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Penguins Report: 1/9/12

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Updates on Marin, Adams & Jeffrey (12:33 PM).
  • Asham practices; Martin & Adams missing (11:04 AM).
  • Lines and PP unit (11:23 AM).
  • Pens recall Tangradi (10:45 AM).
  • Staal, Neal & Adams added to lengthy injury list (10:20 AM).
  • Asham & Tangradi spit game (1:00 PM).
  • Coach Bylsma on Tangradi & losing centers (12:49 PM).
  • Plays of the Week (1:05 PM).
  • Game time change for Pens (11:17 AM).
  • Quote of the Day (11:53 AM).
  • Meesh almost dies – not really (10:00 AM).
  • Lange talks about Pens’ 2nd Cup (10:30 AM).
  • Pens pics (11:35 AM).

1:05 PM:
Since it's Monday, let's take a look back at the top plays from the previous week:

1:00 PM:
Sounds heard from around the locker room...

Arron Asham

On if he is able to go Tuesday:
Yep. I’m feeling a lot better than I did. Getting the strength back, so it’s probably going to be a good chance that I’ll be in (Tuesday).
On if he blocked the shot off his kneecap:
Yeah, that was it. I don’t block too many shots. This one got me in a pretty tender spot. My leg ballooned up pretty good. Everything’s feeling great right now and as far as I know, if I can crack the lineup I’m in (Tuesday).
On the frustration of not being able to play:
I think it’s frustrating for everyone. It seems like we can play half a game really well and the other half we’re on our heels. We’ve got to work through this little slump we’re in. The guys are still confident in this room. We’ve got a team that do some damage. It’s just a matter of getting some healthy bodies back and playing like we can.
On if he’s ever seen a team hit with injuries like this:
Well, my first two years in Montreal we were banged up like this. It’s tough to win hockey games when you’ve got 4-5 of your best players out. So far, the team’s responded pretty well. We’ve just got to put this stuff behind us. No matter who we have in this dressing room, we’ve got to play our style and start getting some wins. We’re slowly slipping out of the playoff picture. We can’t let that happen.

Eric Tangradi

On the Pens’ injury:
 The early part of the season it was on the D end. And we saw D leave the dressing room as late as game time to go up to Pittsburgh. And now it’s kind of a forward bug. When you are (in WBS) you are looking for any opportunity you can get. Injuries are an awful thing for a team, but when you can get a chance to put the sweater on and get another opportunity, another crack at it you are definitely excited.

On playing the same system:
I’m a third-year guy in the system. Colin (McDonald) is a first year guy and I’m sure his transition was pretty easy. He was just able to just go out there and play. I know from past experience there’s not too much thinking you need to do as far as systems. You can just go out there, you’re comfortable with the system and you can just play your game. 

On his current play:
I’m getting penalty minutes down there. I’ve found the offensive part of my game. I’m getting to the net-front, getting greasy goals down there and consistency has come a long way as well. So I definitely feel pretty comfortable and confident with the way my game’s been now. I guess now it’s time to transition that to the NHL level and try and make an impact.

On Wilkes-Barre chatter about Pens:
Usually after a game a lot of guys will look at the time sheets up here. You can usually tell by a guy’s minutes whether someone has been injured or not, so we try to pay a little bit of attention down there just as far as injuries up top. You can never be too ready. Yesterday was an off day for us and there was some talk in the room that there were some injuries. So a couple of guys took it a little easy, myself included, Saturday night and having yesterday off just in case the call was made. 

Assists: Michelle Crechiolo & Brittany Goncar

12:49 PM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…

On Tangradi’s game recently:
The thing I don’t get to see is footage (of WBS). I read, get reports and talk to the coaches, Bill Guerin and Tom Fitzgerald. I don’t get to see footage. When he plays his game he’s a net-front guy. He’s around the cage, down low, hodling the puck. That’s where he’s had his success. That’s where he’s been doing well. That’s what he can be for us. He’ll get that opportunity, especially in the circumstances and line he’ll play with and where he’ll be playing. He’ll get a chance to be that type of player. He’s a physical guy, offensive-zone guy, holding onto the puck, net-front guy. He can do that and be affective in that role for us.

