Monday, October 03, 2011

Meet your 2011-12 Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins made their final roster moves today.  To summarize, they:

  • Sent Joe Morrow back to his junior team
  • Sent Alexandre Picard, Jason Williams and Brian Strait to Wilkes-Barre (Williams and Picard have to clear waivers)
  • Placed Sidney Crosby, Dustin Jeffrey, Nick Petersen, Robert Bortuzzo and Boris Valabik on IR

The Pens are carrying 14 forwards, 7 defensemen and two goalies.

The surprise at forward has to be Joe Vitale, who made the team through hard work and determination.  Congratulations to him - I think he would make a great third or fourth line center.

Your regular scratch candidates (once the health of Orpik is proven) would be Lovejoy / Engelland / Niskanen on defense (whoever is struggling gets to sit).  At forward, where they'll need to sit two, it will depend on the opponent.  Most nights, you sit MacIntyre along with one of Asham / Park (or Sullivan, if he needs a rest).  If it's a physical game, you probably sit Vitale and maybe Sullivan?

I'm glad I don't have to make the picks on who is scratched.

Things will become very interesting when Crosby and, to a lesser extent, Jeffrey return.  Depending on how Sullivan and Park are working out, that could certainly force Vitale back to the minors and maybe boot Letestu (but I sure hope not).

Here are the opening night forwards, in no particular order:
Malkin, Neal, Sullivan, Kunitz, Staal, Dupuis, Cooke, Kennedy, Letestu, Asham, Adams, Park, Vitale and MacIntyre

The defense:
Letang, Orpik, Martin, Michalek, Lovejoy, Engelland, Niskanen

The goalies:
Fleury, Johnson

The season opens Thursday night in Vancouver!  Can you believe it's here already?

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