Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Pittsburgh Penguins

Penguins Report: 11/9/11

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Injury updates on Lovejoy, Kennedy & Crosby (1:09 PM).
  • Staal back at practice (11:03 AM).
  • Recent roster moves (10:23 AM). 
  • Project Bundle-UP (4:28 PM).
  • Spotlight shining bright on Letang (10:35 AM).
  • Ubes presh; translation – uber precious (4:34 PM)
  • Grover remembers the comeback against Detroit (10:47 AM).
  • Coach Bylsma on Crosby, Neal & Letestu (1:24 PM).
  • Neal & Sullivan spit knowledge (1:30 PM).
  • Fleury makes the cut (10:27 AM).
  • Pens pics (11:53 AM).
  • “But I’ve gotta let it go…” (10:00 AM).

4:34 PM:
Speaking of project Bundle-Up, check out Pascal Dupuis with his shopping partner Arissa, 6, vogue-ing at Dick's Sporting Goods.

I think Michelle's email subject line says it all: Look how presh!!!

4:28 PM:
The Pens Wear Prada. The team took some time today after practice to do a little shopping. In the fifth annual Project Bundle-Up, Pens players took underprivileged children shopping at Dick's Sporting Goods.

Michelle gives you a taste of the shopping spree. There's more to come, including good times, lots of laughs and plenty of smiles (I should be writing marketing slogans....BOOM!!)

1:30 PM:
Sounds heard around the locker room...

James Neal

On having a few days off:
It’s a little break, and we had it last week too. It was a normal week of practice and getting ready for Dallas coming in.

On getting healthy:
Anytime you get a little time off guys can recoup from bumps and bruises. It’s good for them. We had a good week of practice and guys are ready to get going again.

On playing against Dallas:
Playing my old team, I was in Dallas for three years. I’m sure it will be a little weird. It’s a good challenge for us because they’re playing really well.

On the team building workshop:
It was nice. Anytime a team gets together it’s fun. It’s just the little stuff that we do to help our team grow and helps us better ourselves on the ice. It was nice to have a little break and it’s good to be back.

Steve Sullivan

On the team building workshop:
You’re crammed together for a 24-hour period together doing a lot together, so it speeds up the process of getting to know each other.

On what he learned on the trip about the other guys:
We’ve been on the road so much throughout the year that it just magnified exactly what I already knew about the guys. This is just a really close-knit group. There’s a lot of leadership and the guys really enjoy each other’s presence. I just got to see a little bit more.

On if he has done something like that before:
I have. It was very similar and the end result is the same. You get to see characters and players in different elements than just hockey. (You see) who steps up and who are the leaders. It’s pretty much the guys I expected to see.

On who was scared of the zip line:
Me. Not so much the zip line, but a couple of the things. It’s not something you’re used to, you’re out of your element. It’s kind of neat to see guys working in different areas than just on the ice, so it was kind of fun.

Yellow diamonds: Kaitlin Zurawsky

1:24 PM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…

On the line combos when Crosby comes back:
At different times in the past month or so he’s been with different players on different lines. Some is due to guys no being at practice. He’s been with different people the last month or so. He’s had time with Chris Kunitz, James Neal, Dupuis, Malkin. He doesn’t necessarily need to be with the guys you might see him with when he’s playing. It is something I would look to do, put him with guys I think he’ll be playing with when he gets back in the game. We have no plan right now for if he’s playing 10, 5, 12 minutes. There’s no date yet for his return. We haven’t gotten to that thought process yet.

On Neal:
Speed is a big factor for James’ game, whether it’s on the forecheck, hunting pucks down, pursuing pucks in the offensive zone – those things he’s done extremely well. It’s led to more opportunity with the puck for him and his line. We see him get shots on the rush. He’s good at doing that. I think he’s also gotten shots rebound areas, offensive play. I think he’s more of a factor shooting on the power play both as a net-front and the low area. He’s been able to do it. A lot of it comes from his skating ability, pursuit of the puck and finding those areas after we’ve gotten the puck. It’s not just him getting a shot off on the rush, which we’ve seen him do a lot last year as well.

On Crosby’s battle level:
He has been in quite a few D-zone coverage and 3-on-2s around the net. He shows a great willingness to initiate and go to the net, look for that type of situation, 1-on-1, 2-on-1, 3-on-2, expecting contact or not. Today we had 5-on-5 and he showed a willingness to go into the area where there’s traffic, whether he get hit or not. He’s shown that willingness for a while now. This week we’ve had a chance to practice a bit more and do some more D-zone coverage like we did today. It looks to me like he’s going to the net pretty hard.

