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Penguins Report: 3/2/12

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma...

On if he likes tinkering with set faceoff plays:
You have to tinker with it because people know what you’re doing. We start the year with nine faceoff plays and by the end of the year and depending on the personnel, you change some of the set plays. You have to keep coming up with different names to add onto or change your faceoff play a little bit. As the year goes on, it does change a little bit depending on the team, the personnel and whom you might be playing. The best example was against Carolina in the ’09 playoffs. They were well aware of one faceoff play and were overplaying it. So we made up a second part of the faceoff play to kind of take advantage of the fact that they were coming out harder on our defensemen. That turned into the ‘Billy Guerin’ at that time. Faceoff plays are a part of our stable. But we do keep adjusting them and add different parts to them as the year goes on.
On Malkin wanting to win a Hart Trophy:
I know that’s not the trophy he wants. I know that’s not really a motivating factor for him. He never talks about it as a goal. I think he wants to be great. I think he wants to drive our team and help our team, so that puts him in that category. It certainly has. But I know he’d cash in every other trophy for one more Stanley Cup. He openly talks about it when you get in a conversation with him. (The Hart Trophy) is not what he’s looking for. He’s not looking for an MVP. He’s not looking for a scoring title. He’s looking to win more Stanley Cups. I think that’s why there’s such a burning desire this year. He thinks he missed an opportunity last year with his injury. He sat on the sidelines and felt like if he could come back and help our team, we would have gotten closer to winning the Stanley Cup last year. I know this summer and coming back this fall, those were our conversations. He doesn’t have them very often, but it’s all about winning the Stanley Cup.
On Tangradi and Vitale’s extended shift last game and strategies to get out of situations like that:
We do talk about when you’re in a situation on that type of shift where it’s that long, icing is still a reliable option to get a whistle. You (normally) don’t want to ice the puck because you don’t get the change, so that’s a deterrent from icing the puck in those situations. But when you get to an extended shift like that, we’ll still ice the puck. In our discussions with the goaltenders at different times throughout the years, there are different ways for them to slow the game down. Especially on the road, especially in the second periods, the goaltender would look to freeze pucks more often than not. Those are things that we can do. But in that situation, you almost have to start playing it like a penalty kill and protect the middle of the ice. That’s going to leave them with the puck on the outside, but that’s better than running around. They didn’t get a lot on that shift. They got a lot of zone time. They wore us down. Our guys were dead tired and it led to taking a penalty. They did a good job of getting their sixth guy out there. (Trevor) Daly’s shot ended the play and I think ‘Flower’ (Marc-Andre Fleury) had to make a save through traffic. That thing was pegged for going in. It was a real good shot. But that does happen. There are some things you can try to do. But we got stuck out there for a long time. I steered away from using those guys for quite a while because after a shift like that, it’s going to leave a dent in how you feel.

And you say...stay: Michelle Crechiolo

Head coach Dan Bylsma had a few injury updates:

"Steve Sullivan remained off the ice," he said. "Still day-to-day for (Saturday) and he’ll go out for the morning skate. Saw Tyler Kennedy back on the ice again and Sidney (Crosby) on the ice with the team as well. No chance for TK (Saturday).

"(Letang) remains with us and he’s going home with us after the game (Saturday). He’s got symptoms. Not dramatic at this point, but certainly going to get home and get evaluated by our doctors.

"Not really long-term at this point (on Johnson). He’s doing rehab and getting rest from the ice. Don’t anticipate it being long-term at this point."

Pens pics...

Kunitz puttin' on the foil (left); Coach Reirden goes over the drill (right)

Michalek aims (left) and fires (right)

Billy Sid the Kid (left); Assault on Thiessen (right)

Thiessen with a diving web gem glove save (left); Hydrate (right)

Crosby filling in for Sullivan in the combination drills. Lines look like this...



Fleury has the target on his back as goalie, er, I mean, he has the target on his pad.

Sullivan, Letang and Johnson are not participating in practice.

Players are starting to make their way onto the ice. Deryk Engelland, who didn't skate Thursday for maintenance, is back with the team.

It's Friday, so the time has come to unlock the Pens Vault and take a look inside. In this week's piece Wilkes-Barre/Scranton mascot Tux shows us how to do "The Penguin."

On Tuesday, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was kind enough to let PensTV place a camera on top of his helmet. Well, the footage captured was uber epic. The video crew cut together the best portions, laid down a little Black Keys and this is the end result...

Good morning from Denver! Today the Pens will hold a noon-ish practice at Pepsi Center. They will take on the Colorado Avalanche Saturday night at 9 p.m. Eastern time.


We'll open the day with an old, old favorite of mine: Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories' "Stay (I Missed You)." It's a song that hooks you from the opening guitar strum to her first, "And you say..." Truly a classic and staple of early 90s music.

Anyways, enjoy.

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