Update: Malkin Out; Bylsma Again Re-Configures Lines

Evgeni Malkin tested his injured foot this morning in New Jersey. He was accompanied by trainer Chris Stewart as he took a light skate before the rest of the team hit the ice for practice. Though is doesn’t look great, no official word on his availability for this evening’s game is yet available.

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


Dan Bylsma’s comments regarding Malkin from his afternoon presser compliments of the the Penguins official site:

“That’s the case. He is still day-to-day. He was not able to get on the ice today.

“He was trying to skate and get on the ice and deal with it Hopefully tomorrow he will be in.”

* * * * *

Jason Seidling, who is live on the scene for the Penguins web site, is reporting that head coach Dan Bylsma again utilized his new look line combos that were paraded out yesterday. They would be the ones most likely used this evening if Malkin is unable to go.

The lines shake out as such:

Sidney Crosby will center Malkin’s normal linemates, Pascal Dupuis and Alexei Ponikarovsky. Of course Ponikarovsky will inevitably have a huge evening alongside the Penguins captain so that controversy will ensue when Geno is able to return to the line-up. Just sort of how things go…

The second line will feature Jordan Staal centering Crosby’s normal wingers, Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz. I am actually looking forward to seeing this one hit the ice against the Devils. One of the main problems in trying to generate goals against the Devils this year has been the inability to get a net front presence. Sure, Marty Brodeur has been playing some amazing hockey against the Penguins, but he has provided plenty of rebounds that the birds have not been able to get too. This line shouldn’t have any trouble getting traffic going in front of the sure Hall of Famer.

Tyler Kennedy will actually slide back to his natural position of center to skate on the third line. He will be flanked by Ruslan Fedotenko and Matt Cooke. I am curious how TK will do in the face-off circle, but the line looks like one that could be effective. If they work hard and get a strong forecheck going, they might even be able to generate some offense.

The fourth line was centered by Max Talbot, who is also sliding back into his natural position. The wingers were Mike Rupp and Craig Adams. Eric Godard who is very close to making his return was the extra forward. I am expecting him to crack the line-up tomorrow night…he becomes an important player if things do indeed get out of hand tomorrow evening.

The defensive pairings broke down like this:

Sergei Gonchar was skating with Mark Eaton, Brooks Orpik with Kris Letang and Jordan Leopold with Alex Goligoski. Jay McKee was the extra defender during the skate.

It is looking as if Geno will not be able to go tonight, but I will keep you posted. Marc Andre Fleury is expected to be in goal, again facing his boyhood idol, Marty Brodeur.

Lastly, as I reported in the Morning Links, look for Paul Martin to make his return this evening.

More later…


7 Comments on this Post

  1. Marty choked on his TastyKakes when he read “Marc Andre Fleury is expected to be goal, again facing his boyhood idol, Marty Brodeur” and realized that he was older than dirt.

    Then he said, “Mmm dirt!”

  2. Just realized that grammar did a stick and move on me in that sentence as well! FLEURY IS EXPECTED TO BE GOAL!!!

  3. Anyone remember when we got Kunitz and he played with Staal Cause Croz was out and they lit it up. If they click again, and as you say Poni and Croz click, will that in fact cause a serious think about line changes?

    I know no-one wants to change that 3rd line but a balanced scoring top 3 would be nice to have….

    Just a thought.

  4. Walshy, isn’t it the middle of the night in Kangaroo Flat?

  5. other way around, middle of the morning….

    right now it is 9.44am when I sent that last message it was 6.28am.

  6. Gunner Staal

    Boy, they just play like trash against the Devils.

  7. I have a feeling that MAF just tries too hard against Broduer too. He never looks comfortable and is always looking like he is trying to prove something.

    Either way, he needs to hurry up and start making those game changing saves he was making at the start of the year and in last years cup run, the team doesnt seem to have any confidence in front of him, and its warranted at the moment.

    It sucks when your favorite player is playing so poorly….

Comments are closed.