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Penguins Report: 1/17/11

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Pens’ lines – no changes (11:31 AM).
  • Godard still working on his own (11:23 AM).
  • Coach Bylsma on Crosby and Detroit (1:42 PM).
  • Kunitz, Orpik and Staal spit knowledge (1:25 PM).
  • Eight high school hockey captains attended practice (12:17 PM).
  • Father-son bonding, Craig Adams and Rhys (1:43 PM).
  • Behind the scenes, IPH with Fleury and Letang (4:02 PM).
  • Pens pics (12:07 PM).
  • “I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord." (10:48 AM).

4:02 PM:
Quebec native Marc-Andre Fleury and Kris Letang interview with Steve Mears for Inside Penguins Hockey. Here are some pics of them.

Letang and Mears (left); Fleury with his Steelers cap (right)

Letang answers Mears' questions

The camera lines up a shot of Fleury during his interview

1:43 PM:
Craig Adams and his son/HBO star Rhys skated at CONSOL Energy Center after the Pens practice Monday. The youngster refuels with a little Gatorade juice.


1:42 PM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…

On Crosby’s current status:
I have not spoken with the trainers today about Sid and where he’s at and how he’s feeling. I don’t have new information for you about that situation. He continues to get better. He won’t progress until he’s symptom free to go on to the next state.

On Kunitz and Dupuis’ consistency:
A lot of their game depends on – their intelligent players – their work and their speed and tenacity, physical play. That’s their challenge to bring to the game every night. They’ve been doing that consistently. When they do that they’re effective players because they put pressure, force teams into difficult situations, create turnovers, create offensive zone time. They do that with speed, physical play, smart hockey. That is a good thing whether they play with Crosby or Malkin. They’re effective players when they do that. They’ve been doing that game in and game out for our team.

On the rivalry with Detroit
There are games on the schedule that we look at when we get it. We always look to see when the Red Wings might be coming to town or when we’re going there. Regardless of what names are on the jerseys or not, we have plenty of history. There are plenty of feeling, plenty of hard-fought games, some good memories, some bad memories. We know we’re playing a good team, a team at the top of the league in terms of quality of team we’re playing. They’ll be some energy up, some animosity, it will make for an interesting game. It’s definitely one where we are going to look to put our best foot forward.

On if he remembers the Red Wings ever not being a contender:
I grew up in Michigan. They were referenced to as The Red Wings, but it wasn’t The Red Wings when I was a fan. I actually think I was one of the reasons they started being good, I stopped being a fan when I turned to pro hockey. They started rising up to the top of the league with Bryan Murray’s team. I somewhat take responsibility for them being a good team for so long.

On mutual respect between the franchises:
I think there has been a respect between us and the Red Wings. Starting at the top through their scouting, management, coaching staff and their team. Maybe you don’t model yourselves identically after them, but you model after the consistency of their organization. Their ability to get players, and bring players in and do that within the salary cap and the quality they put on the ice, I think that’s something everyone has looked at the Red Wings and been envious of. We have been able to do similar things. Over the past six or seven years we have had good teams and different players. If we can be compared to them, we are happy to be compared to them in that way and we hope to keep doing that in the future.

On his record with Red Wings coach:
If you’re asking me if I know my record against Todd Richards, the answer is yes. Mike Babcock is a guy I played for, and during the lockout when I was assistant coaching in Cincinnati Mike was down quite often that year. Having coached against him in a Stanley Cup Final there is a little bit of history. I think senses are heightened a bit more when you’re coaching against the Detroit Red Wings and you’re coaching against Mike Babcock, and there’s some history. I still shake hands with Todd Richards after the game, the same thing applies for Mike Babcock. Maybe we don’t do it right after the game, we talk occasionally. But there is a match-up between teams, players and personalities and I guess we apply to that.

Assist: Prince Wright

1:25 PM:
Sounds heard around the locker room...

Chris Kunitz

On Marc-Andre Fleury:
If you need the goalie to make a big save, he’s always there to make it for us. We don’t want to rely on him too much, because you don’t want to wear him out. But he’s been a special player for us.

