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Penguins Report: 10/14/11

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Orpik skating on own, Malkin no setbacks (12:49 PM).
  • No Orpik or Malkin at practice (11:14 AM).
  • Line combos (11:40 AM).
  • Lokomotiv Tribute video (3:04 PM).
  • How adorable is Rhys Adams? Answer: too adorable (1:14 PM).
  • Give blood, save a life (4:41 PM).
  • Coach Bylsma on Asham, Caps and Sabres (1:02 PM).
  • Words of wisdom from Crosby, Fleury and Neal (1:12 PM).
  • Brooks pics (11:27 AM).
  • “Oh baby, baby how was I supposed to know?...” (10:30 AM).

4:41 PM:
In a moment of honesty, if any of you are free on Sunday, Oct. 23, please come to CONSOL Energy Center and donate blood to the Red Cross from 8 am to 3 pm.

And if I can't convince you to contribute to a good cause, maybe Jordan Staal can.

3:04 PM:
We've written a lot about the Lokomotiv patch and bracelets to raise money for the Yaroslavl victims' families. But here is a nice video piece that sums it all up.

1:14 PM:
After practice Craig Adams got on the ice with HBO 24/7 star Rhys Adams for a little skate session.

1:12 PM:
As I said, there was no major contact with Crosby. Here's what he had to say... (as well as Fleury and Neal).

Sidney Crosby

On if there was contact in practice:
Not really, a few bumps here and there but nothing major.

On replicating game contact in a practice:
It’s pretty hard. Even typically when we practice, it’s not the same physicality as you’d see in a game. If you can get close to that and get used to some more bodies out there, that was the first time in a little bit I was a part of the power play and normal movement, that sort of thing. All that stuff takes timing and getting used to. It’s good to get that stuff too.

On if the game comes right back:
It takes time, generally yes but I haven’t not played this long before. There are a lot of things. There are a lot things, having to make quicker plays, react more than just one guy – normally you’re out there battling with one guy. You have to worry about four other guys on the ice too now. It’s a little different. It just takes time to get used to that.

On if he’s back to normal in traffic:
Yes, I feel good. The more comfortable you get the more everything slows down for you. I’m starting to see everything a little bit better, but as part of your timing, as far as just knowing the way that I see that or I respond to that is much different. Obviously it gave me some trouble at one point.

On when it came back that he felt good:
Probably in camp it started to get a little better. It’s a progression thing. Even at this point it’s a lot better than it was. It can get better too, as far as my timing and seeing all those things. It’s just one of those things that takes time.

Marc-Andre Fleury

On being sick:
It’s been a rough two days, but it’s good now.

On who will be next to get sick:
I think I was the first one. We kept our distance for a little bit. They should be alright.

On getting back into the game:
It’s always fun to play games, Saturday night here in Pittsburgh. The Sabres have been a good team. It should be a good challenge.

On the Sabres:
I just like when we win. It doesn’t matter how the game is played. There has always been interesting games with us and Buffalo. That’s what I expect tomorrow too.

James Neal

On becoming comfortable on new team:
You come to a new team and you have a fresh start going through camp. I’ve just felt comfortable here with everything off the ice. Your life is turned upside down with one phone call. Coming in and getting accustomed to everything and becoming good buddies with everybody is an adjustment and takes time. I’m fortunate enough it’s been easy here to come in. The guys are very welcoming and that helps a lot.

On playing with Malkin and Crosby:
They are two very skilled players. I’ve had a chance to watch them from afar and see what they can do. To be here and be apart of it is something special. I’m fortunate enough to be in a position to play with them.

Secondary assist: Kaitlin Zurawsky

1:02 PM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…

On Asham’s fight:
I have seen the actions afterwards, the gestures. I think Arron is dead on when he said the emotions got the best of him. He was certainly jacked up for the situation and the fight. The gestures, he’s right. They were overboard, excessive and classless. I think immediately he felt remorse and regret. He wishes he didn’t make the gestures and he responded as such. I don’t think he’s that type of player, not that type of organization. He tried to take them back. You can’t take them back, but he showed remorse. We talked about not doing that type of thing again.

