blue is skating, can’t wait for him to come back

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