The Pittsburgh Penguins made some news this week with a signing, a claiming, news about the teams Captain along with other tidbits.
The Pens claimed off waivers, Cal O’Reilly from the Phoenix Coyotes. Cal was on his way to his best year in the NHL last year. In 38 games, he had 6 goals and 12 assists and then followed that up with a season ending broken leg. He has played sparingly this year, and has 2 goals and 3 assists in his limited play. Ray Shero believes he has added a talented scoring center on a team that right now is lacking scoring centers. With Jordan Staal and Sidney Crosby out, this clearly looks like a move to bolster depth.
The Penguins also signed Joe Vitale to a 2 year $550,000 contract per year. Vitale spurred on the comeback against Toronto the other night. He is the type of player you need on a team that is going to make a run. He does all of the dirty work, and he is consistent. He is what a few analysts have called a real “glue” guy for this clubhouse.
As for Sidney Crosby news, he was on the ice for 1 hour today skating with the other injured or recovering players. He also is making the trip to Boston, though there is no real reason right now for optimism other than the fact that he is traveling with the team. I spoke to a neck and spine guy that I can not mention his name nor does he claim to know Sid’s situation, but he stated to me that there is little to no chance that the Soft Tissue problem in his neck is the reason or cause for the Concussion type symptoms.
Here are the other injury updates. Asham is still suffering from concussion symptoms and there is not time table at this point. When Bylsma was asked when we could see Crosby, Staal or Simon Despres who is also recovering from injury he stated that at this point no time table on any though Staal and Despres should make it back by next week.
The Penguins will be taking on the Boston Bruins on Saturday, and New Jersey on Sunday. The Pens have struggled with the best teams in the league and their conference so this is a real opportunity to turn things around. They got a crucial win during their streak against the Rangers, and next up it is the Bruins who are clearly one of the NHL’s best teams.
Lead by Goalie Tim Thomas, this Boston Bruins team is balanced with scoring and defense and a Goalie that is questionably the best in the business. Lead by centers Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin, this team has distributed it’s scoring up and down the roster. They also get scoring from their big defenseman and AllStar Captain, Zdeno Chara.
The Penguins were working with these lines today at the Southpointe facility per the Sam Kasan from the Penguins Report.
The Puck drops tomorrow in Boston at 1pm. If you would like to hear more from me, you can follow me on Twitter at Sports Monger, and also on Facebook at PittsburghSportsMonger. Lastly, do not miss my latest episode of the Penslabyrinth.com Lab Report Tonight at 11pm on Sports Monger Radio.