The Pittsburgh Penguins training camp got underway on Thursday with player inprocessing and physicals. Today, the Penguins took the ice for practice and a scrimmage at the ICEOPLEX at Southpointe from 9:00 AM until 12:20 PM. The scrimmage, which was open and free to the public, divided the players into white and black jerseyed teams. The first goal of the scrimmage was scored by Sidney Crosby.
Reported line combinations for the scrimmage included a top line centered by Sidney Crosby, with Mark Recchi and Petr Sykora on the wings. Evgeni Malkin centered the second line between Gary Roberts and Erik Christensen. Jordan Staal centered the third line. Other line combinations included Tim Brent centering between Jarkko Ruutu and Georges Laraque, and Maxime Talbot at between first-round draft pick Angelo Esposito and free agent tryout Adam Hall (who scored 2 goals). Defensive pairings included included Darryl Sydor & Sergei Gonchar, Brooks Orpik & Ryan Whitney, Mark Eaton & Kristopher Letang and Rob Scuderi & Mike Weaver.
Of course, some key aspects of training camp include assessing player skills, evaluating various line combinations, and preparing the team for a good season start. Regarding the move of Jordan Staal to his natural position at Center, Coach Therrien stated “He (Staal) knows that when we talked to him last year at the end of the season that our plan was for him to become a center.” Therrien went on to state, ”We will evaluate him during the exhibition games and then make a decision. We try to balance our lines the best we can. It is about getting an opportunity for players, to see how they fit.”
The Penguins will practice at Southpointe again from 9:00 AM until 12:00 PM both Saturday and Sunday. The Penguins start their preseason schedule Monday against the Canadiens in Montreal.
Click HERE for the Pittsburgh Penguins Rink Rat Report audio podcast for day one of training camp (16 minutes). Mike Lange and Ray Bourque interview Sidney Crosby, Adam Hall and Michael Therrien.