Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

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Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby Puck-Lurker on Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:26 pm

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Interviews
Coach Sullivan
Carl Hagelin
Justin Schultz
Olli Määttä
Conor Sheary

Ruhwedel quietly bringing consistency to blue line

Spoiler:
https://www.nhl.com/penguins/news/ruhwe ... -292685906
While the Penguins picked up just three points on their season-long five-game road swing through western Canada, one of the positives taken from the trip was the impact Chad Ruhwedel has had on keeping a battered blue line afloat.

Since Oct. 24, a span of seven games, Ruhwedel has averaged 19 minutes of ice time per game - fourth highest among Penguins defenseman. After starting the year as the team's seventh defenseman, Ruhwedel got an opportunity to enter the lineup due to injuries and has since been quietly consistent.

"It means a lot, their trust in me," Ruhwedel said. "The more you play, the better you'll get every week, and you can just get into the game a little easier. Having some more minutes is nice, and I just have to stay with it."

Thrusted into the lineup after Ian Cole's injury from a blocked shot, the San Diego, Calif. native has seen an increased workload with Matt Hunwick and Justin Schultz both sidelined with concussions. He's handled it well, and a lot of that coincides with his fit within the Penguins system.

"He's played really well for us," head coach Mike Sullivan reflected. "He's a guy that you know exactly what you're going to get, night in and night out from him. He's really increased his intensity level since he's been playing with us. He's played a real solid two-way game."

While Hunwick and Schultz are both on the verge of returning, as they are cleared for contact and practiced with regular jerseys on Monday, Ruhwedel's play has provided a case to leave him in the lineup.

While the Penguins have had a lethal power play this season, as their 28.8-percent conversion rate is tied for second in the league, they have struggled to score at even strength throughout the first five weeks of the season. Ruhwedel, playing primarily all his minutes 5-on-5, has been arguably the Penguins' strongest defenseman at even strength.
The UMass-Lowell product has provided a smooth game, highlighted by his skating ability and on-ice awareness.

"The thing we really like about Chad is his mobility," Sullivan said. "He can get back to pucks quickly, he helps us get out of our end zone. He's defending hard, he has a good stick, and he's coachable. He's done really a good job for us, he quietly goes about his business and plays an important role for this team."

One of his biggest assets is his quick decision-making with the puck. This was showcased brilliantly on Oct. 12 against Tampa Bay, when Ruhwedel corralled a rebound in the defensive zone, and rather than just clearing the puck, took a few strides before launching a full-ice pass to Conor Sheary. He snuck behind the Lightning defense and buried the goal on a quick counter-attack play.

"He's a solid player, he's very dependable," defenseman Brian Dumoulin said. "I know what he's going to do with the puck, and that's a good thing to have in a partner, the predictability. He's a good skater, has a good shot, and he can work well with anyone."

The 5'11", 192-pound blueliner's steady defensive game is what led to the Penguins pursuing him last off season after three years in the Buffalo Sabres organization, mostly spent with their American Hockey League affiliate, the Rochester Americans.

Ruhwedel initially started the 2016-17 season with Wilkes-Barre, but a strong start and banged-up blueline led to him playing in 34 NHL contests with Pittsburgh, scoring two goals, picking up eight assists, and finishing a plus-9.

It earned him a Stanley Cup ring and a two-year, one-way NHL contract this most recent offseason, and the next big step is becoming a constant presence in the lineup, even when everyone is healthy.

"I just need to play my game, keep doing what I'm doing," Ruhwedel said. "Do more with the opportunities that I'm getting, and just try to make the most of it."


3 things: Schultz, Hunwick cleared for contact
Spoiler:
https://www.nhl.com/penguins/news/3-things-schultz-hunwick-cleared-for-contact/c-292680430

1. Schultz returns to full practice
Defenseman Justin Schultz skated with his teammates on Monday for the first time since sustaining a concussion. He's been cleared for full contact and was wearing a regular yellow jersey.
"It feels unreal to be back with the team," Schultz said after practice. "It was not fun being here while everyone was on the road. It still sucks being stuck here. So it was awesome coming to the rink this morning. I was excited and it feels great."
Schultz was injured 5:51 into the first period of the Penguins' 2-1 overtime win over Edmonton on Oct. 24 after taking an elbow up high from Oilers forward Drake Caggiula. The team placed Schultz on injured reserve the following day, and he did not travel to western Canada for the Penguins' season-long, five-game road swing.
Schultz, a native of Kelowna, British Columbia, was disappointed to miss that trip back home to see family and friends he only gets to see once a year during the season.
"I had a lot of family that were planning to go to the games, especially in Vancouver," he said. "It was tough to stay back here and not be able to go, but you can't cheat a concussion."
Another punch to the gut was that his girlfriend and their dog had made plans to head back home to western Canada for the week, so they still ended up going, leaving Schultz back in Pittsburgh by himself.
"I did a lot of walking around," he said before adding with a laugh, "It was the most bored I've ever been for a week. But the boys are back and it's good."
He stayed busy by skating with his injured teammates who also remained back in Pittsburgh, with skills coach Ty Hennes running their solo sessions. Schultz resumed skating on Oct. 27, the day the team left for Minnesota, and has been skating ever since. He didn't put a timetable on his return, saying they'll see how he feels Tuesday and go from there.
"I felt good out there today," he said. "So we'll see how the body responds and how I feel tomorrow morning."

