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Yohe: Practice update ahead of Friday’s Pens-Predators game

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Greetings, hockey fans.
With my kidney stone misadventures now a thing of the past and Rossi somewhere between here and Newark, I thought you’d be interested in some tidbits for tonight’s clash between the struggling Penguins and struggling Predators.

Tonight’s probable lines and defense pairings:

Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis

Jussi Jokinen-Evgeni Malkin-James Neal

Beau Bennett-Brandon Sutter-Matt D’Agostini

Tanner Glass-Joe Vitale-Craig Adams

Olli Maatta-Kris Letang

Brooks Orpik-Paul Martin

Matt Niskanen-Robert Bortuzzo

Marc-Andre Fleury

Maybe the whole Kris Letang-Olli Maatta pairing wasn’t a one-game experiment, but rather, is what the Penguins are planning on until Rob Scuderi returns. The duo looked good together in even strength situations against Philadelphia and should be together again tonight.

Otherwise, don’t look for any line changes, even though many of you are calling for them.

Injury update

 Mixed bag here. The good news is that Paul Martin skated again this morning and pronounced himself ready to go tonight. However, Letang was not present at the morning skate, and head coach Dan Bylsma said the defenseman has been ill for the past 24 hours. Still, Bylsma said that Letang is “probably” to play against the Predators.

Watch For This N’ At

= Seth Jones, the once-presumed top pick in the 2013 draft who stunningly slid to No. 4, will be in action tonight. He’s been very good so far this season.

= Paul Gaustad and Mike Fisher will be in the lineup tonight for the Predators, and both are among the more accomplished defensive centers in hockey. So, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, who have endured their share of troubles in recent games, probably won’t have it easy.

= A new sheet of ice was in use when the Flyers and Penguins played on Wednesday. It looked pretty awful, which is standard at Consol Energy Center. We’ll see how it looks tonight.

= With Marc-Andre Fleury in action tonight, and the Penguins facing an extremely busy stretch, one has to think Jeff Zatkoff is a good bet to play against Marty Brodeur and the Devils on Saturday.

 The Read

 Here’s Rossi’s notebook from today’s Trib: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/5045705-74/bylsma-penguins-olympics#axzz2kjzmItOJ

Enjoy the hockey game, dear readers.

Josh Yohe

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Comments

  1. Robert says:

    It’s pitiful to keep hearing about the bad ice. When they put the refrigeration in it was touted as the best there is. Other venues that don’t have “the best there is”, have considerable better ice. Is the problem that bad that everything they have tried hasn’t helped? This may be too much of an assumption but, they did bring in the ice expert didn’t they? What is the problem besides the obvious bad ice? It is a shame that world class players the Penguins have and those that visit have to play on crap. How many goals haven’t been scored because or bouncing or rolling pucks. A lot more than those scored by bouncing rolling pucks. Two weeks during the Olympics! Fix it! Even if they have to start from scratch. Or fire the guy who recommended it. Two of the best teams in their leagues over the past 2 decades have the worst playing surfaces.

  2. JOSEPH CURSI says:

    They’ll wait until one of the top guns gets hurt. Then it will be addressed!

  3. Well, the Pens stopped the bleeding last night and let’s hope that continues today versus the Devils.

 
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