Two new faces, four new numbers. Busy day for Penguins equipment manager Dana Heinze.
Brendon Morrow will wear number 10.
Tanner Glass will switch to number 15.
Dustin Jeffrey will change to number 17.
Brenden Morrow will dress on Thursday night wearing uniform number 3.
The last time a Penguins player switched uniform numbers was Chris Conner when he surrendered Number 18 to James Neal on February 22, 2011. Conner changed to number 16.
The last season that saw multiple players switch numbers was 2008-09. Goalie Matthieu Garon took his usual number 32 away from Chris Minard. Alex Goligoski gave number 13 to Bill Guerin. On a side note Paul Bissonette changed that year too, but did not involve a trade. He started the season in number 67 before changing to 16.
Don’t be surprised if the Penguins are awarded a penalty shot today against the Bruins. The Penguins have been awarded three penalty shots on March 17 – the most penalty shots attempted on any one day.
No luck of the Irish for the Pens, though, as they didn’t score on any of them.
The streak of bad luck started on 3/17/1992 when Edmonton’s Bill Ranford stopped Mario Lemieux for the very first time in his career. Lemieux had been automatic until that point in his career, converting his first five attempts. Lemieux would finish his career six-of-eight on his tries.
The second player denied on this date was Evgeni Malkin, who was stopped by former Penguins goaltender Johan Hedberg in net for Atlanta. Malkin is scoreless in five in attempts.
The last player to be thwarted on a penalty shot, a year ago today, was Kris Kunitz when he failed on New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur. It was Kunitz’ only attempt with Pittsburgh.
Take heart, Penguins opponents haven’t scored on a penalty shot on March 17th either. Denis Herron blanked Hartford’s Tony Currie in 1984.
Former Penguins coach Michel Therrien faces coach Dan Bylsma tonight in Montreal. It’s the first time a former Pens coach faced his coaching replacement. Byslma took over for Therrien on Feb. 15, 2009 and went on to lead the Penguins to their third Stanley Cup Championship.
Here’s a look at former Pens coaching records v. Pittsburgh:
Red Kelly / Toronto: 3-9-2
Red Sullivan / Washington: 1-2-0
Bob Berry / St. Louis: 1-1-2
Scott Bowman/ Detroit 6-7-1
Kevin Constantine/ New Jersey 2-0-0
Ex-coaches debut against the Penguins:
11/20/1974 – Red Kelly’s Maple Leafs lost to Pittsburgh, 8-5.
2/26/1975 – Red Sullivan’s Capitals were defeated by the Penguins, 3-1
10/29/1992 – Bob Berry’s Blues beat Pittsburgh, 6-4
11/13/1993 – Scott Bowman’s Red Wings defeated Pittsburgh, 7-3
2/9/2002 – Kevin Constantine’s Devils defeated Pittsburgh, 2-1
GM Ray Shero has been widely praised for having acquired goaltender Tomas Vokoun from Washington on June 4th in exchange for 2012 7th-round pick.
Shero brought Vokoun in to replace Brent Johnson. Remember him? This is the play that Johnson will most likely be remembered for – the one-punch knockout of Rick Dipietro – and it happened two years ago today.
That action led to a brawlfest nine days later, a game that saw 14 fighting majors and 21 misconducts. Pittsburgh set a new team record for penalty minutes (163) and established a team record for both teams with 346 penalty minutes. The Pens’ 31 penalties was one short of tying a record for the team set on October 30, 1988.
Speaking of Penguins goalie fights, here’s an unofficial list:
November 22, 1969 – Al Smith fought Philadelphia’s Earl Heiskala 6:53 (2nd), tussled with Reg Flemming too.
December 17, 1969 – Al Smith left the net to battle Montreal’s Terry Harper 6:42 (3rd)
12/18/69 Pittsburgh Press: ”Rambunctious Al Smith left his net to battle Terry Harper at center ice.”
October 23, 1970 – Al Smith vs. Oakland’s Dennis Hextall 6:42 (3rd)
10/24/70 Pittsburgh Press: “In an instant, Smith, no rookie fighter, was on top of Hextall, hammering his head as if it were a pegboard…. Smith, after linesmen pried him off Hextall, then relieved Watson and battered
November 28, 1970 – Al Smith left bench as a backup to engage Montreal’s Claude Larose (end of second period)
11/29/70 Pittsburgh Press: ” Al Smith, who received $700 in fines for fighting last season, returned to the gold old days, speeding toward the scene and throwing his nearly 200 pounds in a flying leap at Larose.” … Smith
squared off with opposing goaltender Phil Myre … Later, Smith was bloodied in the face when he was on the receiving end of a blow from Pierre Bouchard.”
January 14, 1970 – Al Smith left bench as a backup to fight Keith Magnuson
1/15/70 – Pittsburgh Press: ”Al Smith, who was sitting on the bench, grabbed Magnuson from behind and pinned him to the boards, touching off a brief brawl.”
April 4, 1971 – Al Smith v. St. Louis’ Bob Plager 18:43 (1st) Season finale
4/5/71 -Post-Gazette: “Bob Plager of the Blues and Goalie Al Smith of the Penguins touched off the big brawl, and both were banished for the night.”
October 27, 1976 – Dunc Wilson brawled with Buffalo’s Danny Gare 7:57 (3rd)
10/18/76 Pittsburgh Press: “‘I haven’t lost a fight yet,’ Wilson said…Penguins came out the loser because of the new ‘agressor’ rule, Wilson was thrown out of the game.”
April 9, 1977 – Denis Herron fought with Toronto’s Tiger Williams 14:14 (1st) PLAYOFF GAME 3
Largest playoff game at Arena (15,934) Apps thrown out for third man in, Pens eliminated from playoffs.
February 29, 1984 – Denis Herron fought with Vancouver’s Tiger Williams 6:48 (2nd)
Smallest crowd of season (3,844).
May 16, 1995 – Ken Wregget v. Dale Hunter 13:14 (3rd) PLAYOFF GAME 6
Pittsburgh Magazine has named Mario Lemieux, Co-Owner and Chairman of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chairman of the Mario Lemieux Foundation, as Pittsburgher of the Year for 2012.
This annual award, which is announced in the January 2013 issue of Pittsburgh Magazine, recognizes the person or persons who have had the most dramatic and positive impact on the city and region in the past year and have left a legacy for the future.