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Coach Bylsma Media Transcript: 4/16/11

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins
Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma met with the media at CONSOL Energy Center Saturday afternoon. Here’s what the coach had to say:

On his team getting frustrated by Tampa Bay:
It is a bit of a surprise considering how soon it happened in the game. How our guys played the first game, one of the strengths was the composure on our bench and throughout the game. It was noted. It was apparent in last game, starting very early in the first and for a stretch after that, they get the goal and power-play goal after that, we were a little bit not on our game and distracted by people and other events going on on the ice, not focused on getting to our game. It wasn’t until the second that we were able to regain that back. At that point in time we were fighting an uphill battle in the game. We know right now that will be a factor for us going forward, composure in the game. That’s the balance in a playoff series, getting teams into an uncomfortable position and getting them off their game by the way you play, getting under their skin or other factors. Tampa Bay was able to do that to us and capitalize on it with their power play and make it a factor in the game.

On if there’s anything that can be done to help Kris Letang:
There are lots of things that have been done and can be done to help him out with his game. I thought in Game 1 he was outstanding. Consistency was not there from Game 1 to 2. It wasn’t a strong game from Kris. The one thing I know about Kris is that he’ll work to get better. His improvement in his game and his level has increased dramatically over the years because of his diligent work. He’s aware that he wasn’t at his best last night. A large part of our success in Game 1 was because he was very, very good in that game. That’s something that we need from him if we’re going to go into Tampa Bay and win a game in Game 3.

On fighting against the trap:
There are a couple things that we think we can do. We’ve done a few of them to have success. In that particular situation where they get a three-goal lead, they put very little energy into the offensive side of the puck or being aggressive. They clogged it up with their 1-3-1. We have to come up with some better answers for getting through there and getting some pressure into the offensive zone with some speed and gaining the puck. That’s something we’ll have to address.

On if Crosby gets anything from observing from the media level:
I don’t know how it helps Sid. It’s not much different than what you’d get from Sid when it comes to seeing things on the ice, adding to our team and power-play situations. He’s a smart player, an intellectual player. He often has ideas. Some are founded in his brilliance on the ice and might not work for everybody else. He’s offering things in between periods of what they see from up there. During the game his talk is in a positive way, what we’re doing well, reiterating what we’re trying to do. He’s added a lot in the two games on the headset talking to Tony (Granato), conveying messages either to coaches on situations or to players.

On the fourth line:
It’s been the best two games from them in some time. They’ve really been a factor in the game, adding energy, physicality. Specifically in Game 1 they had a shift where they had six hits amongst them, I think the end of the second period. Last night again, they added some energy and offensive zone presence. They got us on the board with the goal on the forecheck and a nice play coming out of the D zone, a good chip into the offensive zone by Rupp and going to the net with Asham and the goal by Adams. They’ve been a big factor for us. Last game I wanted to use them more, but the penalty situation throughout the first and second periods prevented them from getting out and being a bigger factor for us.

On preparation for Games 3 and 4:
Preparation-wise, there were certain aspects of Game 2 and situations that we wanted to discuss today as a group, understand what Tampa Bay was able to do and what we did in the game. Tomorrow there won’t be a lot of talk about that, but I thought it was important that we get immediately into that discussion with the group today. We did see some video and some areas of the game that we need to focus on and get better at, and continue to work well in. Tomorrow will be a practice day, maybe we’ll work on some of the things we talked about. Playoffs series are a ride of emotions and they came back and answered in Game 2 to tie the series 1-1. They are now going home for two home games, home-ice advantage and we have to re-gather ourselves and go in there, and understand how important it is to play our very best game and get a win in Tampa Bay. Change of venues and those emotions are important to manage. They have to do the same thing and get ready for Game 3. We now know we’re going to have to win a game in Tampa Bay to make home-ice matter here in the series. Game 3 and Game 4 will be pivotal games. We have that focus and understanding.

On two days between games:
I’m not a big fan of it. It’s less of a factor when you’re changing venues. You want to get into that flow of playing hockey games every other day. Having a change of venue and travel day, it feels less like a two-day break than it would have if it was at home.

On his feelings coming off a loss:
Having lost Game 2 and some of the factors of that game, being able to come in today and have a discussion, go over some of the things and areas we need to be better, focus on as a group, get some input from the players and a real good understanding together what went wrong, what we didn’t do well, what we need to be better at and tomorrow we’ll look to get back and focused for Game 3 going into Tampa.

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