Penguins Notebook: Team gets no additional all-stars
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The Penguins got shut out Tuesday when the NHL released the balance of the roster for the 2011 All-Star Game.
Then again, the Penguins already had gobbled up four of the six spots that earlier were determined through fan balloting -- forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, defenseman Kris Letang and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.
Every team is represented among the 24 forwards, 12 defensemen and 6 goaltenders, or among the 12 rookies who are eligible only for the skills contest.
One possibility for the Penguins might have been center Mark Letestu, who was 10th among rookies with 18 points before Tuesday, tied for sixth with nine goals, second with three game-winning goals and first with a 54.1 faceoff percentage and has a shootout-deciding goal.
The All-Star weekend is Jan. 28-30 in Raleigh, N.C.
At the minor league level, forward Dustin Jeffrey and goaltender Brad Thiessen were named Eastern Conference starters for the American Hockey League All-Star Game. Jeffrey, at least for the moment, is with the Penguins on a recall.
Coach Dan Bylsma had no update on Crosby, who is waiting to be free of symptoms from a concussion before he resumes working out.
• Forward Arron Asham, who missed the loss against Boston because of illness, returned to practice and is expected to be available for tonight's game at Montreal.
• Bylsma said winger Eric Godard, who is on injured reserve, "had an eye injury," although the Penguins website called it more specifically a broken orbital bone. "He has resumed activity but hasn't gone on the ice yet," Bylsma said. Godard was hurt Dec. 26 in a fight with Ottawa's Matt Carkner.
• Forward Mike Comrie was in the Penguins' locker-room complex. He has a brace on his right leg and is using crutches. Comrie had hip surgery Dec. 29 and is expected to miss all or most of the regular season. He indicated that doctors found extensive damage, but that he is expected to make a full recovery.
Five local prospects made the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau midterm rankings.
John Gibson, who grew up in Whitehall and played for the Pittsburgh Hornets, is the top-ranked North American goaltending prospect for the 2011 draft. He is with U.S. National Development Under-18 Team in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Left winger Brandon Saad, from Gibsonia and now with Saginaw of the Ontario Hockey League, is ranked No. 8 among North American skaters.
Center J.T. Miller, from East Palestine, Ohio, and Moon and also with USND Under-18 Team, is ranked No. 13.
Center Vincent Trocheck, a Pittsburgh native who plays alongside Saad at Saginaw, is No. 42.
Defenseman Barrett Kaib, from Upper St. Clair and also with the USND Under-18 team, is No. 175.
A big reason Pascal Dupuis has spent much of his time with the Penguins as a top-line winger -- often alongside Crosby -- is his skating. He has speed and explosiveness at a level that might make it seem he was born with that gift.
"I was not always blessed with it," said Dupuis, who has eight goals, 18 points.
"I did have a good shot growing up, but I was one of the slowest kids."
That changed one summer when he worked with Gaetan Boucher, a Canadian Olympic speed skater.
"I went to his speed-skating camp in the summer, and it really did help," Dupuis said. "I was 9 or 10 when I did that, and I came back a different kid. I was one of the fastest kids on the ice."
He still is.
First Published January 12, 2011 12:00 am