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Penguins-Canadiens Game Day (Game 4)

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

2:50 PM:

Penguins forward Bill Guerin spoke to reporters about his status following the morning skate. Below are Guerin's comments:

Bill Guerin

On missing Game 4:
It’s a lot less frustrating because we won. It’s tough watching but as long as we get a win. That makes everything better. You want to play and you want to be in there, but at the same time you have to be smart.
On how he is feeling:
I feel great and I am anxious to get back but we have guys who are stepping into the lineup and doing a great job so there is no need to rush anything.
On what it’s going to take to get back in and what he is dealing with:
I can’t say what I have been dealing with but I have been resting comfortably.
On playing Game 5 Saturday night:
That’s my goal. I won’t say yes or no but that is my goal to play Game 5. Right now that is what I am shooting for. I felt good on the ice today and I had a lot of energy. There were a lot of good jokes in the locker room today so I am feeling better.
On the nature of the injury:
It is definitely hockey related. It is nothing in my personal life. Like I said I am just resting comfortably.
On whether it is a lingering injury:
I could answer that a number of ways but it is something that has been lingering and happened during the Canadiens series.
On whether he flew to Montreal expecting to play:
Oh yes, I absolutely did. I love Montreal but I didn’t come up here just to rest. I came up here definitely expecting to play. Things happen so like I said my goal now is to play in Game 5. Hopefully tonight’s game goes well and I can sleep easily on that and be ready for then.
On needing to lobby Bylsma to play:
No, no. I think Dan (Bylsma) trusts me. I won’t jeopardize the success of the team just because I want to play. Everybody wants to play but you have to put the team ahead of yourself. This is one of those cases.

1:32 PM:
Here are the highlights and comments from Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma's media conference today at Bell Centre:

- Jordan Staal is a game-time decision
- Bill Guerin is probably out with a likely return on Saturday for Game 5
- Mike Rupp is questionable due to undisclosed reasons

On the type of defense partner that brings out the best in Alex Goligoski:
I think that there are certain strengths of players that feed off of each other. Defensive pairings are one of those – even more than a line combination – where you can have chemistry and read off of each other and know each other’s tendencies. I have watched Alex Goligoski play his best hockey with Deryk Engelland, who is one of our extra players right now. They played a lot in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. (Goligoski) played his best hockey by far when he was paired with Deryk, who is a defensive guy but is a puck-moving guy. Alex was always up the ice and the guy who joined (the rush). I think Jordan Leopold is a guy who reads a lot off of his partner and they talk a lot and have found some chemistry and as a result is a good fit for Alex.
On Fleury being clutch in goal and offering confidence:
We all wish we had a goalie who stopped every puck in every playoff game, but it hasn’t happened yet (in NHL history). Marc-Andre Fleury is a guy who, not just in the playoffs, and not just with a save, has always stepped up and been there for his team. He has been that big-time goaltender. He has had amazing numbers in the past at the end of seasons when the team has needed him to go on runs and win hockey games. I think saying this guy wins hockey games and is a winner is probably the best compliment you can give Marc. Sometimes he does it with a big game and sometimes he does it with a big save at the right time against the right player. He has won a lot of hockey games for this team. He is a guy who this coaching staff and his teammates really believe in.

12:37 PM:
Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma and Montreal head coach Jacques Martin were each asked an interesting question today at his media conference at Bell Centre. Reporters wanted to know why there has been such a spike in too many men on the ice penalties during the 2010 postseason. Through Wednesday's games there had been 27 such calls, including one on each team in the Chicago-Vancouver contest on Wednesday night, compared to just 17 during the entire 2009 postseason. Here were their responses:

Dan Bylsma
"I would like to say it is because we are disciplined. We had a few during the year. I think there is a heightened sense during the playoffs of two things – line matchups and how they are looked for by the coaches and by the players and by the communication in rancorous buildings. Sometimes it is tough to communicate. I will speak for myself – last year when we had too many men on the ice during the finals – it was too loud in (Mellon Arena) to communicate. I looked down at a player and said ‘no, you are not going.’ They turned around with the full understanding that they were going to go on the ice. I went up to another player and said you are going to go out on that line and they both went out on the ice. Both of them thought they were doing the exact right thing and I didn’t think anything of it until I saw 25 (Maxime Talbot) and 81 (Miroslav Satan) on the ice together. That was just a fact of the building and not trying to get different combinations."

Jacques Martin
"I think there are probably several factors. I think the competition level, the noise in the building and just the matchups. I think when you are trying to match up sometimes there are late calls where you are calling late calls and then at the last minute or last second you’ll call somebody else. Because of the noise or lack of focus, those things happen. You need to have concentration. You want your players to be on the bench and to be in the game. I think that’s the key."

12:11 PM:
Here are some of the sounds heard around the Canadiens locker room:

Hal Gill

On defending Crosby:
I try to use my reach and my size. I try to do the best job that I can in taking away time and space and limiting him. As a team we really have to be aware of where guys are because he can find a seam and he is good at that.
On the support he gets from Gorges:
I think we support each other and we get help from the forwards as well. I don’t think you can stop Sid with one guy – you need a team. We have to work well together. Don’t forget he has some pretty good weapons with him as well. It is a team game. We have to play well not only against him but against his options.
On the difference between being 2-2 or 3-1 in a series:
That is the playoffs. Every game is huge. When you look at the swing going from 3-1 or being tied, that’s a big momentum gain. That’s a four-point game. But this is fun. This is why you play. We are at home so you have to take advantage of being at home.

Mike Cammalleri

On the Canadiens:
I think so. I like our team. It starts where it starts. We have two solid goaltenders and it goes out from there. PK (Subban) has been such a nice, fresh face here. Puck-moving defensemen are at such a premium these days. This guy has been composed in the way he has done it. We have some solid leadership back there in Hal (Gill) and Josh Gorges. I think Scott (Gomez) is a guy who has takes a lot of heat but brings a lot to this team. I think he is very underappreciated. He takes a lot of heat about salary and this and that but Scott Gomez brings two Stanley Cups and he brings a presence into the room. He has that confidence in his game where it’s OK and we are going to back each other up. We are going to make a mistake from time-to-time but we are going to make two plays to make up for it because that is how you win Stanley Cups. He and Brian (Gionta) have both brought that. I like our team – what can I say? I think a lot of guys care and I think it is starting to form a group where you are either in or you are out. That is how I think successful teams end up performing.

12:01 PM:

Jordan Leopold slaps the puck (left); Quebec native Gilles Meloche (right)

Bill Guerin re-directs a shot before he is playfully tackled by Marc-Andre Fleury

Mark Eaton rips into the puck (left)

11:38 AM:
The Penguins are on the ice at Bell Centre and both Bill Guerin and Jordan Staal are practicing. We will await word from head coach Dan Bylsma following the skate to see if either will be able to go in Game 4.

Jordan Staal (left); Bill Guerin (right)

11:12 AM:
Some notables from the Canadiens skate:
- Andrei Kostitsyn, who had been working on the fourth line, skated with Scott Gomez and Mike Cammalleri
- Sergei Kostitsyn wasn't at the morning skate
- Andrei Markov wasn't at the skate and his status hasn't changed
- Jaroslav Spacek did skate but his status for the game is still not known

10:46 AM:

The Canadiens are on the ice at Bell Centre for their Game 4 morning skate. 

Hal Gill (left); Mike Cammalleri (right)

Broken stick (right)

Head coach Jacques Martin (left)

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