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Penguins Report: 2/19/11

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Jeffrey joins Kunitz and Letestu in limited workouts (12:12 PM).
  • Pens’ lines (11:23 AM).
  • Bylsma on recalls, playing 7 D and Chicago (3:31 PM).
  • Adams, Michalek and Lovejoy spit knowledge (1:46 PM).
  • Pens recall Tim Wallace (5:30 PM).
  • Pens pics (11:54 AM).
  • “You know our love was meant to be, the kind of love that lasts forever…” (10:30 AM).

5:30 PM:
The Pens have recalled Tim Wallace from WBS. With that move, Pittsburgh now has 12 healthy forwards to dress for Sunday's 3:30 contest at United Center.

3:31 PM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma...

On the injuries
Nothing has changed from yesterday.

On who the team will recall:
We have not made that call yet. I do know, but we haven’t called that person yet.

On if he considered playing with 7 defensemen
We’ve made some call-ups in the past few games where we have considered that. Given where we’re at cap-wise, situation-wise, calling up a forward is the best opportunity for us.

On the upcoming schedule:
The important part for our team is that we don’t make a list. It’s a daunting task in front of us. We’ve got a task going to Chicago and coming back home to play Washington. That’s really where our focus is right now going there in the United Center. It’s a tough place to play. They have skilled forwards, and we have to make sure that we’re at our best and not looking too far down the road.

On Cooke’s workload
There won’t be an easing-in process. It’s been a certain number of days. He’s worked hard. I don’t think his conditioning level dropped. He’s going to get power-play time, penalty kill time and solid five-on-five time. Depending on the situations in the game and how his game goes, we may make adjustments to his ice time. It’s back-to-back games so that is a consideration. You don’t want to tax him too much in Game 1. He’s going to have to come back and play Game 2.

On Chicago’s struggles
They’re in a situation in the conference where the LA Kings were long removed (from the playoffs) and now I think they’ve taken over the division lead, or at least tied or one-point behind. They went on the road and came back with points in every game. They made that swing. That conference is that tight and that close. Ninth and 10th (seed) are not that far from fourth and third. Having said that, we’ve been through some of the emotions, thoughts and difficulties dealing with being a Stanley Cup champion. I had a chance to talk to Coach Q about that early in the offseason. I haven’t talked to him about it recently. They’ve gone through different stretches of the year with injuries and they’re right there in the mix. If they go on a winning streak you’ll be talking about a different story real quickly.

1:46 PM:
Sounds heard around the locker room...

Craig Adams

On Chicago as a team:
Obviously they are a better team than where they sit in the standings. I know it is pretty tight out there in the West. If they had five more points they would be 3 seed. It is tough. If you have ever won a Stanley Cup you know what the “hangover” is all about. It is really hard to put your finger on it, but it is definitely there and they are dealing with it this year, and with the big roster turnover it makes it a little bit tougher.

On looking forward to playing in a game which features the last two Stanley cup champions
Obviously they are the reining Stanley Cup champions and we are old news now so I don’t think we look at it that way at all. Obviously for me having played there I knew it was coming up. Beyond that I think it is a couple teams desperate for a couple of points.

On Chicago’s talented forwards:
Those guys are game breakers. We are going to pay special attention to them if we can.

On playing against teams from Western Conference you don’t face often:
You rely on your coaching staff. We only play them once a year basically so you rely on your staff to prepare you and the systems and what to expect and what they are going to bring. Once they do that I don’t think it’s that tough really. There are only so many ways to play hockey, For example, the Colorado game I felt we had a good handle on what they were going to try to do and that is credit to our coaching staff.

Zbynek Michalek

On how it is for him to play teams from the Western Conference since he played there for so long:
I’m more familiar with those teams and those players and the way they play. I know what to expect from the game and from the players. So it can definitely help me in that way.

On how the Penguins prepare to face teams from the West:

I think the coaching staff is doing a really good job of scouting the other team. They play a lot of video for us and show us the systems they play and their tendencies, and get us prepared for the game really well. We know what to expect. It’s something that you have to work on because you only play these teams once a year. So we don’t see them often, but our coaching staff is doing a really good job.