On how the team is playing without Crosby:
I don’t know if we’ve been playing well, but we’ve had a few games where our system has been good. And our goaltender helped us out the last couple games. You can never replace a guy like Sid, because he’s going to dominate games for you. So everyone else has to step up when he’s out of the lineup.

On Detroit:
When you compete against another organization in the Finals two years in a row, there’s always going to be that rivalry, even if we only play each other once or twice a year. They’re obviously one of the best teams in the West, even with quite a few injuries. So it’s going to be a good match-up.

Brooks Orpik

On Detroit:
I know they got a lot of injuries right now. I’m sure they are hoping to get a lot of those guys back after the All-Star Game. But they have a lot of younger guys that have bigger roles now. They’ve always been in the system but they are just taking on bigger roles. It’s still the same system and the same coach. It’s a lot of familiar guys.

On if he allows his mind to wander back to the two Stanley Cup Finals when Detroit comes around:
Because you don’t play them very often, it’s usually a quick flash back, but it’s nothing you dwell on too much. The systems are all pretty much the same with Babcock, so it’s always a pretty entertaining game.

On beating Boston:
It was a little different. Going into the third, we said we had them exactly where we wanted them. We didn’t want the lead going into the third. But it was something that snowballed on us the last couple games with the way they scored two real quick there and the crowd was into it. But Flower was big for us there, with the saves he made.

Jordan Staal

On the Boston game:
It felt nice to contribute with a couple points, and it was a good overall game.

On his offensive touch:
I think a lot of things are starting to come back. My legs have felt better the last few games. Just timing is the biggest thing that’s starting to come back – just getting open and finding openings.

On his timing:
Even the neutral zone I felt like before I was a little bit lost. But now I’m starting to get openings and getting some speed through the neutral zone. Just different stuff like that still takes some time, but it felt good.

On his injury:
It was my first long injury of my career. It was a very tough time, with a lot of ups and downs. But to get back in that first game was very nice and obviously to get that first goal was nice as well. After that, it’s nice to play well and contribute to the team.

Shorthanded goal: Tony Jovenitti

12:17 PM:
Eight local high school hockey teams will play in their own “Winter Classics” at the North and South Park outdoor rinks in the next two weeks. More details here.

The team captains of the eight participating "Outdoor Classics" were at CONSOL Energy Center to watch the Pens practice and took a trip into the Pens locker room.

Head coach Dan Bylsma spoke to the players and shook their hands. A few players also talked to the high school stars, including Brent Johnson and Ben Lovejoy.

And yes, that is the legend Tony "T-Bone" Jovenitti with the Pens mic.

12:07 PM:
Pics that work on holidays...

Great piece on Brooks Orpik (right) in the Tribune-Review today from Rob Rossi

Engelland (right)

Talbot (left); Staal (right)

11:31 AM:
Lovejoy is back on the ice for the Pens. He didn't make the trip to Boston last Saturday due to an illness. Combos below:


11:23 AM:
Players on the ice now for practice. Eric Godard skated earlier in the day, and continues to work on his own.

Godard and strength coach Mike Kadar (left)

10:48 AM:
The Pens will be on the ice today at 11 a.m. for practice at CONSOL Energy Center after having a day off on Sunday. 

But, today is really a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. Dr. King has always been one of my idols for his vision and fearless use of the non-violent resistance strategy to power the civil rights movement. Rather than fight with fists or guns, Dr. King stole a page out of Mohandas Gandhi’s playbook – satyagraha (resistance through disobedience). 

Dr. King showed that if you want to change the world, you have to change the conscious of the public. If you change beliefs, you change behavior. King made his arguments transcended the old guard, and tapped into basic principles of humanity. 

We'll start the day with an autotune version of Dr. King's final speech in Memphis. He was prophetic in his words, saying that he would not be alive to see the fruits of his movement, but encouraged the audience to fight on without him and they would be rewarded. 

"We've got some difficult days ahead, but it really doesn't matter with me now because I have been to the mountain top. I've looked over and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.

"I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."

Non-autotune version. "Somewhere I read...."

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