On Letestu’s development and trade:
Mark came to us from Western Michigan after his freshman year. He had a long road of experiences in the AHL and ECHL, back and forth there. He had some success at Wilkes-Barre. He got the opportunity here and established himself last year, scoring 14 goals for our team. I feel that amount of time with a player or person in hockey is like dog years, it feels like 30 years. He’s shown great progression. He’s shown a lot of battle and improvement in his game. I feel there is some emotional attachment to Mark Letestu and the journey that he’s been on, being a part of that. That goes from Todd Richards to myself to Todd Reirden. I feel like I spent a lot of time with him. I’m proud of the way he’s progressed and worked. I told him, I’ll be watching every chance I get I’ll be looking for Letestu in Columbus or wherever he goes from here.

On Thursday’s practice:
Today was a harder day, it went longer with a little conditioning and speed in our practice. Tomorrow is not planned that way at all. We had a hard practice Monday and today. Tomorrow will be shorter and some transition and power play in the practice. It won’t be extensive in battle or those types of situations.

1:09 PM:
Pens coach Bylsma said that Lovejoy's broken wrist will be re-evaluated in 6 weeks, and could keep him out longer. Kennedy hasn't been upgraded to game-day decision and no new news on Crosby.

"A timeframe on Ben Lovejoy, I wish it was clear for you, but it's not not. He'll be re-evaluated after 6 weeks. It's likely to be longer than 6 weeks. We'll know more after 6 weeks. It's likely to be a little bit longer than that given what they say and what will be the case when they take the cast off.

"Tyler Kennedy skated today with the team. It has not been determined if he'll be moved into the lineup ro game-day decision yet. That's yet to be determined.

"Again with Sidney Crosby, there is no timetable for his return. There is not a date at this point and time. He continues to practice with the team and progress."

11:53 AM:
Practice pics....

Tyler Kennedy put the TK in "tecknology" True story. (left); Malkin gives Crosby a nice little push #contact. "I bump Sid ))))))" (right)

Obligatory coach pointing pic (left): Sullivan: "I'm telling you, this new lotion has my hands as smooth as silk. For reals." (right)

See Geno skating hard (left); See Geno resting hard (right)

I always knew that Johnson had Fleury's back, but he's taking it a little too literally these days (left); Staal: "Coach can we make this a quick practice? There's a matinee showing of Puss in Boots that I gotta catch." (right)

Assist: @Cardboard_Orpik ... Yes Cardboard Orpik has finally joined Twitter. Rejoice Twitter sphere, your kingdom has arrived

11:03 AM:
Practice is underway at CONSOL Energy Center. Center Jordan Staal is out with his teammates.

10:47 AM:
With the team off Tuesday, there was no Pens Report. So I didn't get a chance to pump Bob Grove's tires in his weekly Moments in Pens History. This week he takes us back to that improbable come-from-behind victory at Detroit in 2008, powered by Jordan Staal's hat trick and OT-winning assist.

(I remember that game. HUGE faceoff win by Mike Zigomanis in the O-zone leading to Staal's 3rd goal with 23 seconds left to tie the game. Staal had a beautiful steal off All-Star Pavel Datsyuk in OT to set up the winner.)

10:35 AM:
Pens D-man Kris Letang has been off to one of the best starts of his career this season. He's been an absolute workhorse for the team, playing over 30 minutes a game on occasion. A strong off-ice regiment this offseason helped him condition for the endurance test. Here is a good piece of literature regarding Letang by Michelle.

Michelle also highlights Letang's on-ice performance in the Penguins Spotlight.

10:27 AM:
Marc-Andre Fleury is gettin' some lovin' from the NHL this weekes. In's Kevin Weekes' segment "8 Goalies a Weekes" (get it? Cause his name is Weekes? and it's a play on the word week? and it's a play on the Beatles' song "8 Days a Week"? get it?) he selected "Flower" as his 3rd-hottest goalie. (Dallas netminder Kari Lehtonen was his No. 1 pick. The Pens will meet the Stars Friday night).

10:23 AM:
A pretty slow news day yesterday, not a lot to report on. Oh, other than a couple roster moves by the team: assigning Jeffrey & MacIntyre to WBS for conditioning (they're still on the team's 23-man roster) and trading Letestu to Columbus for a 4th-RD pick in 2012.

So like I said, slow news day.

10:00 AM:
Good morning from CONSOL Energy Center! After having Tuesday off, the Pens will be back on the ice for practice at 11am today.


Today, I'm going to start with a song dedication to my esteemed colleague and the "mama bear" of the website - Michelle Crechiolo. She and I both love Rihanna's new song "We Found Love." But her obsession has reached "listen to on repeat non-stop" level. She requested that I play it in the blog, but I'm going one step further and dedicating the song to Meesh. Life is better with her around. 

Anyways, here is Rihanna (ft. Calvin Harris) "We Found Love." Enjoy.

View More