February 1, 2013
Tom Kostopoulos stood in the Penguins locker room after Friday's game and reflected on his first home game back in the arena where his career began 14 years ago.
The familiar black lunchbox which is given out to a player for his hard work sat in his locker stall.
Kostopoulos soaked it all in and reflected on something that Tyler Wright - the first captain in franchise history, told him back in 1999.
He said to enjoy it because it goes by quick, Kostopoulos said.
With almost 400 AHL games and more than 600 NHL games to his credit, Kostopoulos has been enjoying the run that began in Wilkes-Barre.
I remember interviewing Kostopoulos in 1999 when he was just a rookie. He wasn't used to talking to the media and his answers were a bit short. You could tell it was a facet of being a pro that Kostopoulos wasn't yet comfortable with.
Fast forward to Friday and Kostopoulos, who is now a 14-year pro, talked to members of the media with ease. He joked. Laughed. He was happy to be back.
- The Penguins are on quite a tear and there are a lot of reasons why. On Friday Jeff Zatkoff had a lot to do with it, keeping Manchester off the board until the Monarchs managed their only goal late in the third. The first time Zatkoff faced the Monarchs this year he shut them out. I thought he was going to do the same thing on Friday.
Coincidentally, Brad Thiessen will start in net on Saturday against Adirondack. The last time he faced them this season, Thiessen allowed a single goal in a 2-1 win.
Could history repeat itself tomorrow like it almost did on Friday?
- On the injury front, veteran defenseman Mark Eaton is banged up and is questionable for Saturday. Head coach John Hynes didn't act like Eaton's condition was serious,so I expect him to be back this weekend at some point.