ShareThis Page
Penguins

Notebook: Therrien 'thrilled' by Penguins' commitment

| Thursday, March 11, 2004

With the Penguins nowhere near the playoffs and the focus on the future of the franchise, general manager Craig Patrick is loading up the Baby Penguins for their playoff drive.

And coach Michel Therrien couldn't be happier.

"Of course we're thrilled," Therrien said. "It's a great commitment by the Penguins. They want to make sure, first, we make the playoffs, then have a long run in the playoffs, try to give good experience to our young players."

Goaltender Andy Chiodo, defenseman Rob Scuderi and forward Matt Murley were sent to the Baby Penguins on Tuesday, and defenseman Brooks Orpik, goaltender Sebastien Caron and forwards Konstantin Koltsov and Tom Kostopoulos will join them after the Penguins' season ends.

"I think it will be a great roster, but at the same time, I kind of feel bad for the guys here," Scuderi said upon joining the team in Norfolk, Va. "They've been playing so well. I guess it's the trickle-down effect. They've been carrying the team. For the month I've been gone, they've been unbelievable.

"But hopefully, with this roster, we can do some damage in the playoffs. That's what we want to do."

The Baby Penguins (27-24-7-5) went into last night's game in Norfolk just three points behind the Admirals for third place in the East Division. The top five teams in the division make the playoffs, with the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds playing each other in a best-of-three lightning round.

Point taken

Veteran forward Kelly Buchberger went almost a year between NHL points, but relief finally came in the form of a second assist on Mike Eastwood's goal on Tuesday night against the Dallas Stars. His last point was on March 26, 2003, while with the Phoenix Coyotes. But coach Eddie Olczyk said it's not about goals and assists when it comes to Buchberger.

"Yeah, (the point drought) has been a while and it's been tough for him," Olczyk said. "But he's a true professional in every sense of the word. He's not measured in points as far as the coaching staff is concerned.

"What about the nights he took on some of the toughest guys in the league because he felt that's what needed to be done• You're talking about leadership. It doesn't matter the outcome, and again, it's about building and teaching, making impressions. He's pretty much done everything."

Slap shots

The Penguins were scheduled to practice yesterday, but were given the day off after Tuesday night's victory over Dallas. ... Left wing Lasse Pirjeta played 9:40 and was even with no shots on goal in his Penguins debut. ... The Penguins are 3-0 with forward Jon Sim in the lineup.

Quotable

"Payroll was not a factor this year. We took care of that a long time ago."

-- General manager Craig Patrick on the trade deadline.

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.

click me