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Penguins Report: 12/26/11

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

6:01 PM:
Sounds heard around Southpointe...

Jordan Staal

On if he saw his family for Christmas:
I did, the whole family was able to get together in Raleigh which was nice especially during the season. It was a very nice Christmas for all of us.

On how he felt during the skate:
After a couple days off, you're always a little rusty, but I think we had a good skate. I think we feel pretty good for tomorrow night's game.

On what he is looking forward to for the game against Carolina:
It's always important to beat your brother and I'm excited about that. It should be an interesting game. We'll see how it goes.

On if he talked about tomorrow's game with his brother Eric:
No, not really. There's a lot of different things we talk about besides hockey. It was a lot of family stuff and not too much hockey stuff.

James Neal

On if he is excited about tomorrow:
Absolutely. We got a little break for the guys and for the team. Hopefully we can keep this little streak alive.

On winning against Winnipeg right before the break:
It's especially nice going into the break with a win. It's a totally different game now. We've got to keep being consistent, keep playing the right way, and keep this streak going.

On playing Carolina tomorrow:
We know what to expect and we will be ready for them tomorrow.

On playing Philadelphia on Thursday:
You don't want to get too far ahead of yourself. You have to focus on Carolina and take one game at a time.

Assist: Kaitlin Zurawsky

5:53 PM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma...

On his holidays:
I don’t know how folks do it with 2 days off and no work. I was getting antsy. We had a great holiday with my family. We had my mother-in-law in. It was a great 2 days. This morning I had to start working. I know the guys had a good rest. Fortunate for us we had a practice before getting back to action tomorrow.

On if this kicks off the second half of the season:
Not so much. We are close to the 41-game mark, which would be halfway. The All-Star break feels more like halfway than Christmas does. We are 6 games away from the midpoint. We do get a break and some time to rest. This next month, the next 30 days feels more like (part of) the first half of the season. We do have a push coming back. A lot of teams are bunched close together with not a lot of separation between 1st and 8th. The next 3 weeks will be big time for teams. We can’t take a rest. We have to get back to work and it starts with Carolina.

On his World Juniors prediction:
I know who I texted this morning, and it wasn’t Team Canada.

5:47 PM:
Pens coach Bylsma gave a few updates on injured players.
  • Park is 3 weeks into his broken bone. He returned to the ice, which is good
  • Martin is day-to-day, hasn't practiced with the team yet
  • Jeffrey is progressing and rehabbing his knee
  • No update on Crosby
  • No update on Letang
"Park is doing well and within 2 weeks of getting back on the ice with us.

"Martin has had some good rest. He probably won't be available (Tuesday), but should be close to getting back to practice. Hopefully, we'll get him before Jan. 1.

4:58 PM:
Practice pics...

Richard Park talks about the transitioning of powers in North Korea with HC Bylsma (left) and strength coach Kadar (right) #CurrentEvents

Coming down the runway (left); All smiles and laughs for post-holiday practice (right)

Williams does target practice on Johnson (left); Everyone listen up! (right)

Malkin snaps the wrists (left); Niskanen rolls up his sleeves and goes to work (right)

Neal tries to hide the puck under his stick #sneaky (left): Engelland sprays his way to fame (right)

4:33 PM:
The Pens are practicing at Southpointe, and there isn't an empty seat in the building. #BestFans

4:26 PM:
In this week's Mike Lange Diaries, the Hall of Fame broadcaster talks about his memories of a young stud hockey player named Mario Lemieux.

4:21 PM:
With the end of the year drawing to a close, we'll take a look back at the Plays of the Year thus far.

4:04 PM:
Only Pens missing from practice are Crosby, Bortuzzo, Letang and the three guys that skated before practice (Martin, Park & Jeffrey). Technically, Park started practice though, but left about 30 minutes after.

3:40 PM:
A couple injured Pens are on the ice before practice. Paul Martin & Richard Park are in full gear, while Dustin Jeffrey is skating in warmups.

3:30 PM:
Good afternoon/evening from Southpointe! The Pens had the last two days off, but are back to work with a 4pm practice.


The team had off for Christmas Eve and Day. Hopefully, Santa was good to everyone out there in internet land. A couple of the guys took some time to wish you all good holiday cheer. Here is Jordan Staal with some holiday wishes.

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