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preVIEW: An early look at Penguins vs. Avalanche.


Greetings from Fifth Avenue, Dear Readers. Rossi was complaining of an upset stomach – likely nerves before his lunch date with a lovely lady way out of his league. (Good with the athletes he is; with the ladies, not so much.) Anyway, an update from the morning practice…



Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis 

Jussi Jokinen-Evgeni Malkin-Chuck Kobasew

Tanner Glass-Brandon Sutter-Chris Conner

Harry Zolnierczyk-Joe Vitale-Craig Adams 


Brooks Orpik-Paul Martin 

Rob Scuderi-Matt Niskanen

Olli Maatta-Robert Bortuzzo

Goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury

* It appears that Dustin Jeffrey and Deryk Engelland will be out of the lineup this evening against the Colorado Avalanche. Engelland has played the past two games at right wing and has acquitted himself fairly well, given that he had never played wing in his NHL career. Jeffrey mentioned to the Tribune-Review on Sunday that he is somewhat frustrated by being in and out of the lineup on a regular basis, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be in uniform tonight.



* The Penguins are getting closer and closer to seeing defenseman Kris Letang return to the lineup. In fact, the all-star defenseman may even return this weekend when the Penguins host the New York Islanders and travel to Toronto.
However, Letang will not be in the lineup tonight against the Colorado Avalanche.
He did participate in the Penguins’ morning skate, and remained on the ice for some extended conditioning. Letang looked strong, showing no signs of the knee trouble that has been hindering him for nearly a month.
Coach Dan Bylsma says Letang is “close” to returning.

* Left wing Beau Bennett skated before the morning skate but isn’t ready to play tonight and seems questionable at best to play this weekend.

* Right wing Matt D’Agostini skated this morning and will be eligible to play with the Penguins starting on Saturday in Toronto, though it remains unknown if he will be medically cleared to participate in that game.



= The Penguins have destroyed Colorado under Dan Bylsma, putting up a 4-0 record and generally having their way with an Avalanche blue line that hasn’t been especially strong in recent years.

= You know the story by now: Sidney Crosby has a point in each of his first eight games, and 17 in all. Against a team that likes to trade chances, Crosby should have a few opportunities to add to that total.



Even Sid doesn’t think he can keep this pace up: Here’s more …



This is being filed late, so if Rossi and were doing any radio hits today, you probably would have heard it already. 


Behave yourselves, and enjoy the hockey game.





Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

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