On if there’s an extra measure of excitement facing the defending Stanley Cup champions:

I think so, yeah. Anytime you play the defending champions, you want to prove that you can be in their spot. You want to beat them. Even though they lost a lot of players in the summer, they’re still a good team. And it’s a tough building to play at, it’s a fun building on the other side and it’s a loud building. They have great fans. They’re still a good team even though they are where they are in the standings. They’re going to play hard because they’re a desperate team right now. They’re fighting for playoff position and it’s going to be a tough game. They’ve got a lot of skilled guys and they’re a dangerous team.

Ben Lovejoy

On what it’s like playing Chicago:
We don’t play Chicago all that often, but they’re one of the better teams in the league and they’re the defending champions. It’s a bit of a measuring stick game, because we would like to beat them, and two points is two points.

On the trade deadline approaching:
It’s definitely something you watch and you follow a bit, but more for entertainment. You see who’s going where and what teams are really making a push. It’s an exciting time for the sport. It brings another level of focus to the NHL and I think everybody in here approaches it the same. I think it’s an exciting time and it means that the playoffs are coming and that teams are really gearing up for playoffs.

On how the Penguins are tightening up for playoffs:
I think everybody’s excited. Obviously with the injuries we’ve had, people are playing new roles and I think that can only help us come playoff time. We’ll see people gain more and more experience in different roles and different situations, and when playoff time comes I’m sure that will be a help.

Give-and-Go: Michelle Crechiolo & Joe Prince-Wright

12:12 PM:
The Pens are finishing practice, and just like Friday, a few injured players just came onto the ice a minute ago to do some work. Dustin Jeffrey was on the ice for the first time since his injury, joining Kunitz and Letest - both of whom skated Friday.

Jeffrey (left); Letestu, Kunitz (right)

11:54 AM:
Pens' practice pics...

Cooke (left)

Conner and Martin (left); Engelland (right)

Dupuis (left)

Engelland, Goligoski, Orpik (left); Michalek, Godard (right)

11:23 AM:
The Pens used the following line combinations at practice:


11:18 AM:
The Pens are on the ice for practice. Nick Johnson, who suffered an upper-body injury in Friday's practice is not on the ice. No Kunitz, Letestu, Tangradi or Jeffrey for now.

10:30 AM:
The Pens will hit the ice here at Southpointe at 11 a.m. for practice. Afterwards the team will head to the airport and fly to the Windy City of Chicago. Pittsburgh will battle the Blackhawks Sunday at 3:30 on NBC.

And since we are going to Chicago, there is no better way to open the blog than with the band Chicago. Their video “You’re the Inspiration” is a classic of 80s unintentional comedy genre. It’s not quite on par with Journey’s “Separate Ways,” but it is a heavyweight contender nonetheless.

Why is this video so amazing? Let us count the ways…
  • First it has a misplaced juxtaposition of cheesy 80s ballad with “punk rock” teenagers. Sid and Nancy and Chicago? Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. Does anyone else find this combination in the video rather odd? And somewhat disturbing?
  • Where to begin with lead singer Peter Cetera? He looks like a wax statue with his fake tan and never blinking eyes. I swear he never blinks! And his mouth can barely open when he’s lip syncing. He looks freakishly like a ventriloquist dummy. Again, quite perturbing.
  • The drummer is wearing a “Chicago” hat. Just your average self-advertisement. I love the shamelessness.
  • How many pianos does it take to produce an 80s ballad? Apparently, four in this case.
  • The scene where the girl leaves the guy in off the charts hilarious. The guy is walking around with his flannel shirt open, tightening his chest muscles at every step. It’s almost like he’s saying, “C’mon baby. How can you leave a guy with pecs like these?” And his sad face/puckered lips look is just brilliant. I’ve seen better acting in a Spanish soap opera on the public access channel.
  • Seriously, Cetera doesn’t blink! No matter how bright the sun is shining through the window. It’s simply uncanny.
  • Who is the random guy reading a newspaper while the band is playing at the 2:10 mark? Did he think he was in the waiting room at the dentist’s office? I’m sure Chicago gets a lot of airtime on the XM Dentist Channel (as well as Michael Bolton). That’s how much Chicago rocks, this guy would rather read about Reaganomics.
  • Maybe it’s just me, but Cetera looks like the clone of Pens’ radio analyst Phil Bourque at the 3:13 mark. Separated at birth?

There are so many hidden gems throughout the video. It would take hours to add them up. So I’ll leave the rest for you to fill in the blanks. Enjoy.

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