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AM Camp Log: Pouliot shines, Fleury rebounds in Day 3 scrimmage.

A warm – though not in this building – greetings from Day 3 of Penguins camp, where practices are, and a scrimmage was, open to the public. Speaking of said scrimmage…


Group A (Team Orpik) 3, Group C (Team Malkin) 0

Goals: RW Matt D’Agostini, LW Jussi Jokien and D Derrick Pouliot

Some observations:

= Pouliot was often mesmerizing – especially with puck on his blade – and his set up of Jokinen’s goal was the highlight of Saturday. His goal was pretty sweet too.

= Pouliot is not NHL ready yet, and though he is often a special-looking player, it is the all-around game of Olli Maatta that has really stood out. Many within management project Maatta to be on a faster NHL track than Pouliot, but this season will be a crucial one in terms of development for the Penguins’ 2012 first-round picks.

= Marc-Andre Fleury started for Group A and looked a lot better than his Day 1 scrimmage, in which he surrendered four goals. He was not challenged much on Day 3, but he did pitch a first-half shutout.

Again, readying anything into Fleury’s “play” in Day 3 would be as ridiculous as reading into his “play” from Day 1. Point being, when Fleury actually starts playing – THIS IS ALL PRACTICE – then (maybe) it will be worthy of critique.


= So, a lot has been made – starting with this report: – about D Simon Despres during this camp. Some are fair, but one is not.

Indeed, Despres lagged behind during skating drills on Day 1, but his slowness was not due to being out of shape. In fact, coaches view him as being in the best shape of his young NHL career.

Turns out, Despres was ill on Day 1, but insisted on taking the skating drills. He won points with many for that decision, too.


= Finally, for now, it is a big BLUE football day, with the planet’s most respectable club (Everton) taking on those front-running rich kids supported by a certain Penguins’ official (Chelsea).

Choose sides, but choose on the side of the right and proper.



Be Excellent to each other,



Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib

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