Penguins Notebook: Laraque unhappy with not playing


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DETROIT -- Penguins winger Georges Laraque wasn't happy about being a healthy scratch for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final against Detroit at Joe Louis Arena last night.

He made no secret of that.

But he didn't make a public issue of it, either.

Laraque lost his place in the lineup when coach Michel Therrien decided to bring back Gary Roberts, who had missed three games because of pneumonia and two others because Therrien didn't want to tamper with a successful lineup.

But, after Detroit' 4-0 victory in the series opener, Therrien opted for a change.

"It's the Stanley Cup final," Laraque said. "The prize, at the end of the day, is the most important thing. In the end, it's all that matters.

"It doesn't matter who's playing. I just want us to win, whatever it takes."

Laraque had just four minutes, 43 seconds of ice time in Game 1 and acknowledged that it was difficult to watch the Red Wings throw their bodies around so frequently and vigorously Saturday.

"They outhit us the first game," he said. "That's obviously frustrating when you're sitting on the bench."

Laraque noted that this is the first time he has been a healthy scratch this season, and added that, "I'm not going to look at it like the end of the world."

He also said the switch would be far more palatable if Game 2 went the Penguins' way.

"As disappointing as it is [to be scratched], if we win, it's good," he said. "If you don't play and you lose, it's more frustrating. As long as it works and we win, I'll be OK with it."

Another Pietrangelo

Alex Pietrangelo, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound defenseman with the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League, is one of the top prospects available in the entry draft next month.

He also is the second cousin of former Penguins goalie Frank Pietrangelo, whose glove stop on New Jersey center Peter Stastny in Game 6 of the opening round in 1991 forever will be known in franchise lore as "The Save."

The younger Pietrangelo, though, said yesterday the two have not had extensive contact and that his cousin never mentioned the part he played in making the Penguins' first Stanley Cup possible.

"He hasn't said too much," he said, laughing. "I'll make sure I bring that up."

He added that they also never discussed Frank Pietrangelo, now a player agent based in Niagara Falls, representing him, but that "you never know in the future."

Alex Pietrangelo and a handful of the other elite prospects stopped by the Penguins' locker room after the game-day skate as part of a promotional visit held each year in conjunction with the Cup final.

Savard Florida-bound?

Penguins assistant coach Andre Savard has emerged as an apparent front-runner to succeed Jacques Martin as coach in Florida.

The Panthers have not asked the Penguins' permission to discuss the job with Savard and, per hockey protocol, do not figure to do so until the Penguins' playoff run is over.

If Florida offers him the position, it's unlikely the Penguins would intervene, because general manager Ray Shero has an oft-stated position of not stopping people under him from moving into better positions.

Martin remains the Panthers' general manager and worked with Savard when both were in Quebec. Those two, along with Shero, also spent time together with Ottawa.

Savard -- who, as general manager in Montreal, once fired Therrien as coach of the Canadiens -- is wrapping up his second season on Therrien's staff.

False alarm a nuisance

A fire alarm went off at the Penguins' hotel around 1:30 a.m. yesterday.

Although it proved to be a false alarm, that didn't prevent the players from being awakened.

It was not immediately clear whether the incident was a prank, something the Penguins deal with fairly often on the road.

"That's one that we've gone through before," center Sidney Crosby said. "I'm sure it's just a coincidence."

The real kicker: About a half-hour after the alarm sounded, there was a hotel-wide announcement that it had been a false alarm, awakening anyone who had managed to get back to sleep.

Awards time

Two NHL trophy winners will be honored at a luncheon at the Omni William Penn Hotel at 2 p.m. tomorrow.

Washington left winger Alex Ovechkin will receive the Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading scorer and the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as its top goal-scorer, while goalies Chris Osgood and Dominik Hasek of the Red Wings will get the William M. Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals in the regular season.

Also, Toronto center Mats Sundin will receive the Mark Messier Leadership award, and Vincent Lecavalier (Tampa Bay) and Trevor Linden (Vancouver) will share the NHL Foundation Award, which recognizes commitment, perseverance and teamwork.



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