Hi, all! I’m back — sorry for the week or so hiatus.
Practice on Tuesday was entertaining, to say the least. Among the highlights:
- Defenseman Andrey Pedan scored during one-timer drills and began to celebrate along the boards, but ending up wiping out and landing on his back. He shook it off with a smile as his teammates got a nice chuckle waiting for their turn.
- Thomas Di Pauli was in a very spirited mood, repeatedly yelling and cheering every goal for him and his linemates during drills.
- Head coach Clark Donatelli was also spirited, but with a more vexed tone. He was upset as the Pens were giving up 2-on-1s and breakaways in transition during one drill and let them know about it. I won’t repeat what he said; just that practice quickly went from PG to PG-13 to R in a span of about 20 seconds.
Other than that, it was pretty standard. As I discuss in tomorrow’s notebook, no TK on the ice. Don’t expect him back until at least next week.
Which brings us to Wednesday’s game: another main-event showdown between the Pens and Toronto. It’s a familiar refrain it seems, but Donatelli said it again Tuesday — Wilkes-Barre/Scranton needs to cut down on the minor penalties. The Marlies have drawn the most in the league, as a matter of fact. The good news, though, is they haven’t converted on too many.
Their penalty kill, however, is best in the East, and that could be key in the game. After the Pens’ power play was very lackluster on Sunday, can it find a way to create some good chances against Garret Sparks or Calvin Pickard? (Does he also sound familar? He was taken in the expansion draft by the Vegas Golden Knights.)
These teams have some good offensive weapons — and now the Marlies have Kasperi Kapanen — but I’m actually expecting more of a tight game with the goalies dueling it out. Just a hunch.
No promotions, so no more magic puns. For now. I’ll catch you all at MSA.