Megna Re-Assigned, Ruopp Loaned to Wheeling & A Look At #WBSPens Heading Into Weekend

Thursday, November 14, 2013

BREAKING: Check back either later tonight or tomorrow morning for a look at the Penguins 7th round draft pick from 2011, forward Scott Wilson. Wilson is currently playing for UMass Lowell (Hockey East) and I will be live from the Pegula Ice Arena in State College, Pa, tonight as UMass Lowell takes on the Penn State Nittany Lions at 7:00 p.m. EDT. I'll have in-game updates on Twitter and some photos of the rink on our Instagram page.

Lots of things going on in the Penguins organization today.

Forward Jayson Megna has been re-assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL).

I mentioned the possibility of Megna returning yesterday in my practice post, but I wasn't expecting he would be in the AHL Penguins lineup tomorrow night when the Pens take on the Syracuse Crunch. Guys in Pittsburgh were getting healthy and with Megna being the only waiver-exempt forward, it comes as no surprise that he's the odd man out.

Three points (2G-1A) in six NHL games for Megna, who comes back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (WBS) during a completely different streak. When Megna left for Pittsburgh, the AHL Pens were a perfect 6-0-0-0 and off to a hot start. Since Megna's departure, they have won two of their last seven games.

The logjam at forward might have been relieved at the NHL level but at the AHL level, the Penguins have decisions to make up front heading into this weekend. The only injured forward on the roster currently is Pierre-Luc Letourneau Leblond, leaving WBS with 15 healthy forwards.

Judging by the lines in practice yesterday, I would expect the three healthy scratches to come from this list of guys fighting for a spot in the lineup: Anton Zlobin, Mike Carman, Paul Thompson, Adam Payerl and Bobby Farnham

Megna played primarily with Gibbons, Zolnierczyk and Conner while in the AHL, so I would pencil him in on the top line right wing and bump Conner to the third line with Drazenovic. Kuhnhackl and Ebbett have been often paired together this season and Kostopoulos has been in the top six most of the season, so I wouldn't expect that line to change. Here's my best crack at the potential WBS lineup heading into the weekend:

Zolnierczyk - Gibbons - Megna
Kuhnhackl - Ebbett - Kostopoulos
Uher - Drazenovic - Conner
Farnham/Carman - Sill - Thompson/Payerl

The WBS Penguins also made a roster move today, sending defenseman Harrison Ruopp to their ECHL affiliate in Wheeling. Ruopp to the Nailers makes sense as WBS is already carrying eight defenseman.

On the WBS blue line, Peter Merth is the only injured body and he has resumed skating this week so his status should be more like the usual "day-to-day" status Hynes gives most guys who are banged up, like Leblond for example.

From looking at the new defense pairings, I think it's safe to say that Reid McNeill is going to get in some more games this weekend:

Despres - Samuelsson
Dumoulin - Harrington
Mikkelson - McNeill

Nick D'Agostino had a tough game last Friday against Albany and McNeill stepped into his place Sunday in Springfield. During Sunday's game, the pairing of Dumoulin-Harrington looked solid and might be just what the doctor ordered for Dumoulin, who has been off to a slow start coming off an injury in the preseason.

Between the pipes, Jeff Deslauriers (7-2-2) has started 10 of the team's first 13 games and is the clear number one goaltender for WBS right now. Peter Mannino is the backup, but after allowing five goals Friday night, the Penguins will probably roll with Deslauriers at least on Friday if not both games this weekend if his play merits it. 


Post a Comment