Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: Pittsburgh

Casey in the Crease

On Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced that Matt Murray was activated off of injured reserves and as a result they sent goaltender Casey DeSmith back to Wilkes-Barre / Scranton.

DeSmith never got an actual start for Pittsburgh and still hasn’t in what was his second reign in the NHL. He has only appeared in mop up duty. I actually thought they would have at the very least allowed him to start against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday, but Tristan Jarry got that start.

Trickle down effect here in Wilkes-Barre will likely see Anthony Peters released from his professional tryout agreement back to the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL and the brass here in Wilkes-Barre telling Sean Maguire to find a permanent place to stay since he most likely will not be going back to the ECHL and Wheeling Nailers.

DeSmith was not in town yet, so Peters’ release was not made today.

Tom will fill out the rest of my notebook here with his own odds and ends.

Tom didn’t offer any more details on Sestito or Bengtsson’s status. Sestito left the game Hershey sometime after the first period as he was not out for the second and Bengtsson was a healthy scratch because he was ill. No reason to push Tinordi, no surprise about DeSmith starting and Maguire backing up, I’d be interested to see when Sean gets another start. Wilkes-Barre plays in Hartford Friday then in Bridgeport Saturday. Finally, Bobby Farnham was given an AHL contract with Springfield, he will be wrecking shop as he only knows how tomorrow.

Gameday setup for Wednesday’s home game with the Thunderbirds hits the blog Wednesday at 3.

Roster Moves 12/7

Here’s what happened today lineup wise throughout the organization:

– Frank Corrado was recalled and Justin Schultz was placed on injured reserve. Mike Sullivan told media that Schultz is week to week with a lower body injury. When I saw the injury, I immediately thought high ankle sprain. Those are inoperable. Sullivan indicated that the injury would not require surgery and you really don’t operate on sprains, so that further confirms my suspicion that it’s a high ankle sprain.

Greg McKegg cleared waivers. He wasn’t immediately assigned to Wilkes-Barre. Pittsburgh’s roster, with Schultz on IR, McKegg waived and Archibald still here on conditioning, is at 23. So I wouldn’t expect McKegg to be assigned here.

– Sean Maguire will start tomorrow against the Charlotte Checkers, Head Coach Clark Donatello confirmed to Tyler today.

– Finally, as you’ll see when the GameDay setup tomorrow at 3 against Charlotte, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins have given up seven shorthanded goals this season. That’s the most allowed in the AHL through this week. Warren Foegele, you’ll remember last time Charlotte was in on opening night, scored two of those shorthanded goals. The Penguins will need to keep things simple I think if they want to have success against the Checkers. I guess we all find out together Friday at 7:05.

Hope You Pescatarians Kept The Receipt

On Monday, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins released Colin Stevens from his professional tryout agreement. Sean Maguire was recalled from the Wheeling Nailers.

Monday night, in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers, goaltender Matt Murray was injured on this play:

Murray left the game and didn’t return. Tristan Jarry picked up the win when some guy named Crosby tipped in the game winner in overtime.

Pittsburgh recalled Casey DeSmith from Wilkes-Barre Tuesday morning.

In the lateral move, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins re-signed Colin Stevens to another professional tryout agreement Tuesday. Your goaltending tandem heading into this weekend is Sean Maguire and Colin Stevens.

Bob McKenzie had this to say on the status of Murray as of Tuesday afternoon. Read both tweets.

Mike Sullivan offered a very detailed update regarding Murray’s status to the Pittsburgh media Tuesday afternoon:

Once you wash the sarcasm drippings off of your hands from my last paragraph and the tweet above, know that the Penguins placed Murray on injured reserve.

Other news surrounding the walking wounded in Wilkes-Barre from Tyler…

Other tidbits include the return of Garrett Wilson from his personal matters and Tom Sestito appears good to go, returning to practice this week as well.

More as it comes, hopefully it quiets down. Pittsburgh next plays Friday in a home and home with Buffalo, and Wilkes-Barre plays three in three beginning this Friday against Milwaukee, who haven’t been seen around these parts since they took home the Calder Cup in the Finals in 2004.

Tuesday Notes 11/7

A couple of small things to empty out the notebook. I don’t have a notebook, but that’s normally what the writers say when there is a few newsworthy-ish things to touch on before the next big event.

That event for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins is a Wednesday home date with the Toronto Marlies. The Marlies come in leading the North Division with a 9-3 record. They are virtually identical to the Penguins in percentage (.750), goals for (40) and goals against (Toronto has 25, the Penguins have 28) I could go deeper on this and may, but the idea is to let you know that the Marlies aren’t coming in Wednesday to be a pushover for the Penguins. They are a very good team, as are the Penguins.

