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Penguins Report: 11/14/11

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Crosby status the same; Kennedy & Sullivan game time decision Tue (1:24 PM).
  • Pens lines (11:23 AM).
  • Sullivan not practicing (11:20 AM).
  • Lange talks about Mario (10:40 AM).
  • Gobble gobble (4:40 PM).
  • Coach Bylsma on Crosby, Malkin and comebacks (2:08 PM).
  • Plays of the Week (10:50 AM).
  • Pens pics (1:48 PM).
  • “My cups already overfilled…” (10:30 AM).

4:40 PM:
The Pens held their annual Turkey Delivery in the Hill District today. Staal, Dupuis, Park & Vitale took part in the event. Michelle Crechiolo has more.

Staal: "Do you like apples? How do you like dem apples?" (left); Dupuis aka "Butterball" (right)

2:08 PM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…

On if there is a tangible sign that Sidney Crosby and the doctors are looking for:
In terms of on-ice stuff there isn’t something we are looking for. The doctors will be looking at the next level. I’m not educated on or know what that is.

On what he looks for from Evgeni Malkin in a game:
We just want to talk about the last game. Evgeni Malkin had 13 scoring chances, which is an outrageous number. Offensively, blocking the net, playing the puck, that’s a huge accomplishment for a guy. On the defensive side of things, there was responsibility with the puck. Puck management is a big factor for allowing his line to play the right way. Then in defensive zone coverage, coming back in and seeing the indicator and stopping a big thing. He’s doing the right things there. I wish I could say it’s all perfect, but he’s not. The game against Dallas he was the guy who we put on the ice at the end of the game because he was winning draws and he was playing very good defensively when we were up 3-1.

On Malkin’s one-timer and style of play:
Even strength is a hard one to implement, especially because he likes that puck so much. He’s a guy that when he is playing well, has the puck on his stick when he’s in the offensive zone. It’s tough to set up like you would maybe a James Neal who can be in the softer area of three. “Geno’s” the guy getting the puck, much like Geno gets the puck to Staal for the goal in Carolina for our first goal. It’s an area you find James Neal, but you don’t find Evgeni very often. He’s hunting the puck down and has it on his stick and making those plays. Really where you see him most often is five-on-four on the power play and five-on-three, as well those are situations where he can be a factor with that shot.

On his reaction to the Milan Lucic hit on Ryan Miller:
I saw one replay of the hit and from what I saw was Ryan Miller coming out to play a puck a long ways out of the crease at the tops of the circles almost. I think there is going to be contact regardless of what Lucic does, whether he tries to hit him or doesn’t try to hit him. There’s going to be contact because he is coming out on a puck that high and he’s going to play it. Some contact ensues, whether he tried to avoid him or not I don’t think is debatable. He clearly tried to follow through on the contact that was going to be made because they were coming together. My understanding is that there is kind of a vague rule in the rulebook that makes it a penalty what he did. There’s also unwritten rules in hockey with that situation and what you can expect after and since they’re not written down I won’t verbalize them.

On being better in comeback situations:
We’ve always preached and believed that we are going to play the same way no matter what the situation is. No matter if we are at home or on the road, whether we are up in a game or down in a game, we still play the same way so that hasn’t changed. We have done a few things, maybe a few different schematic things to try to get more push on the offensive side when we are down. When you are down 1-0 going into the third period we don’t go to them, but if we are down 3-0 going into the third period you go to them. Then if you’re down by one goal after five, six minutes late in the game we will also implement some of those things. That’s a little bit different then we have in the past. We have done a few things. We still haven’t changed the way we play and our mindset, but we have done one or two things where we have involved defense a little bit more. We’ve taken a little bit more risk and effort to get more offensive chances and to push a little bit more on the offensive side. 

On clarifying Crosby’s status:
We stated we will let (the media) know when he is playing. It’s not going to be a secret. I’m not telling anything else other than there is no change in his status.

On the defense pairings at practice:
There were different pairings on the back end with our D-men. I wouldn’t read too much into it. We have three guys that we really focus on playing in defensive situations. Some teams have two lines that we have to liberate on our matchups so getting different looks on our back end with those three guys in different combinations. We are talking about Brooks Orpik, Paul Martin, and Kris Letang being those three main guys. Getting them all to play together in practice is just the ability to use those different ones in the game.

Going hungry: Kaitlin Zurawsky

1:48 PM:
Pens pics...

Pens goalie coach Gilles Meloche has a hidden passion for sweeping. Creases and chimneys: consider yourselves warned

Marc-Andre Fleury is testing out a new technique for stopping a puck....with his mind. That puck just abruptly stopped. Coincidence? (left); The Pens gather for the next drill. Don't worry though, asst athletic trainer Scott Adams is there. You can calm your fears #AdamsWatch (right)

Asst coach Todd Reirden (left) and HC Dan Bylsma (right) experiment with non-verbal signals. Pretty soon they'll be communicating from the bench like they do in baseball

Kunitz: "AAAAkjrlaljreakjl;a;lkjfalekhaljefjalfjealkje!!!!!!!!!!" <-- direct quote (left); I would quote Letang and Fleury, but I think they're speaking in Aramaic. No hablo (right)

1:24 PM:
Pens coach Dan Bylsma said there is no change in Sidney Crosby's status and that Tyler Kennedy (concussion) and Steve Sullivan (lower body) will be game-time decisions on Tuesday.

11:23 AM:
Pens lines at practice:


(Kennedy rotating with Park)

11:20 AM:
The Pens are on the ice for practice. Steve Sullivan, who left Saturday's game with a lower-body injury, is not practicing. All healthy forwards and defensemen are out there, along with Crosby and Kennedy.

10:50 AM:
Before we move on to the new week, let's take a quick look back at the best plays of the previous week.

10:40 AM:
It's Monday morning, so the time has come for a Mike Lange Journal entry. Today's topic is Mario Lemieux's greatest career accomplishment.

10:30 AM:
Good morning from CONSOL Energy Center! The Pens have an 11am practice today. The team will host the Colorado Avalanche, the former team of asst coach Tony Granato, Tuesday night at 7:30 pm.


Tuesday night also marks the Pens' 20th annual Score Against Hunger Food Drive. Food and cash donations will be collected at all three entrance gates. Fans that bring non-perishable food items or make a cash donation will be eligible to win autographed Pens' memorabilia. For more info on the Food Drive click here.

In light of Tuesday's Food Drive, today's song will be dedicated to my friend Jami and the loving, giving spirit of her mother Billie Marlowe. Every year since 2007, Jami has organized the benefit Jami Luvfest in honor and memory of her late mother, Billie Marlowe. The event, which was held last Friday, benefits the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. 

People like Jami show that anyone can make a difference. You don't have to be a big organization or company. Just like on a hockey team, everyone has a role to play. One small act of kindness can change the world. Jami is just one person doing what she can to help other people in the loving memory of her mother. (And plus, Jami is a huge Pens fan and avid reader of the Pens Report.)

So for Jami and Billie, here is Temple of the Dog "Hunger Strike." Enjoy.

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