View Full Version : Pensí Caputi, Jeffrey take advantage of opportunity

05-12-2008, 10:27 AM
Nice little write-up in the Wilkes-Barre citizensvoice.com about Caputi and another rookie on the Pens, Jeffrey:

Pens’ Caputi, Jeffrey take advantage of opportunity


http://images.zwire.com/local/z/zwire2259/zwire/images/737549844028463x1_20080512sports_D695.jpghttp://images.zwire.com/images/spacer.gifhttp://images.zwire.com/images/spacer.gifhttp://images.zwire.com/images/spacer.gifhttp://images.zwire.com/images/spacer.gifhttp://images.zwire.com/images/spacer.gifhttp://images.zwire.com/images/spacer.gifPenguins' Luca Caputi and goalie John Curry look to block a shot by Phantoms' Stefan Ruzicka earlier this season. Citizens' Voice File http://images.zwire.com/images/spacer.gif

WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Mike Richards and Jeff Carter are a special breed.

Richards led the Philadelphia Flyers in scoring this season and is a lock to inherit the team’s captaincy. Carter scored 29 goals and is one of the most skilled forwards for a team that has reached the NHL’s Eastern Conference finals. Both are just 23 years old.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins rookies Luca Caputi and Dustin Jeffrey aren’t Richards and Carter. It would be unfair to stamp expectations that high on a pair of youngsters with 12 career AHL games between them.

But they are following the path Richards and Carter took to the NHL.

http://bannerads.zwire.com/bannerads/bannerad.asp?ADLOCATION=4000&PAG=461&BRD=2259&LOCALPCT=100&AREA=409&VERT=12611&NAREA=409&barnd=4602 After finishing up their junior eligibility in 2005, the Flyers duo joined the Philadelphia Phantoms for a run to a Calder Cup title.

Caputi and Jeffrey did likewise when their junior seasons ended this year. They’re halfway to that coveted trophy and played pivotal roles as the Penguins eliminated the Phantoms in five games in the East Division finals.

Neither has yet turned 21.

“Obviously coming into this season, I wasn’t focused on the Calder Cup, but after our season ended and I got the call, being in this dressing room makes your focus a lot better,” Jeffrey said. “These guys have been playing for it all year. When you get into an atmosphere like that, it’s electrifying. It grows on you. You become what this team is about, and that’s winning. We want to be a part of this championship team.”

It’s common for draft picks to join AHL teams on amateur tryout contracts once their junior or college seasons are complete. Those players don’t make major impacts every year, however.

Only defenseman Ryan Whitney in 2004 made much of a playoff splash as an amateur in Penguins playoff history.

“It comes down to trust,” coach Todd Richards said. “You bring guys in and you first want to see what they can do in practice. Then you’re able maybe to ease them into a game and you see how they are in a game. Once they start earning your trust, they start to get more ice time. They’ve both done a good job and their play has warranted more ice time.”

Caputi, a scoring winger, got his chance to enter the lineup shortly after Jonathan Filewich was injured in Game 2 of the Hershey series. He had a goal and an assist in two games against the Bears and chipped in another goal and an assist in the Philadelphia series.

The goal against the Phantoms was a critical one. Caputi outworked and outraced three Phantoms on the forecheck and brought the Penguins within a goal during the furious third-period Game 2 comeback that turned the series in their favor.

“Confidence has a lot to do with it,” Caputi said. “I had a pretty good season in junior, so you try to step in and be confident and try not to be nervous. Just make plays and trust my game, my style.”

Jeffrey, a two-way center, got his chance to get into the lineup when captain Nathan Smith was suspended for Game 1 against the Phantoms. In five games, Jeffrey had two goals and an assist.

“As the games progress and get bigger and bigger, if we can still contribute and hopefully take some pressure of those top two lines,” Jeffrey said, “that might be the best thing for the team.”

jbombulie at citizensvoice.com, 570-821-2083

05-12-2008, 07:47 PM
Great article

three dog night
05-12-2008, 10:56 PM
Scranton- Wilkes Barre has Portland next beginning Wed.

05-15-2008, 06:34 PM
from the ahl website

05-15-2008, 09:15 PM
he just took the stupidest ****ing penalty ive ever seen in my life, lol..
he did set up a nice goal though