On the pluses from the game:
In terms of the overall game, we are heads and tails better than we are in the previous four in terms of trying to get to our game, pinning teams back, playing with quickness and speed, getting the shot total up, offensive zone time, chances, limiting the other team’s chances. The chances against, I don’t have a final total, but during the game it was very minimal against. That’s a lot like we want to play. We don’t get the two points. We’re disappointed. We give up a penalty and power-play chance in overtime, which is a tough situation to kill – two minutes of four on three. They get Ithe goal and the extra point. The power play came up big in the third period with a goal to tie us up. That’s also a big plus. We’ve talked a lot about our power play the last few years. It’s not only getting goals, but coming up with big goals for our team. That was certainly a big one to get us even with five (minutes) to go. There were some pluses, but we also did make some mistakes that did cost us. You make one or two mistakes in a game like that against a good team, it did cost us. We did make them. Lots of pluses. It’s something to learn. We did grab a point and move on.

On the Sabres:
I haven’t turned my full attention to a scout as of yet so I haven’t dissected it. But I have watched a couple of their games a week or so again, an exhibition game, knowing that we play them soon in the season. There is a lot in the way they play. It’s the same in terms of their defense being a huge factor for them, getting up ice, pinching down the wall and really being a factor in the game. We’ve added a couple of real nice players. Now you’ve seen the success they’ve had to start off with. We expect to see that again from them. We expect to see their D being a big factor. We’re going to take a more detailed look at them this afternoon. Expect to see a very fast team, a team that activates all five guys on offense both coming out of the D zone and the rush and in the offensive zone. Even before they were a dangerous team that way. Now they’ve added a few more pieces to that puzzle and some more skill. I’m not sure I’ll get real excited about what I see this afternoon on the tape, but that’s what we expect for them tomorrow. 

12:49 PM:
Coach Bylsma gave an update on Malkin's and Orpik's status...

"Other than Brooks skating harder today on the ice, I don't have an update on how he felt on the ice. I'll get that later.

"Malkin is essentially off the ice today after playing yesterday. We'll see tomorrow where he's at. I don't really have an update. He's still dealing with the same issue. We'll see where he's at tomorrow when he gets in. No setbacks."

12:15 PM:
Picture perfect...

Reading Rainbow time (left); Park and HC Bylsma discuss the new trade deal between the United States and South Korea (right)

Big Mac looks angrily at his toes (left); Johnson makes a puck float. The force is strong in that one (right)

Staal lean back, lean back, lean back (left); Asst coach Reirden gets low for a closer look at Letang's pass (right)

Not sure what Neal is doing, but I'll bet he's seconds away from scoring a goal (left); Letang right before his nuckle puck shot (right)

Fleury has some pretty new pads (left); Crosby, he hasn't been in the news lately at all (right)

11:40 AM:
The Pens are in their color-coded jerseys. Lines are:

Sullivan-Crosby-Neal (blue)
Kunitz-Staal-Kennedy (white)
Asham-Park-Adams (yellow)
Cooke-Vitale-Dupuis (white)
MacIntyre-Letestu-Jeffrey (grey)

11:27 AM:
Defenseman Brooks Orpik at his pre-practice skate with strength coach Mike Kadar.

Orpik with the patented stare (left); Orpik with a very blue Kadar (right)

Orpik punishes a puck for looking at him wrong (left); A maniacal smile (right)

11:14 AM:
The Pens are on the ice for their 11 am practice at CONSOL Energy Center. The only two players not on the ice are defenseman Brooks Orpik and center Evgeni Malkin. Orpik skated on his own prior to the team's practice.

10:30 AM:
Pens forward James Neal has been blazing saddles through the first five games of the season, scoring four goals and five points. Even though the Pens lost in overtime to the Capitals Thursday, they still earned a point in the standings and boast a 3-0-2 record.

The big news of Thursday (other than Kunitz's two-year contract), was that captain Sidney Crosby took the next step in his recovery from a concussion by being cleared for full contact

Now that Crosby is cleared for full contact he will start taking some hits from teammates. Although Crosby joked that he may have to instigate since his teammates may be reluctant to hit him. So with that, let's kick start the blog with a cover of Britney Spears' "Hit Me Baby One More Time," by the ageless Weezer.


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