Penguins notebook: Players mixed about opener
Details of the 2013 NHL regular season schedule remain sketchy, as the league continues to work with teams to pinpoint things like arena availability, travel and avoiding as many back-to-back sequences as possible.
The Penguins open Jan. 19 in Philadelphia and, under the latest version of the league schedule, travel to New York to face the Rangers the next night.
The Penguins have asked the league if they can play their second game at home but were awaiting word on possible changes.
Opening at Philadelphia, as one might expect, raised a few eyebrows.
“Obviously, every game is important, especially in a shortened season like this,” defenseman Deryk Engelland said. “But when you see that team on the schedule, it gets your attention.”
Defenseman Matt Niskanen was a bit more precise.
“Oh boy,” he said with a smile. “Guess I should start working out with the heavy bag.”
There is no love lost between the Penguins and Flyers. The Penguins entered last postseason as the favorite to raise the Stanley Cup, only to be embarrassed by their biggest rival in the first round. Philadelphia scored 30 goals in six games.
Some Penguins relish the opportunity to face the Flyers on the road in the opener.
“I'm looking forward to it,” Engelland said. “I mean, we're going to play a ton of division games because of this schedule anyway. Why not get a test nice and early? It should be fun.”
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury didn't have much fun in the series against the Flyers.
“I don't know,” he said. “I wouldn't mind having a couple of games on the schedule to get ready for this one. But oh well.”
Gibson heads west
Whitehall native John Gibson, who recently guided Team USA to the World Junior Championship in Russia with stellar work in goal, will head to Anaheim's training camp.
He played with the Kitchener Rangers in the Ontario Hockey League until traveling to Russia for the international competition that saw him stifle Canada and Sweden in the final two games, earning him tournament MVP honors.
Anaheim drafted Gibson in the second round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Back to Southpointe
The Penguins will return to Southpointe for informal workouts Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Like their sessions next week at Consol Energy Center, the workouts are open to the public at no charge.
Seventeen Penguins worked out Thursday at Consol Energy Center. Center Evgeni Malkin and defenseman Kris Letang are expected back this weekend in Pittsburgh.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Russian winger Plotnikov could join Penguins in August
- Newest Penguin Kessel’s unique shot is what makes him so special
- Ex-teammates say Kessel unfairly criticized
- Hurricanes owner rips Rutherford, Penguins
- Penguins’ Kessel ‘thrilled’ with chance to play with Crosby, Malkin
- Penguins sign defensive prospect
- Starkey: Rutherford hits jackpot with Kessel
- Penguins get their man in making trade with Toronto for Kessel
- Penguins notebook: Rutherford proves savvy in deal
- Starkey: Kessel worth Penguins’ inquiry
- Defenseman Martin’s agent planning meeting with Penguins at draft