Penguins Report: Game Day vs. New Jersey (Opener)
- Morning skate info
- Neal is game-time decision
- Skate pics
- Locker room sound
- Maatta Time
- Kobasew earns contract
- Vokoun out 3-6 months
- Top Line
- Pens-Devils preview
- Devils info
- Devils pics
- "Day of Giving"
- Let the games begin
- It's October 3rd
VERIZON GAME DAY REPORT
PENSTV LOCKER ROOM SOUND
--Michelle Crechiolo & Sam Kasan
Cory Schneider gets the start tonight for the Devils.
Devils captain Bryce Salvador.
First-round pick Adam Larsson
Schneider makes the save
--Drew Hancherick & Sam Kasan
Devs' lines: Clowe-Elias-Brunner; Henrique-Zajac-Jagr; Zubrus-Loktionov-Ryder; Carter-Gionta-Bernier; Olesz-Josefson-Tedenby.— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) October 3, 2013
Head coach Dan Bylsma said that winger James Neal (upper-body) is a game-time decision.
MORNING SKATE PICS
CONSOL Energy Center is ready to start the season
Kunitz steps onto the ice
Dupuis with the stiff upper lip
Tony G and Sid discuss US-Canada relations
Look at that smile. The captain is ready for game day.
Maatta could make his NHL debut tonight
Sutter and coach Reirden
Scuderi makes his "official" return for the Pens tonight
Fleury gets a fresh start
Coach Dan gives the instructions
--Michelle Crechiolo & Sam Kasan
MORNING SKATE INFO
Other than the three IR players (Vokoun, Letang, D'Agostini), the Pens only had one missing player from the morning skate: Neal (upper-body). Vitale skated in his place.
Here is how the skate flushed out...
Jokinen is taking Neal's spot on the top power play.
1st unit: Malkin, Martin on points. Kunitz, Crosby and Jokinen down low.
2nd unit: Niskanen, Maatta on points. Dupuis, Bennett, Sutter down low.
SUPPORT THE PENS IN TODAY'S "DAY OF GIVING"
Today isn't just a day to give thanks for the return of hockey – it’s also a day to give, plain and simple. Fans can support the Pittsburgh Penguins by participating in The Pittsburgh Foundation’s fifth annual “Day of Giving” on October 3.
Today, for every dollar you donate to the Penguins Foundation through www.pittsburghgives.org until 11:59:59 p.m. EST tonight – from $25 up to $1,000 - The Pittsburgh Foundation will include your donation in their match pool. They will be dividing a total of $750,000 among the participating Allegheny County non-profit organizations.
It’s a tremendous opportunity to show your support for the Penguins, as your donation and the match provided by The Pittsburgh Foundation would provide a huge assist in the team’s ongoing community efforts and allow them to do even more.
To make a donation of $25 or more, all you have to do is log onto www.pittsburghgives.org and select the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation as your designated charity!
Note: Each gift is 100% tax deductible and only MasterCard or Visa credit card donations received through www.pittsburghgives.org during the 24 hours of October 3 will be matched for this event. For more information, please visit www.pittsburghgives.org.
This year PensTV will be airing a new show called Top Line where host Katie O'Malley has various guests discuss the hottest topics surrounding the team. They wanted to start the season off with a bang and get a brilliant guest, but they had to settle for me instead.
MAATTA'S FUTURE COULD BE NOW
Olli Maatta impressed the Penguins coaching staff so much during training camp that he's earned himself a nine-game trial period. With defenseman Kris Letang on IR, Maatta will be stepping in. His entry-level contract kicks in at 10 games, so the Pens could give him a look for nine games and then decide to either keep him for the year or send him back to his junior team in London, Ontario (at 19 years old, Maatta is not eligible to play in the AHL).
Maatta said that he knew he had a strong showing at training camp, and thought that in itself might have been enough to give him an opportunity to play a few games in Pittsburgh. But when Letang was placed on IR, that possibility became a reality for Maatta.
“I knew I played well in the exhibition games and I knew I had a good camp,” he said. “I knew I might have a chance to be here for a few games. That’s what happened and I’m real happy about it. But I’ve got to still work on my game and improve my game so I can stay here.”
Full story here.
VOKOUN OUT 3-6 MONTHS
Vokoun, who has been placed on long-term injured reserve, will be evaluated after three months to check his progress to see when or if he can return to the ice. But at this point in time, Vokoun’s focus isn’t on his career.
“Right now I’m not thinking about my career or playing hockey, I’m more worried about long-term health,” Vokoun, 37, said. “I’ve gotten great care from the doctors and the team. Top professionals are giving me advice.
“I know where I stand. I’m going with the short term. Three months is a minimum. After that I’ll evaluate where I am. The doctors will monitor my health and progress. Then I’ll make my decision then.”
Full story here.
KOBASEW EARNS HIS CONTRACT
Fast forward three weeks to the day, and Kobasew must have displayed the right “stuff” in practice and exhibition games – as the Penguins rewarded him with a one-year contract with an average annual value of $550,000, executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero announced Wednesday.
“I am very excited,” Kobasew said. “It was a process for me. I came here on a tryout hoping to do something; to earn a spot and I am very fortunate for something to happen.”
Full story here.
It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh. The Penguins open the 2013-14 season by hosting the New Jersey Devils tonight at CONSOL Energy Center. For a preview on tonight's action click here. For fans attending the game click here for helpful tips. Michelle Crechiolo scouted the Devils for you below.
START ME UP
In 10 hours the puck will drop on the 2013-14 season.
For three weeks the 24 men inside the Penguins locker room have been building for this moment. Through practices, scrimmages and preseason games, the players have worked on their fundamentals, timing and conditioning.
The Penguins have the foundation built. Now it’s time for the real show.
Over the course of an 82-game regular season, the strong will survive while the weak are eliminated. The Penguins’ goal is to be among the fittest as they enter into the postseason.
Over the next seven-plus month marathon the Penguins will endure the scale of emotions that accompany a grueling NHL season. But it’s all for the purpose of hoisting hockey’s holiest chalice at the conclusion of the final act.
Every ending has a beginning. The time has come to drop the puck.
Let the games begin.