The Penguins got back to work this morning at Mellon Arena. The practice was their first since knocking the Ottawa Senators off on Saturday evening at Scotiabank Place. They took a couple of days to recharge the batteries a bit, but didn’t want to take too much time away from the ice, as there is a fine line between rest and rust.
The big news of the day was the fact that Chris Kunitz sat the practice out. He is being listed as day to day.
“He’s dealing with the effects of a physical series,” head coach Dan Bylsma said this morning. “He’s day-to-day.”
With Kunitz joining Tyler Kennedy on the “less than 100%” list, the team has seemingly recalled the “Big Dog” himself… Eric Tangradi. Tangradi tweeted out that he was:
“@EricTangradi: Headed to the burgh…”
Tangradi has been updating his feed from the long trip across the state, tweeting about the fact that he and “Betsy (the car)” were on the open roads…
“@EricTangradi: Betsy and I on the open roads… Yea that’s my cars name…. She’s a babe…”
I know most of Penguins Nation was thrilled to hear that he was on his way, but I am holding my excitement in check.
Yes, it would be great to see what the “Big Dog” could do in a playoff series for the Birds, but the fact that he has to be summoned means that the line-up that just advanced through round one isn’t intact. I realize that you need to rely on your depth in these situations, but when that depth comes in the form of a green horn, there is some room for concern.
Some might be saying… “Metz, we got through injuries last year and won the Cup…”
My answer…. I agree with you, however, last year’s depth came in the form of a revitalized Miro Satan who was chomping at the bit to get back in the line-up and was a seasoned Vet… the same Miro Satan that notched two game winners for the Bruins in their first round victory. That isn’t to say that Tangradi isn’t capable of doing such things, but until he does, I will have some reservations about throwing him out there.
With the Penguins potentially having two to three more days before they have to worry about playing a game, I have to assume that they will be close to 100% for the start of round two.
Generally speaking, I am excited to see the “Big Dog” get a crack… it will be interesting to see what Bylsma does with his line-up moving forward. Ruslan Fedotenko skated in Kunitz’s spot on the top line today in practice, but considering that he was scratched in favor of Chris Conner Saturday night, I doubt that is where we will see him come game one.
Just realized that I am starting to ramble a bit here… can’t have that… so I will be back with more shortly!