News:Joe Vitale was benched for his performance on faceoffs, and did not miss the past two games because of an injury, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
Analysis:Joe Vitale's absence from Games 3 and 4 against the Senators was assumed to be injury-related, but it turns out that his play on faceoffs -- 9-of-21 in the series -- was the determining factor. It is unclear whether Vitale will be back in the lineup for Friday's Game 5.
Pens' Vitale (Undisclosed) Will Not Play Wednesday
News:Joe Vitale (undisclosed) will not play in Wednesday's Game 4 against the Senators, Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Analysis:Joe Vitale won't be ready to go in Game 4, but there was some hope he could practice earlier in the week so perhaps he'll be ready to go by the time Friday's tilt rolls around.
News:Joe Vitale (undisclosed) is expected to practice with the team Tuesday, Pens Inside Scoop reports.
Analysis:Joe Vitale only recorded one assist and four PIMs in four playoff games before being injured, so even when he's able to return his fantasy impact will likely be minimal.
News:Joe Vitale (undisclosed) will not take the ice for Sunday's Game 3 in Ottawa, Arpob Basu of LNH.com reports.
Analysis:Joe Vitale has appeared in just four of eight playoff tilts for the Penguins this postseason, tallying one assist with an even plus/minus on his line. When he does play, he's unlikely to log more than 10 minutes of ice time. Pittsburgh will miss his faceoff ability. Vitale has won 23 of 41 draws. No word on whether his absence is injury related or due to a personal issue. Tanner Glass will take his spot in the lineup.
News:Joe Vitale expects to be in the lineup for Thursday's Game 5 against the Islanders, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Analysis: Tyler Kennedy is expected to suit up Thursday as well, and if that's the case, the Penguins' healthy scratches up front would likely be Jussi Jokinen Beau Bennett, Tanner Glass and Dustin Jeffrey. Joe Vitale brings speed and energy to the table, with coach Dan Bylsma noting that the forward tends to play well upon being reinserted into the team's lineup.
News:Joe Vitale (lower body) rejoined the team Monday.
Analysis:Joe Vitale's status for Wednesday's Game 1 against the Islanders is still up in the air, but with five points in 33 games on the season, he shouldn't be counted on for too much production, even if he's healthy.
News:Joe Vitale (lower body) will not play in Thursday's game against the Devils.
Analysis: Consider Joe Vitale, who checks in with seven points in 33 games and 17 PIMs, day-to-day, as Saturday's game against the Hurricanes approaches.
News:Joe Vitale (undisclosed) returned to practice Thursday and won't miss further game action, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Analysis:Joe Vitale left Wednesday's game against the Canadiens after feeling some pain upon blocking a shot, but his return to full practice bodes well for his status going forward. With only five points and a minus-7 rating on his ledger this season, he's far from an ideal option in most fantasy formats.
News:Joe Vitale left Wednesday's game against the Canadiens in the third period with an apparent injury, Sam Kasan of the Penguins' official site reports.
Analysis: It's uncertain what's ailing Joe Vitale specifically, bu the was hit by a shot during the third period and appeared to be in some pain. His status for the remainder of Wednesday's game is uncertain, but if he doesn't return, consider Vitale day-to-day until more information becomes available.
News:Joe Vitale netted a goal off a rebound Sunday afternoon against Boston, giving him his first score of the year.
Analysis: The goal also proved to be the game-winner in a 2-1 win. Joe Vitale, who plays on Pittsburgh's fourth line, went into Sunday with a 63.8 win rate on faceoffs -- the only real area he offers help to fantasy owners.
News:Joe Vitale will not play Friday against the Panthers, Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Analysis:Joe Vitale, the Pens' leading face-off man, will watch from the press box Friday as a healthy scratch.
News:Joe Vitale is expected to serve as a healthy scratch Friday against the Panthers, according to the Penguins' Web site.
Analysis: The fourth-liner has but two assists in 15 games. He is the team's leading faceoff man, however, with a 65.2 overall win rate, including 68.4 at home.
News: The Penguins will scratch Joe Vitale on Saturday against Philadelphia, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Analysis:Joe Vitale is one of the Pens' best faceoff men but will sit out Opening Day in Philly.
News:Joe Vitale will sit out Sunday as a healthy scratch, Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Analysis:Joe Vitale was a thorn in the Flyers' side during the regular season but has been a non-factor in the playoffs. He played just 34 seconds in the third period of Friday's game. Veteran Richard Park will start in his place.
