Thursday Practice Update 4/7/11

Thursday, April 7, 2011
The team held a shootout at the end of today's practice for Arpil's "juice boy". See who took home that award!
 Another day, another practice this morning at the Coal Street Rink in Wilkes-Barre. Not much has changed from yesterday. Tim Wallace didn't practice again today and speaking with head coach John Hynes after practice, told me Wallace will not be in the lineup this weekend. Hopefully the two weeks off will help him be ready for next Friday's Game 1 of the playoffs.

Every other injured Penguin practiced today. Brett Sterling, Joe Vitale and Joey Mormina should all make their return to the lineup tomorrow night against Hershey.  Steve Wagner practiced with the team today but didn't partake in the contact drills. Hynes told me Wagner won't play tomorrow but could play later this weekend.

I will put up a game preview for Friday night's game sometime tonight or early tomorrow. Be sure to check back for that. Game threads for all of this weekend's games will be up 30 minutes prior to the start of each game. You can now follow this blog on Twitter @H_P_Hockey. I suggest you do so.

There was a special guest at practice today. All-time fan favorite Dennis Bonvie stopped by the rink and chatted with assistant coach Alain Nasreddine, a former teammate, for a little while before leaving. Bonvie was his old self, fooling around with players coming out for practice and I even heard him jokingly say he'd love to go a round or two with Keven Veilleux as Veilleux made his way onto the ice this morning. It was a nice surprise to see Bonvie today.

With three games in three nights this weekend, Coach Hynes told me he wasn't sure who would be his starter in net tomorrow night. I would expect Brad Thiessen to be in net, especially if he is awarded the league's Les Cunningham award for most valuable player, which will be announced tomorrow afternoon. I bet you will see Thiessen at home on Friday and Sunday and John Curry on Saturday in Hershey. We'll have to wait and see.

The Penguins finished practice with their monthly "juice boy" shootout. The final two were newcomer Andy Bathgate and team captain Ryan Craig.  Bathgate came in on his attempt and the guys on the sides were tapping their sticks on the ice. They erupted into cheers and laughter after he scored, leaving Craig as your "juice boy" for April. You just had to be there.


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