The Penguins got some reinforcements back from Pittsburgh in the form of Zach Trotman Tuesday afternoon. Justin Schultz came off injured reserve and is playing Tuesday night against Arizona and scored a goal in his first shift back from his concussion.

News from Penguins practice today from Tom and Tyler:

I asked Tyler about the option to send Taylor to Wheeling to get some reps in, but he indicated that the coaching staff is going slow with him with today only going his second full practice back.

Gameday setup for tomorrow’s matchup against the Marlies will hit the blog Wednesday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

Jarry Up; DeSmith Down 10/30

Didn’t really think this was an option, but that is what Pittsburgh did Monday evening, recalling Tristan Jarry from Wilkes-Barre and sending Casey DeSmith back down to Wilkes-Barre. 

You may see this transaction a few more times as the Penguins clearly don’t know what they want in a backup at this time. The word last week was recalling DeSmith so Jarry could get reps in Wilkes-Barre, so Jarry goes out last weekend and wins both games for the Penguins. Meanwhile Casey DeSmith was recalled on merit, didn’t get a formal start in the NHL, rather serving as a janitor last night in Pittsburgh’s blowout 7-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets where DeSmith relieved Matt Murray when the Penguins were already down in a 4-0 hole. 

Pittsburgh plays three games in four nights through Western Canada this week and may want a goaltender with a few more days of NHL experience, thus the recall of Jarry.

Who knows. Good to have DeSmith back regardless, he hasn’t seen the last of the NHL, that’s for sure.

Niemi Claimed by Florida

Noon Tuesday came and went in Wilkes-Barre with the news that the Florida Panthers placed a claim on goaltender Antti Niemi.

That places the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins in a bind at the backup position. What was a 1A-1B situation with Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith is essentially Tristan Jarry and a gaping hole at the backup position.

Sean Maguire in Wheeling is hurt. He didn’t play in either of the Wheeling Nailers games this past weekend and didn’t even dress. Wilkes-Barre has no other goaltender under contract.

Silver lining, if there is one, is that the Penguins don’t play a three in three weekend for the foreseeable future. They are home and away this weekend with Hershey and Bridgeport respectively and are off next Saturday, November 4.

That gives the brass at Coal Street a few weeks to make a move for a backup. You have to think at this point the pool is pretty picked over, but there could be a diamond in the rough out there, somewhere.

Situation may not be permanent. Pittsburgh could still get a backup for Matt Murray and send DeSmith back to Wilkes-Barre. Florida could waive Niemi, whereby the Penguins could presumably claim him back and assign him to Wilkes-Barre.

While anything can and most likely will happen, I wouldn’t bank on that last paragraph as much.

More as it comes, if not then back here Friday for the Gameday setup against the Hershey Bears.

Shake It Up – Niemi Waived; DeSmith Recalled

Around noon Monday, news broke that the Pittsburgh Penguins placed backup goaltender Antti Niemi on waivers.

Niemi boasted horrible numbers while with the Pittsburgh Penguins serving as the backup to Matt Murray, posting an 0-3 record and a 7.49 goals against average and a .747 save percentage. He was just not working out for the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

So the Penguins waived him. The other 30 teams have till noon Tuesday to put a claim in on him. Question is, who? You have the Vegas Golden Knights who are without Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban right now due to injury. Does Vegas see Niemi as a viable stop gap until Subban or Fleury recover?

In a lateral move, Pittsburgh recalled Casey DeSmith from Wilkes-Barre.

For those who are thinking, “why not Tristan Jarry?” The answer is simple. DeSmith has played better.

DeSmith is 3-0 and has a .965 save percentage. He’s yet to give up a goal at even strength this year.

Jarry is 1-2 and has an .883 save percentage. He’s fighting through a slump and needs to work out of it. Recalling him to serve as backup now would shatter his confidence levels the way he’s currently playing.

So that leaves Wilkes-Barre in a bit of a bind.

Option A: Niemi clears. It’s already been said that he’d be assigned here if that happens. He comes down, finds his game, and makes Pittsburgh recall him again.

Option B: Niemi is claimed. That leaves Wilkes-Barre with a hole at the backup position. A recall from Wheeling (Sean Maguire most likely) becomes a short term solution while Coal Street attempts to swing a deal for a backup to Jarry.

We will see what happens. The situation is hardly ideal for the organization as a whole but Niemi’s play left no choice.

More Tuesday after noon, presumably.