Penguins Notebook: Goligoski is thrilled to be here, though it likely won't be for long
Share with others:
When he was pulled off the power play during the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton practice Tuesday, then summoned before coach Todd Richards, defenseman Alex Goligoski wasn't sure what to think.
"It got me all rattled," Goligoski said yesterday.
"I didn't really know what was going on. He told me I wasn't going on the trip this week to Norfolk. He had a straight face. I kind of asked him why."
Richards had been having a little fun before delivering the good news.
"You're going to Pittsburgh," the coach told Goligoski.
There wasn't a stall available at Mellon Arena for the rookie, so for practice yesterday he used a folding chair. He didn't seem to mind.
"I'm more excited than anything to get a chance to come up for a while," Goligoski said.
Goligoski won't be in the lineup tonight when the Penguins play the New York Islanders.
There's no guarantee he'll get into any games during what coach Michel Therrien described as a promotion of "a week or so."
"We want to see where he is at the NHL level practicing with the players compared with where he was at training camp," Therrien said.
"He's making some strides. I really liked the way he practiced [yesterday]. It's an evaluation more than anything. If we need a defenseman, he'll play."
Goligoski, a second-round draft pick in 2004, had 17 points and a plus-five rating in 43 games for Wilkes-Barre. He spent most of the summer rehabilitating after April shoulder surgery and was limited during his short time in training camp before being assigned to the American Hockey League.
The offensive defenseman played three seasons at the University of Minnesota. He took months before deciding to give up his senior season and turn pro.
"It was definitely the right decision," Goligoski said. "It was time for me to move on and start learning the pro game."
Penguins goaltender Ty Conklin, a stalwart during Marc-Andre Fleury's injury absence, finally has enough appearances to qualify to be among the NHL's official statistical leaders.
Through yesterday, he ranked first in save percentage (.932) and sixth in goals-against average (2.17).
"So much of those things is determined by how the team plays," said Conklin, who is 12-3-3 with two shutouts and regularly deflects praise.
"It's the [team] wins that everybody looks at, and that's the most important thing. [Individual statistics] are just not something that's high on my priority list."
The Islanders, already without center Mike Sillinger because of a hip injury, could also be without winger Miroslav Satan tonight.
Satan aggravated a knee problem Tuesday in a 3-0 loss to Anaheim.
Both have had success against the Penguins.
Satan has three goals and an assist in four games against the Penguins this season, 26 goals, 17 assists for 43 points in 53 career games against them.
Sillinger has two assists in four meetings this season but has 16 goals, 31 points in 42 career games against the Penguins.
The Penguins got an injury scare in practice when forward Maxime Talbot limped to the locker room after blocking a shot by defenseman Rob Scuderi with his left foot.
He later returned to the ice and afterward said he just needed to check it because of the pain.
"I'm lucky it was [Scuderi] and not [defenseman Sergei Gonchar]," Talbot said.
Scuderi hasn't had a goal in 77 games.
After a visa delay and taking time to get back into shape, forward Kris Beech, signed off waivers Jan. 26, will play tonight, Therrien said. ... Although there's no indication the Penguins made a serious pitch for Peter Forsberg -- who last played in the NHL last season with Nashville -- TSN reported the Penguins are one of several clubs Forsberg has crossed off his list. ... Mellon Arena staff tried before practice but couldn't properly repair a bad spot in the ice about the size and shape of a goalie pad near the boards behind the net at the south end of the building. An extra net was placed there to keep players from skating over the spot and getting hurt, but at least two players fell into or were tripped up by the extra net during drills. ... Therrien confirmed that forward Adam Hall, who had resumed practicing is out again and has had "a setback" with his groin injury. There is no timetable for his return.
First Published February 7, 2008 12:00 am