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Penguins Report: 11/1/11

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

  • November Mustache Boy crowned (12:41 PM).
  • Vitale before pic (5:05 PM).
  • Letang & Staal maintenance days, expected to play Thur (1:29 PM).
  • Staal & Letang miss practice (11:10 AM).
  • Crosby & Engelland get physical (4:18 PM).
  • Coach Bylsma on Crosby and practice (4:13 PM).
  • Remember when Fleury was drafted? If not, this will jog that memory (10:50 AM).
  • Half-court hockey (12:10 PM).
  • Pens pics (11:48 AM).
  • “Bonfires burning bright, pumpkin faces in the night…” (10:30 AM). 

5:05 PM:
Here is a Joe Vitale before pic. We'll get an updated pic at the end of the month of his epic mustache.

4:18 PM:
Sidney Crosby

On getting hit by Engelland:
I was making a move and standing up straight. He didn’t even get me that hard. I was off balance. I went for a bit of a ride there.

On embellishing the fall:
No, he’s a strong guy. I was off balance and he caught me. That’s to be expected. Hopefully I can get a few more like that as time goes on.

On asking players to hit him:
He didn’t even hit me that hard. He was just playing me and I was off balance. As I get more comfortable and guys get more comfortable battling against me, it will become more normal. It’s always like that for anyone coming back.

On initiating contact:
I don’t want to run anybody myself, but you still have to make sure you engage and get that physical play in.

On engaging MacIntyre:
That’s a good one to pick for me. If I can take a hit from him then I’ll be ready.

Deryk Engelland

On hitting Crosby:
I didn't really hit him that hard. I think he might have embellished it a bit (joking).

On the message of the hit:
Welcome back, I guess, for him.

On knocking him to the ice:
I really didn't mean to. But I think it's good for him.

On worrying when he hits Crosby hard:
I'm more worried about not hitting him hard because he's going to make me look stupid if I don't hit him hard. A guy like Sid, you have to play him more conservatively. If you rush in and try to hit him, he'll make you look bad, even in practice.

Remembers Halloween: Josh Yohe

4:13 PM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…

On Crosby’s contact today:
Every time he gets a bump there are jokes. He bumped into (Fleury) in one of the drills and we were joking that he had to go find someone to hit and chose the goalie. There were a few times he got some bumps out there today. With this type of practice and this amount of practice time, you get a few more situations. We were in D-zone coverage and he got bumped a few times. It’s more and more of that.

On telling players to hit him:
There are players on our team that are more apt to hit a person in practice and play that way. You put certain colors against certain colors because you know that’s the case. Paul Martin will go stick-on-puck, but Deryk Engelland is more apt to give Sid something in the corner. You try to create those scenarios with a 3-on-3 drill or whatever, and set those matchups up. Those situations happen more.

On what details the team worked on today:
Today was a stick-on-puck focus and forecheck focus for our team. Not only prior to going on the ice, we paid attention to that. We showed examples of where we need to be and then carried it on the ice. I think every drill, but one had a stick-on-puck focus at some point in time, whether it was a forward or tracking back and defending one-on-one, playing D-zone coverage. Forechecking and puck management, we had a couple drills for that as well. We’re trying to get to where we need to be in terms of our team and what we expect. A lot of those details are a part of the standard we need to have for our team to be effective. They were there today.

1:29 PM:
Pens coach Dan Bylsma said that the Letang and Staal were maintenance days, some bumps and bruises. He expects both to play on the West Coast trip. He added that Ben Lovejoy, who left practice holding his chin, needed stitches, but is fine.

"In terms of the guys that weren't on the ice, it's continued maintenance," head coach Dan Bylsma said. "Recovering from bumps and bruises for Kris Letang and Jordan Staal. Jordan did skate this morning, a little bit on his own.

"Ben Lovejoy, other than a facial superficial cut, is going to get stitches, but he'll be fine."

12:41 PM:
And November Mustache Boy is.........JOE VITALE!!!!

And Dustin Jeffrey is free!!

12:10 PM:
Few more pics...

The Pens played a little half court puck at practice between the blue lines. The losing team had to perform burpees.

11:48 AM:
Pics heard around the world...

Dustin Jeffrey's last day as Mustache Boy - maybe (left); The Hunchback of Magnitogorsk (right)

The puck was so afraid of Johnson that it willingly ran away from the net (left); That's Pascal Dupuis. You know how I know? There is a number 9 on his helmet. Dead give away (right)

Orpik's infamous stare strikes fear in the hearts of men, women, children and manatees all over the world (left); MacIntyre & Jeffrey look like transplants from the 1970s with their facial hair. #groovy (right)

11:10 AM:
Jordan Staal and Kris Letang are not on the ice for the Pens practice. They're the only players missing aside from Tyler Kennedy, Zbynek Michalek and Brian Strait.

10:50 AM:
We'll continue our weekly video segments with Great Moments in Penguins History - the latest installment from Bob Grove. 

10:30 AM:
Good morning from Southpointe! The Pens will hit the ice for an 11 am practice, but the big story of the day is that today is Nov. 1. And we all know what the first of the month means – Mustache Boy!

Current Mustache Boy Dustin Jeffrey will get to clean up his upper lip at the conclusion of practice as his term will expire. So who will be Mustache Boy for the month of November? We’ll know the answer in a few hours…stay tuned.


If you checked in to yesterday’s Penguins Report then you were tricked and treated with a great Halloween edition from Michelle Crechiolo – which included everything from the usual hockey info, to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” to Pens-themed pumpkins, and even pics of the guys with puppies.

Now I know that today is All Saints Day, and that Halloween is technically over. But since Michelle stole the show yesterday, I’d like to get in one final Halloween-themed video.

So this morning we’ll start with A.F.I.’s “Halloween” – a cover of Misfits.


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