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Countdown to Opening Night
Penguins vs. CheckersOctober 7th, 2017
50 days to go.
A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins
Let’s get right to the news of the day.
Goaltender Matt Murray and forwards Conor Sheary and Kevin Porter were recalled to the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday. The purpose of the Murray recall was because Marc-Andre Fleury went to the coaching staff after last nights 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals last night not feeling well. It wasn’t until Tuesday afternoon that it was announced that the Penguins goaltender does have a concussion and is out for the next two weeks.
Beau Bennett was hurt (again) last night on a hit along the boards by T.J. Oshie. Pittsburgh was already playing light with no extra forwards, so the recall of Sheary and Porter were imminent if not permanent for one, with the recent retirement of Pascal Dupuis.
With Steve Oleksy week to week with an upper body injury, Coal Street announced the recall of defenseman Harrison Ruopp on Tuesday morning. Ruopp is 2-24 and a -1 in 23 games for the Nailers. I would consider him the extra defenseman for now as Clark Seymour played well in his AHL season debut for the Penguins Saturday paired with Derrick Pouliot.
In reaction to the trio lost to recall by Pittsburgh, Coal Street recalled goaltender Brian Foster, forwards Ty Loney and Sahir Gill from the Wheeling Nailers. Brian Foster has won his last three starts and has given up two or fewer goals in all three starts. Gill is 3-15-18 and a +1 in 24 games while Loney is 5-7-12 in 18 games and an even +/- rating.
If Conor Sheary does dress tomorrow in Boston against the Bruins, it will be the Massachusetts native NHL debut. He’s a bit undersized, but leads the AHL Penguins in points and has a 71.74 GF%. He’s been on the ice for 33 goals scored and just 13 against. He’s excellent on the power play and uses his speed to get to areas where he can generate offense.
Matt Murray’s NHL call up is long overdue. He has nothing left to prove in the AHL and is just biding his time. I am hopeful that Sullivan and Company give him a shot to show how good he is. Also, when it was the tandem of Jeff Zatkoff and Matt Murray here last year in Wilkes-Barre, Murray outplayed Zatkoff and won nearly every goaltending award imaginable.
This is Tristan Jarry’s team now. There were some that had Jarry projected higher than Murray prospect-wise. Jarry is more than capable of stepping in and taking the job and running with it.
Seth said today that Tyler Biggs didn’t practice today because of a lower body injury. I don’t know how that could have happened, he hasn’t played since December 6 in Hershey.
Pittsburgh is in more dire straits than Wilkes-Barre or even Wheeling. Both minor league affiliates lead their respective divisions while their NHL counterpart sits on the outside looking in. Wednesday’s matchup with Boston is pivotal for the Pittsburgh Penguins as Boston is the first wild card team. The AHL Penguins and ECHL Nailers have enough of a cushion that personnel losses now won’t deal them as harsh as a blow as it could for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Interesting days and weeks ahead.
Gameday setup for Wednesday’s tilt in Allentown against the Phantoms hits the blog at 3.
Let’s Go Pens!