2. Hunwick cleared for contact

Defenseman Matt Hunwick joined the team in western Canada a few days into the trip and joined them for morning skate ahead of their 3-2 victory over Edmonton on Nov. 1.
He said he'll talk to the coaches after Tuesday's morning skate before the Penguins host Arizona and they'll go from there in terms of whether he'll be ready to rejoin the lineup.
"I've been skating for a while now," Hunwick said. "I've been out for almost three weeks, have probably skated for two weeks. Today was my first real practice, so just try to get up to speed a little bit. Conditioning won't be an issue."
Hunwick has missed the last 10 games since realizing something was wrong and getting diagnosed with a concussion. He's not quite sure when the injury first happened, but it manifested in a practice.
"I think maybe I already had something going on and it just triggered it," Hunwick said. "From that point, had a headache and it was pretty clear that it probably happened in practice. I've had a couple before that you know exactly when it happens, but not with this one."
Head coach Mike Sullivan said whenever Schultz and Hunwick are ready to play, they'll be immediately inserted into the lineup despite both missing a decent amount of time.
"They were full contact today. They both had good days," Sullivan said. "We'll see how they react and then obviously we'll have to make decisions tomorrow morning. It's really positive the signs that they showed today."

3. Practice info
Zach Trotman was the only expected player missing from practice. The Penguins used the following workflow…
Sheary-Crosby-Hornqvist
Guentzel-Malkin-Kessel
Hagelin-Sheahan-Rust
Kuhnhackl-McKegg-Reaves/Archibald

Maatta-Letang
Dumoulin-Ruhwedel
Corrado-Cole
Hunwick-Schultz


Note from Puck-Lurker:
Coach Sullivan: “Justin will be a game time decision. Hunwick is not going to play.”
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby DelPen on Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:34 pm

Really need Schultz back in the lineup, looks like tonight will be the night.
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby Puck-Lurker on Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:50 pm

Schultz returns to the line up.

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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby DelPen on Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:59 pm

Pens are the free game tonight on NHL TV.
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby DelPen on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:09 pm

Raanta stinks, this would be a good game for Sid to remember he’s awesome.
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby DelPen on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:12 pm

Guentzel looking good so far with Geno. Kid is going to the net which helped Schultz score.
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby Crashguy66 on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:12 pm

Welcome back!
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby stonewizard51 on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:16 pm

Sneaky goal. Loved it.
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby Puck-Lurker on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:19 pm

I like being up by 2. It's so much nicer than being down by 2.
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby Owchar76 on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:21 pm

DelPen wrote:Guentzel looking good so far with Geno. Kid is going to the net which helped Schultz score.


Who knew giving Geno wingers might actually work?
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby Southern Fan on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:26 pm

Letang standing in front Murray not near the puck or taking a skater. Is that a valid strategy ?

Just get flashbacks to Orpick and Scudeti when I see that
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby stonewizard51 on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:29 pm

Southern Fan wrote:Letang standing in front Murray not near the puck or taking a skater. Is that a valid strategy ?

Just get flashbacks to Orpick and Scudeti when I see that

But if he had the puck he'd just turn it over.
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby Puck-Lurker on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:29 pm

Southern Fan wrote:Letang standing in front Murray not near the puck or taking a skater. Is that a valid strategy ?

Just get flashbacks to Orpick and Scudeti when I see that

Seeing the same and wincing.
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby BurghThing on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:32 pm

stonewizard51 wrote:
Southern Fan wrote:Letang standing in front Murray not near the puck or taking a skater. Is that a valid strategy ?

Just get flashbacks to Orpick and Scudeti when I see that

But if he had the puck he'd just turn it over.



Like he did there?
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby Crashguy66 on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:32 pm

And more wincing.
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby BurghThing on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:33 pm

If only Shari could lift the puck.
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby Southern Fan on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:33 pm

Reeves needs to dance with Rinaldi before the night is out
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby Puck-Lurker on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:33 pm

Hörnqvist is a warrior!
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby stonewizard51 on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:34 pm

BurghThing wrote:
stonewizard51 wrote:
Southern Fan wrote:Letang standing in front Murray not near the puck or taking a skater. Is that a valid strategy ?

Just get flashbacks to Orpick and Scudeti when I see that

But if he had the puck he'd just turn it over.



Like he did there?

Exactly
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby NashvilleCat on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:40 pm

How does Zac Renaldo still have a job in the NHL?
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby IC Light on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:46 pm

Maybe I missed it in another GDT, but what is with Mears saying ‘Shari’ for Sheery? Makes me yell at the TV. Lol
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby Puck-Lurker on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:47 pm

IC Light wrote:Maybe I missed it in another GDT, but what is with Mears saying ‘Shari’ for Sheery? Makes me yell at the TV. Lol

Sheary apparently said they were pronouncing it wrong. Will get used to it soon enough
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby BurghThing on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:49 pm

IC Light wrote:Maybe I missed it in another GDT, but what is with Mears saying ‘Shari’ for Sheery? Makes me yell at the TV. Lol


Share-y finally came out recently and told us we've all been saying it wrong.
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby Puck-Lurker on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:51 pm

BurghThing wrote:
IC Light wrote:Maybe I missed it in another GDT, but what is with Mears saying ‘Shari’ for Sheery? Makes me yell at the TV. Lol


Share-y finally came out recently and told us we've all been saying it wrong.

Doesn't really Määttä though :lol:
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Re: Official GDT: Pens vs Yotes 11/07/17

Postby IC Light on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:52 pm

Puck-Lurker wrote:
BurghThing wrote:
IC Light wrote:Maybe I missed it in another GDT, but what is with Mears saying ‘Shari’ for Sheery? Makes me yell at the TV. Lol


Share-y finally came out recently and told us we've all been saying it wrong.

Doesn't really Määttä though :lol:


You guys are always a wealth of knowledge!
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