Want a behind-the-scenes look at the Pittsburgh Penguins?
Then, you’ll want to tune in to FSN Pittsburgh to watch Inside Penguins Hockey, presented by Advance Auto Parts – a 30-minute program dedicated to unique Penguins coverage.
“The name, I think pretty much sums it up,” said FSN Pittsburgh play-by-play announcer Paul Steigerwald, who hosts Inside Penguins Hockey. “The idea is to try to give people a look at Penguins hockey that they don’t normally get from just watching a telecast or being at the game.
“It’s kind of behind-the-scenes stuff, probably more off-ice things. I think we want to get away from the Xs and Os and get more into the idea of almost reality television. I just think people want that now – they’re used to it when they watch TV. That was a concept that was born of the Penguins organization and that’s the beauty of it. It’s a show that is being produced by the Penguins, so that gives you a little more of an advantage and an angle that you might not get if you’re in the media because it’s not as guarded.”
The show, produced by the Penguins, gets its coverage from FSN Pittsburgh reporters as well as Steigerwald.
“For me, I am just the guy who manages the show from one segment to the next. Dan Potash, Trenni Kusnierek and other FSN Pittsburgh reporters will provide the content. I am just the guy that sort of emcees it, if you will,” he said. “I think it’s a good idea. Anytime you can give people a look at the players and give them the human side of the game, I think it endears them to the players a little more.”
As in the past, the Penguins players enjoy taking part in Inside Penguins Hockey, which airs a new show once a week every Saturday. Each episode will feature a player profile.
“It’s funny. My experience has been is that when you ask a player to do something, he may be a little reluctant to do it. Once they do it, they have fun with it and then they are asking you, ‘When’s that going to be on?’ because they are anxious to see it,” Steigerwald said. “We want to bring out the players’ personalities and give the fans another dimension of appreciation.”
Inside Penguins Hockey is taking a different approach this season. The show is stressing the senses of the hockey atmosphere for its viewers.
“I think the show was done really well in the past, but it was shot in an arena with no one really in it, in a very studio-like environment,” Steigerwald said. “What we’re trying to do is get my portion of the show done in different behind-the-scenes places where other people normally wouldn’t see and give it some energy, too.”
For the opening installment of Inside Penguins Hockey, Steigerwald filmed segments outside Mellon Arena near the long, snaking line of people hoping to buy student rush tickets for a game.
Inside Penguins Hockey hopes to have segments filmed away from Mellon Arena, too. The show began filming some parts at the spacious Dick’s Sporting Goods store at The Mall at Robinson.
Those segments will involve Penguins players as well as interaction from fans, who get to watch the show taped live. Ryan Malone, Colby Armstrong, Eric Cairns and Mark Eaton took part in the first shoot. It featured giveaways for audience members and each player competed against a member of the audience in some of the games set up at the Dick’s Sporting Goods store. Iceburgh and the Pens Patrol were in attendance as well.
“Eventually, we want to try to develop a following out there and get some good, live audiences,” Steigerwald said. “Down the road, we hope we get some big crowds out there and have some audience participation and have more of an energy to it.”