News:Joe Vitale took part in Thursday's morning skate,
Analysis:Joe Vitale was struck in the jaw by a Zdeno Chara shot Tuesday, but it looks like he will be able to center the Penguins' fourth line Thursday against the Rangers.
News:Joe Vitale left Tuesday's game after taking a Zdeno Chara slap shot to the right side of his face.
Analysis: The team hasn't released the extent of Joe Vitale's injury. The fourth-line rookie center, who has 14 points and 105 hits in 66 games, has helped out as a grinder with good faceoff ability.
News:Joe Vitale, who was believed to be dealing with a shoulder injury, threw five hits in 7:41 worth of ice time in Sunday's loss to the Flyers.
Analysis:Joe Vitale has not recorded a point in his last 10 games, but he's a gritty role player, who helps the Pens out with his ability on draws.
News:Joe Vitale, who is believed to be dealing with a shoulder injury, skated Thursday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Analysis:Joe Vitale has missed the Penguins' last two games, but with 13 points in 63 games, his fantasy value is limited. Consider him day-to-day.
News:Joe Vitale signed a two-year contract extension with the Penguins on Friday, the team's official Twitter page reports.
Analysis:Joe Vitale has played in 44 NHL games this season, and is averaging just over 11 minutes per contest. He has accumulated ten points (3G, 7A) and 20 PIM, and the Pens are obviously pleased with the 26-year-old's work. He really shines in face-offs and when blocking shots. Vitale's production isn't overly astounding, but he should continue to play a similar role to the one he's been playing, barring injury.
News:Joe Vitale (undisclosed) recorded an assist in 16:06 TOI in Friday's loss to the Senators.
Analysis:Joe Vitale was a question mark for Friday, but he suited up and recorded his third helper in five games. Expect Vitale to remain in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Sabres.
News:Joe Vitale will be a game-time decision Friday due to an undisclosed injury, according to the Penguins' Web site.
Analysis:Joe Vitale has just a goal and six points in 24 games, but adds grit and faceoff ability at a depleted center position for Pittsburgh.
News: The Penguins made Joe Vitale a healthy scratch Monday.
Analysis: Some guy named Sid made his season debut, forcing the hard-working Joe Vitale to the bench. Vitale has one goal and four points in 20 games but will likely have to wait for an injury before seeing consistent playing time again.
News:Joe Vitale collected his first two assists of the year in Tuesday's 4-2 win over Florida.
Analysis:Joe Vitale moved up into a top-six forward role with Evgeni Malkin sidelined and took full advantage of his 13-plus minutes. With Vitale centering Pascal Dupuis and Matt Cooke, the trio combined for five points. Vitale will likely move back down to the third or fourth line as Malkin, Dustin Jeffrey and Sidney Crosby return, but his ability to win draws -- he's 34-21 in four games -- is a rare commodity on a team that struggles in the faceoff circle.
News:Joe Vitale played well in his role as a fourth line center Sunday against Detroit, the Penguins' Web site reports.
Analysis: "He has been a factor with his speed in every game," head coach Dan Bylsma said. "He was again tonight." Joe Vitale won't play enough to have much fantasy value in many leagues, but he will collect hits ( he had five Sunday) and win faceoffs -- provided he survives the team's final cuts.
News:Joe Vitale, who is in an apparent battle with Richard Park for a penalty killing spot, scored against Chicago on Friday.
Analysis:Joe Vitale is a decent faceoff man and plays with plenty of grit. If the Pens do decide to ship him off to AHL, he'll have to first pass through waivers.
News: The Penguins have re-assigned Vitale to AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the team's official site reports.
Analysis: Vitale recorded one goal and two points in nine games with the Penguins in his first stint with the big club. He figures to back, in time, when the Penguins are looking for some added depth down the middle.
News: The Penguins called up Vitale on Thursday from AHL Wilkes-Barre.
Analysis: He's one of four players Pittsburgh recalled, three of which are expected to play against the Kings on Thursday night. Vitale, 25, has eight goals and 27 points in 50 games.
News: The Penguins have signed C Joe Vitale to a two-year contract extension.
Analysis: Vitale has 19 points in his first full AHL season after being a seventh-round pick in 2005. He has no Fantasy value at this time.