A little news rolling out of Pittsburgh today for the Penguins.
The team announced two roster cuts from the training camp roster, sending defensemen Isaac Belliveau and Ryan McCleary back to their respective junior teams. Neither is signed to the pros, both played a NHL preseason game yesterday, but it’s come time for them to get back to focus on their junior seasons. Not much to see here.
In exciting news, the team announced the roster they will have for their home exhibition game tomorrow, and it’s a loaded crew.
Given that all the big guns were off Sunday, the team was off Monday, if they didn’t play on Tuesday that turns into a lot of time of inactivity. With that in mind, it’s not a big surprise that Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Jake Guentzel, Bryan Rust, Tristan Jarry and Brian Dumoulin, among others, would all be making their season game debut for a home game tomorrow night.
This lineup looks fairly close to a dress rehearsal, and it will be Ty Smith getting the first look with five other defenders who are locks to be in the regular season opening night lineup (health permitting). Smith played a team-high 26:03 in the first pre-season game yesterday, it’s becoming very clear the Pens are going to give him a long look this September to see what he has to offer to his new team.
Up front, there’s no Jeff Carter and with the team off there’s been no information about his status after a Saturday upper body injury, but the rest of the lineup also looks close to opening night ready as well, with nine players sure to be in the opening night lineup if they’re healthy.
For fringe players, Radim Zorhorna, Drake Caggiula and Drew O’Connor all get sweaters for tomorrow. It’s no surprise that all three have stood out in their own ways as having a good first week of training camp, and the selection to play tomorrow with such an NHL-ready looking lineup is a nice reward for that good work early on.
Tomorrow night is the third of six preseason games, and the next two are on the road. Veteran players rarely are asked to make road trips, so this might be one of the few for all the star players to knock the rust off and get prepared for the real season opener on October 13th. Looking at the lineup that the Pens are using tomorrow, they sure will have a lot of fire power to work with