A good morning (skate) to the Dear Readers…
= Penguins lines/pairings from the AM practice
= Injury Update
- D Kris Letang (lower body) skated on his own Saturday, and coach Dan Bylsma said he was “progressing” but added there was no established timetable for Letang’s return to practice.
- RW Matt D’Agostini (lower body) did not practice Saturday, but Bylsma said D’Agostini could resume practicing around Oct. 16 or 18. The Penguins play at Philadelphia on Oct. 17.
- RW James Neal (upper body) did not practice. He is week-to-week.
- D’Agostini and G Tomas Vokoun are on the long-term injury list.
= Watch for This n’At
- Jussi Jokinen has replaced James Neal on the first power-play unit. Paul Martin and Evgeni Malkin worked the points, with Malkin and Sidney Crosby on the same side of the ice.
- Feeding Malkin where he prefers for a one-time shot is crucial to the Penguins’ power play mentality – and Martin does that best, Malkin said. If drifting backwards, Makin prefers the puck between his legs. If moving forward, Malkin likes the puck near the back blade of his forward skate.
- The Sabres successfully transitioned the Penguins last season, meaning they quickly capitalized on forced turnovers. Bylsma opened his Saturday practice with a statement aimed at reminding his players of Buffalo’s transition ability.
The Penguins opened against New Jersey on Thursday paying a lot of attention to their play with the puck in a hope to avoid what could be called unforced errors. The Sabres and Devils play similar styles, and after a taking 2-0 lead over New Jersey in the opener, the Penguins often were caught on their heels and relying on tougher stops from goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
= The Read
- For Malkin, the absence of Neal means some musical-chair linemates: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/4822155-74/neal-malkin-penguins#axzz2gfvwDjIF
- Recommended Sabres coverage found here: http://blogs.buffalonews.com/sabres/2013/10/hackett-rejoins-sabres-with-miller-absent-from-morning-skate.html And here: http://www.buffalohockeybeat.com
= Hear Here:
As of now there are no planned pre-game TV/radio hits.
Be Excellent to each other,