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Penguins Report: 12/28/11

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

5:48 PM:
The Flyers practiced in Castle Shannon today. Here are Jaromir Jagr & Max Talbot courtesy of FlyersTV. Jagr by the way, looks like a cross between a mugger and a boxer in that hoodie.



5:45 PM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…

On other NHL players having concussion symptoms:
I don’t think anyone likes to talk about or hear about concussions to athletes or players. We’re just talking about them more than we did before. I hate to tell you this, but (the media) didn’t talk about Nick Johnson or Eric Tangradi’s concussion last year. A little bit, but not much. We weren’t talking about concussions as much as we’re talking about them now. It’s unfortunate to see Shea Weber with a concussion and Simon Gagne. You talk about the health of the players. It’s something to talk about. Maybe we talk about it more now than we have.

On if Jagr has played well this season:
Unfortunately for us we see a lot of highlights. That’s what you see when you watch and TV in the morning. You see all the great plays. What he’s been able to do for their power play and Giroux has been very good. Those are things we saw him doing with our team, with a Malkin or Crosby. Am I surprised? Not really. Talking to Zbynek this summer and other guys at the World Championship, he was motivated. A real good player there as well. That was part of the reason we were interested at that tweet or text or the Russian paper.

On fans jeering Jagr:
You hear different players comments and different scenarios. It’s not the first time Jaromir Jagr will come into a building and not be liked. I’m sure he’ll expect it and hear it. You hear players that fee d off that as well. Marc-Andre Fleury talked about it in Manitoba. Malkin got booed every time he touched the puck there. He played pretty well in that game. It can have an effect. The building and fans have an effect on the game. They can make it difficult on the opposing team and make it hard on your team as well. We’re all anticipating a little of that. The Flyers always get it.

On Crosby being jeered by Flyers fans:
Sidney didn’t play in the first Philly game and they still chanted his name. They find a way if we’re in the building or not to chant Sidney’s name. Sid’s numbers in that  building are pretty remarkable. You’d think they’d stop chanting his name. The Flyers are coming in. There’s going to be animosity and a big game for us. Right now we’re tied in points and it’s a chance for us to jump ahead of them. There will be a lot of talk tomorrow.

5:10 PM:
Pens defenseman Ben Lovejoy is on Twitter at @RevLoveJoy6. He answered some questions from Twitter followers today:

By the way, Michelle and I are on Twitter at @PensInsideScoop.

5:05 PM:

5:00 PM:
Evgeni Malkin  talks...

On playing against Jagr in Russia during the NHL lockout:
Yeah, we played together in Russia. I played against him since he played for a different team. I didn’t play a lot. I sat on the bench a couple games and looked at how Jagr played. He’s an amazing player.
On if he watched Jagr growing up:
Not a lot, no. I watched a couple games, but not live and not a lot.
On if he’s surprised at how well Jagr is playing:
Not surprised. He always plays great. He’s big and strong and has good hands. He has good linemates. He always plays great; it’s not a surprise for me. I know he can play the same.
On if he can imagine how the crowd will receive Jagr Thursday:
I hope the fans help us and Jagr gets nervous and doesn’t score. But we just need to play our game. It’s how we played (Tuesday). If we play the same, we have a chance to win.
On what it would have been like to play with Jagr:
Yeah, of course I would have liked that. Again, he’s a good player. I read in the newspaper (that he might play here) and I hope he signed because it’s Jagr. It’s a good player and if he signed here, he would of course help us.

Assist: Michelle Crechiolo

12:50 PM:
Pens coach Bylsma gave several injury updates:
  • Crosby is doing light exercise at this point. Still has some symptoms
  • Letang is feeling better and progressing
  • Kunitz was ill after Tuesday game. Was told to stay home for today
  • Park will skate before practice and may partake in the morning skate
  • Martin will skate before practice and may partake in the morning skate
  • Bortuzzo is progressing. Ramped up his exercises. Will skate prior to practice tomorrow.

11:46 AM:
Pens pics...

Juuuuuust a bit outside (left); Niskanen with a bow-legged shot (right)

Dupuis: "Hey coach, I'm a Duperstar" (left); Gather around (right)

Adams keeps his eye on the ball, er puck (left); Lovejoy: "Rumor has it, you're a Duperstar. True?" (right)

11:36 AM:
With Kunitz not at practice, the Pens did some shuffling of their lines:



11:00 AM:
The Pens are on the ice for practice. Only player missing is Kunitz. We'll get an update from coach Bylsma after the practice on him.

10:50 AM:
The Pens and Pittsburgh are well represented on Team USA at this year's World Junior Championships: 4 players from the Pittsburgh area (Brandon Saad, JT Miller, John Gibson & Stephen Johns) and the Pens 2011 7th-round pick (Josh Archibald) are on the squad.

Team USA takes on Finland today at 3:30pm on NHL Network.

10:40 AM:
Today is Wednesday, so it's time for the UPMC Penguins Spotlight. Under the microscope today is the NHL's second-leading goal scorer at 21 - James Neal.

10:30 AM:
Good afternoon from Southpointe! The Pens have an 11am practice today and will be hitting the ice shortly.


The Pens had a big win Tuesday night against Carolina with a 4-2 final. Here are some highlights from last night's game.

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