On losing centers:
Pascal will be part of the answer. He’s done a real good job in that spot considering he’s a winger and played winger his whole life. He’s done a good job in the four games that he’s played there. There are a few areas where he’s learning to be comfortable with the puck with his routes and responsibilities. He does a pretty decent job, especially in a straight-up matchup situation, where he knows he’s going against a (Patrik) Elias. I think he’s done a good job and is a good option.
Richard Park is playing more and more hockey. He can hold more minutes. He’ll get more time at center. You saw last game when he was 6-0 in his first six faceoffs, he went out took a lion share of the faceoffs for Pascal in those situations. You’ll see that.
Joe Vitale can be used in that regard, faceoff wise, when he’s going. We’re not too far away from seeing Dustin Jeffrey in a game. That’ll be a guy who will go into the center position. Then you might see Pascal playing wing when that happens and when Dustin can play more minutes as well.

12:33 PM:
Pens coach Bylsma said that Martin was ill so the team told him to stay away from the rink. He added that there is no update yet on Adams. Bylsma said later that "we're not too far away from seeing Dustin Jeffrey in a game."

11:53 AM:
Funny moment in practice. Malkin was skating backwards and tripped over a teammate, falling the ice. He slowly got on one knee. That's when Dupuis yelled:

Malkin obliged. He got up and finished the drill.

11:35 AM:
Pens pics...

Dupuis looks to the heavens and hears a voice say "I am" (left); Speaking of Duper, look at him laughing after he playfully tripped Sullivan to the ice (right)

Fleury is the bravest goalie in the league, practicing with no pads - just kidding of course (left); Jeffrey bounces the puck on his stick (right)

Asham is back at practice. Glee!! (left); MacIntyre & Lovejoy hug it out #Bros4Life (right)

11:23 AM:
Here are the Pens lines from practice:


The Pens used Kennedy on the top PP in place of Neal:
Sullivan-Niskanen (points); Malkin, Kunitz, Kennedy up front.

11:17 AM:
The Pens announced that they've changed their game time for the Jan. 22 contest against Washington. Originally slated as a 3pm faceoff, now the game will begin at 12:30pm.


11:04 AM:
The Pens are on the ice for their 11am practice. Asham is practicing with his teammates for the first time since suffering a lower-body injury against New Jersey Dec. 31 after blocking a shot.

Adams and Martin are not on the ice with the team.

10:45 AM:
The Pens made a roster move this morning, recalling forward Eric Tangradi from WBS. Tangradi, who leads WBS with 14 goals and ranks second with 25 points in 30 games, will likely fill the spot of Neal.

10:30 AM:
In this week's Mike Lange Journal the Hall of Fame broadcaster talks about his memories of the Pens' second Stanley Cup championship run in 1992.

10:20 AM:
Another note from Sunday's practice, this one is hockey related, there were some injury updates on the Pens. Head coach Dan Bylsma said that Staal will be out 4-6 weeks with a knee injury, but did not require surgery. Neal will be out "weeks, not days" with a broken foot. 

Adams "stressed a previous injury" Sunday after falling awkwardly to the ice. Bylsma said that he will be re-evaluated today. We'll see if there is any update later.

Full details on the injuries here.

10:00 AM:
Good morning from CONSOL Energy Center! The Pens will hold an 11am practice today before starting a hectic stretch of playing four games in six days, with three of them being on the road (Ottawa, Tuesday; @ Washington, Wednesday; @ Florida, Friday; @Tampa Bay, Sunday).


Fun little story from Sunday's practice. The Mario Lemieux Fantasy Camp held their championship games before the Pens' 11:30am practice. Fans scattered the stands, including the areas where we normally set up our work spot. So for the first time ever, Michelle and I set up on the opposite side of the arena, which is usually vacant.

That puck nearly killed Michelle
I was having a casual conversation with our camerawoman when I heard a weird sound coming out of Meesh, who was sitting to my right. I turned my head as her slight groan accelerated into a full scream and watched her literally jump out of her chair to hide and take cover. Then a loud thud boomed in the stands behind us.

Meesh looked at me with wide eyes like she just saw the ghost of her dead grandmother and said, "Did you guys NOT see that puck!?!?! It was coming right at us."

As Meesh peaked up over the seat with just her eyes I heard someone on the ice yell, "I'm sorry!!" I turned to see Chris Kunitz waiving up at us. "I'm so sorry! I didn't see you up there!"

I can't decide the best part of Meesh's near-death experience (as she calls it). It's either, A) that she just hit the deck with a scream, but didn't warn myself and our camerawoman of the impending doom; or B) that she covered her face with a small notepad, as if that would protect her from the projectile puck.

Actually, favorite part is C) that she kept the puck as a souvenir.


We'll open the day with a fun little instrumental groove by Ratatat called "Loud Pipes."

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