Penguins Notebook: Kennedy's all-out way backfires with injury
Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik (44) and Los Angeles Kings right wing Justin Williams (14) fight over the puck during the second period of a NHL hockey game, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- After Tyler Kennedy missed practice yesterday at Sharks Ice, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma confirmed that the right winger has been shelved again by his injury.
Apparently, Kennedy came back from a groin problem a little fast -- as opposed to too soon.
"Tyler goes only one speed, and that can be his problem sometimes. He's going 100 percent all the time," Bylsma said. "Do we keep going with a nagging injury, or do we try to get him healthy?"
The Penguins are opting for the latter, making Kennedy's status for the game tonight against San Jose unclear.
Kennedy had two assists and a plus-minus rating of plus-3 in a 4-3 win Tuesday at Anaheim, his first game back after missing three. Thursday morning, he appeared set to be reunited with regular linemates Jordan Staal and Matt Cooke that night in Los Angeles, but he was a late scratch.
Defenseman Alex Goligoski was given the day off from practice.
"Just worn down, a little bit tired and wanted to give him a day off to get healthy," Bylsma said of Goligoski, who is leading the NHL with a plus-minus rating of plus-14 and is third on the team with 13 points.
Penguins winger Mike Rupp has transcended his rugged-forward role in his first weeks with the Penguins. He has four goals, one more than he got in each of his past two seasons with New Jersey. He often is moved up in games from the fourth line to take a few shifts with a scoring unit.
At 6 feet 5, 230, he can be an imposing figure around the net.
Bylsma was asked if he had considered sending Rupp out on the power play.
"Yes, we have," Bylsma said. "Net-front presence, down low around the net, he's certainly shown the ability to score in that area, nice hands in that area, and the big body in front of the net is something we've contemplated and talked about."
Not many of the Penguins' personnel have played for San Jose. Winger Bill Guerin had a couple of cups of coffee with the Sharks, 16 games in 2006-07. Assistant Tony Granato spent a bigger chunk of time with San Jose from 1996-2000.
Some Penguins hit career milestones against the Sharks.
That includes Staal's 100th point, an assist, Feb. 11 last season; Eric Godard's 250th NHL game the same date as Staal's milestone; and Craig Adams' NHL debut Oct. 24, 2000, with Carolina.
First Published November 7, 2009 12:01 am