WBS Penguins Friday Practice Update

Friday, April 26, 2013
The Penguins held one last practice at Coal Street this afternoon before beginning their quest for the 2013 Calder Cup when they take on the Binghamton Senators tomorrow night in Game One of their first round best-of-five series.

The coaching staff has some decisions to make on a few spots in the lineup, most notably a wing position in the top six and a defenseman on the third pairing. After practice today, I get the feeling that Dominik Uher and Reid McNeill will fill those roles, respectively.

Uher has played well down the stretch, scoring three goals in two games up in St. John's, and for a first year pro holds a bit of playoff experience from his time with Spokane in the junior ranks.

"I was fortunate to play in a couple of playoff series down in Spokane," Uher said. "I kind of know that the level is going to raise up and that mistakes are going to be eliminated."

"I'm definitely excited," added Uher on playing in his first pro playoff game tomorrow night. "Especially against Binghamton, one of our rivals, I'm excited and really looking forward to it."

If you're looking for playoff experience at this level, look no further than Warren Peters and Trevor Smith.

Peters has made the Calder Cup Finals twice in a row, and while he hasn't raised the trophy in June, I'm sure he's hoping that a third opportunity presents itself this year.

"I don't know if it changes how badly you want to win," Peters said. "It's still about playing hockey. We've done a good job around here the past couple weeks. We're focusing on short term goals because you can't get lost in the bigger picture."

Smith, on the other hand, doesn't have to look too far back to know what it takes to be a championship team. Smith won the Cup last season as a member of the Norfolk Admirals. I asked him if there was anything he would pass on to the younger guys heading into tomorrow night's game.

"You can't get away from what you've been doing all year," Smith said. "For the young guys, it's just a matter of not thinking it's too serious. It's a matter of staying loose and even-keel."

Check back later tonight for a more in-depth look at the Penguins in Part Two of Breaking Down the Pens and BSens. Part One focused on the opponent and you can see that here if you missed it last night.


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