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Penguins play waiting games

RAILRIDERS: Judge’s towering grand slam lifts ‘Riders to sweep and ninth straight home winAfter taking care of the Providence Bruins in three games, the Penguins have had to resort to some unusual tactics to keep the competitive juices flowing at practice this week.

On Wednesday, Donatelli split the team down the middle into two 12 man teams, one in black jerseys and the other in whites. The teams have been competing in four to six “mini games” and the overall scores are recorded on a white board in the team’s locker room.

“It’s a good line between fun and competition,” said Niclas Andersen, who was selected captain of the white team. “We need to get it going in practices. We can’t lower the pace just because we have days off. We can’t just rest our bodies; that’s not how it works. Cheap Jerseys from china We need to practice hard and this competition is a good way to do it.”

The teams compete both on and off the ice, with bragging rights, as well as the occasional dinner on the line.

On Wednesday, they played dodge ball. There have also been competitions in the weight room, as well as between the special teams units.

“I know my team has the lead right now,” Andersen said on Thursday, nodding his head toward a whiteboard that read: Black 4, White: 5. “Every guy in here is really competitive and when you have a game like this, everyone tries really hard. I think that’s the way to go, especially with so many days off.”

Before the Penguins complain too much about their extra time off, it’s important that we all try to remember the St. John’s Maple Leafs.

Now known as the IceCaps, the Leafs hold the AHL’s record for longest time in between Calder Cup Playoff games, after sitting idle for 17 consecutive days in 1992.

The Leafs cruised through their first two series, knocking off the Cape Breton Oilers in five games, and the Moncton Hawks in four straight to finish on April 30.

The other playoffs series were a bit less time conscious, with one requiring all seven games. Then, because of a scheduling quirk, the Leafs were given a bye into the Calder Cup Final.

A full two and a half weeks later, the Calder Cup Final began with the Leafs facing the Adirondack Red Wings.

Following a predictably sluggish start in which the Leafs dropped Games 1 and 2, the series went seven games.

Adirondack eventually claimed the title with the win in Game 7, sparking more than a few, “what ifs” from Leafs players and fans alike.

Pittsburgh announced on Wednesday that it has signed defenseman Lukas Bengtsson to a two year, two way, entry level contract.

The 22 year old puck moving defenseman’s contract will begin with the 2016 17 season.

Wheeling head coach David Gove is taking a leave of absence for an undisclosed reason and for an undetermined amount of time the team announced Thursday.

The Nailers are currently preparing to face the Reading Royals in the Eastern Conference semifinals in Kelly Cup Playoffs. In the interim, assistant coach Jeff Christian will lead the Nailers.

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