- Keven Veilleux's knee injury is serious. It requires surgery to repair and the initial timetable is six months. That would basically mean his season is over before it begins, which is very unfortunate for a guy like Veilleux. If you recall, Veilleux missed over 70 games with a shoulder injury in his rookie season.
- Niko Dimitrakos practiced today and was wearing #52. Jason Williams did not practice today but was at the rink watching practice with Keven Veilleux and Robert Bortuzzo.
- Zach Sill won't be playing tomorrow night but its not injury related, although both of his eyes are black and blue. Sill received a suspension of one exhibition and one regular season game for his hit on Hershey's Zack Miskovic last Saturday.
- Brian Day was absent from practice again today. We reported on Tuesday that he left practice early. Not sure what his status is but I don't think we will see him in the lineup Saturday night.
- Chris Barton was assigned to the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL) yesterday.
Here's what the lineup looks like right now:
xx - xx - xx
There are a few guys battling for the spots on the fourth line and with Sill serving a suspension all three spots are open for four guys: Brandon DeFazio, Cody Chupp, Devin DiDiomete, Ryan Schnell. Once Jason Williams is healthy and Zach Sill returns from a one game suspension, there will only be one spot for those above guys on the bubble.
If I had to take a stab at who the fourth line will be, I would go with DeFazio, Chupp and one of Schnell/DiDiomete. But of the four, I think DeFazio is going to stick in the AHL long term.
With Bortuzzo and Boris Valabik on the IR in Pittsburgh, there is an opening for the 6th defensemen between Cody Wild, Alex Grant and Philip Samuelsson. Once the two injured defensemen return to the lineup, you would figure all three of those guys would be heading to Wheeling. But time will tell. I think Grant will get the start but I wouldn't be surprised if Wild is listed at D6.
Today was the last practice of the week for the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins before they begin the 2011-12 regular season. More time was spent today on special teams and in-game situations and the top three lines look pretty much set for tomorrow night's game against the Hershey Bears.
The team finished early today with a shootout, and from the looks of it, it was the WBS Penguins form of the "mustache boy". I thought the final two guys were Colin McDonald and Alex Grant, but the coaching staff was also involved. It came down to Alex Grant and head coach John Hynes, and Grant buried one that sent the Coal Street Rink in a rush of smiles and laughs. But will coach Hynes grow the mustache behind the bench for the month of October?
Tomorrow's preview will be up early on Saturday morning instead of the norm from last year when I posted them in the afternoon. There will also be a game thread for those interested, and they will always open 30 minutes prior to the game.
Time to get ready for another season of WBS Penguins hockey. Stay tuned to Highland Park Hockey all season long for the best in-depth coverage of the top minor league affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins.