Chirps from Center Ice

A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins

Saturday Quick Hits 1/2

Three things you simply must know heading into tonight’s game against the Springfield Falcons.

First, and most importantly, Matt Murray was reassigned by Pittsburgh back to Wilkes-Barre with Marc-Andre Fleury coming off of injured reserve and ready to play again. Murray’s assignment is an obvious huge boost to the Wilkes-Barre goaltending corps which consisted of Brian Foster and Casey DeSmith.

The question on the status of Tristan Jarry should be answered with the next move that the Penguins make. If it’s Brian Foster down to Wheeling, then my guess is that Jarry isn’t too far away from returning. If it’s DeSmith, it may be a bit longer.

Personally, I think it will be DeSmith just because, but Franky Palazzese has played in every game since the recalls of Foster and DeSmith for the Nailers, nearly 300 minutes worth. Wheeling hosts Brampton tonight and Norfolk tomorrow and ideally you’d like to see Palazzese start one of those two and get a break, but who knows.

Second, Patrick McGrath was recalled yesterday and Harrison Ruopp was reassigned back to Wheeling. The reason for this is simple. With Adam Clendening down on conditioning and Ruopp essentially your eighth defenseman, you call-up McGrath to make room for Ruopp since there are roster limits in the ECHL. McGrath is your thirteenth forward, depending on the health and status of Kael Mouillierat.

Finally, Jay Leach was named coach of the Atlantic Division All-Star team in Syracuse later this month. He gets this opportunity because the Penguins had the best percentage in the Atlantic Division on December 31. Leach joins Toronto’s Sheldon Keefe, Milwaukee’s Dean Evanson and Ontario’s Mike Stothers.

More in a bit, as the Springfield Falcons are in town tonight at 7. The Gameday setup hits the blog at 3.

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