Mario Lemieux is listed as questionable for tonight's game against the LA
Kings. According to trainer Skip Thayer, Lemieux started having back
spasms before the start of the Pens game in NJ on Jan. 2. He was able to
play through the spasms during that game. This same type of spasms occurred
before the Winnipeg game on Saturday. But it was thought that it would be
better to sit Lemieux out than to play him.
Thayer said that Lemieux said his back felt much better yesterday, and
while the team held a 90 minute workout, Mario did his stretching excersizes.
But Thayer went on to say that it's a day to day thing, and he's doubtful
Mario will play.
If Lemieux can't go tonight, Ron Francis will be the #1 center.
As of this moment, Paul Coffey is still a Pen and is expected to play
tonight against the Kings, although he still has a bad case of the flu.
He is expected to play defense.
When asked about his current situtation with the Pens (he was interviewed
by both daily newspapers and KDKA TV about it), he said that he wants to
just keep playing. He'd like to stay with the Pens, but if he's traded so
be it. He is upset by the lack of communication between himself and management
over his possbile trade. He's not happy with the treatment he's received
over the past few weeks, and said "If I'm going to be traded, just do it.
Be manly about it."
It is rumored that the Kings have offered Tomas Sandstrom for Coffey, and
the Maple Leafs have offered Dave Ellett.
Pens interim coach Scotty Bowman will hold a midseason review with each
player sometime this week. He said he plans to talk to Coffey about his
diminished ice time.
"I don't deal with trade talk." said Bowman, "We've talked about the power-
play changes with him, so he knows about that. It's not a case of playing this
guy or that. We've got so many guys who are great on the power plau. We want
them all involved".
Since Coffey has been removed from the first power play unit and replaced
by Ron Francis, the Pens power play has going from being ranked 15th to second
Contact for the Penguins