Pens pics in Tampa Bay...
Neal & coach Reirden (left); Group huddle (right)
Johnson (left); The Three Amigos - Michalek, Neal & Cooke (right)
Martin takes a breather along the boards
Crosby the captain (left); Kunitz shot motion (right)
Meesh gets you the deets on tomorrow afternoon's matchup with Tampa Bay and let's you know what to watch for
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…
On Evgeni Malkin
Just a maintenance day. He’s obviously been playing a lot of hockey. He was not on the ice this morning.
On Crosby practicing with the team:
It was non-contact out there, so it wasn’t any different than yesterday.
On it being nice seeing him on the ice two days in a row:
Definitely. Definitely on the road, too. You get a little excitement in the building when they see 87 coming out.
On the locker room atmosphere:
I think getting a win certainly does that. But I also think there were aspects of how we were playing and having success, but not getting rewarded for it. Maybe not getting the goals and maybe outshooting a team 15-3, but not getting the outcome that you’re hoping for and the way you play indicates. I thought the best thing about last night’s game was after the first period – where we hit four posts and got 18 or so shots in addition to those – being able to stick with it, stay focused and not get distracted so we get the goal. I think some of the focus from our team on playing the way we needed to play and playing Penguins hockey was there. I think one of the plays for me was Evgeni’s ability to keep his cool and draw a penalty on (Kris) Versteeg. That’s not something our team has really been very good at. I think there were some indicators in the game that I really liked to see from our team.
On Paul Martin
I thought his last two games were his best in a while in terms of his battle level, his execution and really defending. He’s also jumping into the play a little bit the last few games. We need our good players to step up, and Paul has certainly done that in the last two games. We’re going to continue to need Paul and those other good players – (Zbynek Michalek
) and Brooks Orpik
with the way he’s played the last 3-4 games – to step up. And Paul has played really well the last two games.
On the Lightning being dangerous despite their struggles:
I feel this way about playing Washington and playing Tampa Bay. I don’t necessarily look at their record and their spot in the standings as an indicator of where their team is at. They have a lot of skill with (Steven) Stamkos, (Martin) St. Louis, (Vincent) Lecavalier, and Ryan Malone up there in the top six. This is a team that plays really well away from the puck. They make it hard on you. I think it’s a tall test. Their power play is really dangerous regardless of what their percentage is. We’re going to have to deal with all those factors (Sunday) and really play a good game to get to our game and to be able to do what we need to do to have success against what I consider to be a tough team. Little darling: Michelle Crechiolo
We made it!! Yay!!
By the way, I left my bag on the bus and ran off to get these pics of the guys coming off. I should have known better. This is what happens when you leave a computer bag unattended around 20 hockey players.
Practice starting early. Pens Malkin is only player missing from practice. Crosby is on the ice with the team, but that's only because the Lightning will also practice here today and there was limited time for him to skate on his own.
Here are some pics from the team boarding the bus to head to practice...
Neal (left); Jeffrey & Tangradi (right)
Group of guys (left); Michalek carries his skates while Duper has tape on his stick (right)
Gotta wait in line to put your gear underneath the bus
Goalies really have it tough, can't even put on pads, Fleury (left)
Crosby loads his gear (left); Wheels on the bus go.... (right)
Good morning from Tampa! Today the Pens have a 12pm practice in Brandon. The players will change into their practice gear (minus skates) at St. Pete Times Forum and then bus to the practice facility. Last time the Pens did this their bus crashed and they had to take cabs to practice
. Let's hope they are more fortunate this time around.
What a day yesterday was!! First the team rallied around their captain Sidney Crosby
by wearing Cs on their jersey
at the morning skate to display their support. That support then filtered out to Pens fans
en mass, who showed their own version of solidarity through social media. And by the way, Crosby skated after the team
was finished at practice.
Then the Pens snapped a 6-game losing streak
by defeating a red-hot Florida Panthers team, 4-1
. And the best part? After the big win the team blasted Flo Rida's "Good Feeling" in the locker room as their victory song - which happened to be the song I opened up yesterday's Pens Report!!!
Since we are in Florida and rumor has it Pittsburgh is brutally cold right now, I'm going to start the day with a little Beatles tune called "Here Comes the Sun." Enjoy.