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Penguins Report: 4/6/12

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Updates from Bylsma on his lineup and Orpik (1:33 PM).
  • Four Pens missing from practice (11:45 AM).
  • Coach Bylsma on Tortorella, Orpik & more (1:39 PM).
  • Crosby on Tortorella, gamesmanship & more (1:48 PM).
  • Staal & Letang spit knowledge (5:30 PM).
  • Pens pics (12:20 PM).
  • And the award goes to… (11:00 AM).

5:30 PM:
PensTV caught up with Staal and Letang in the locker room...



--Sam Kasan

1:48 PM:
Sidney Crosby spoke with the media following Friday's practice...

On if he heard John Tortorella’s comments:
No, I vaguely heard what he said. I figured he was just blowing up. I’m sure he’ll apologize today about it and everything will be forgotten.

On himself and Evgeni Malkin being called a whiner:
I don’t know what he’s talking about. I mean, if you want you can put a camera on us all game, put a camera on (Ryan Callahan) all game. You’ll see who’s over there more. He should worry about his own players.

On if it’s a gamesmanship:
Yeah, a lot of it. I don’t know when this all started, if this is part of the new tactics in the playoffs, but it’s garbage. The games played on the ice. You get all this stuff going on. It really is garbage. It’s nonsense and if they want to do it great, but I’m not going to waste my time answering questions about it all the time. It’s getting pretty old.

On if the talk accomplishes anything:
If anything, they are trying to persuade the officials who are not making calls and second-guessing things. I hope it doesn’t affect us. I really hope they aren’t listening to (those comments) because it’s nonsense. They are trying every which way to gain an advantage. Go ahead try it, but we’re not paying a lot of attention to it. It’s just old.

On the general comments of his demeanor:
It’s coming out of Philly, which has been coming out for seven years since I’ve been in the league. I’ll be the first one to admit my first couple of years I was pretty hard on the refs. I’ve come a long way since then, but I’m nowhere near where I was then and to get those kinds of remarks every day is uncalled for and not warranted. I don’t really know how much I can say. I don’t need to sit here and defend myself for something that’s not going on, but if they want to try that garbage try it.

On if he wants to play tomorrow:
Do I want to play? Yeah, for sure.

On if he knows if Dan Bylsma will play him:
He hasn’t told me that I’m not, so I expect that I’m playing.

On if he expects carry over from the commotion of last game:
Not from us. We’re going there to play a game. I don’t expect that from us.

On the importance of getting a win tomorrow:
It’s important. We just want to play well and make sure we’re doing the right things. They’re a good hockey team. We just want to make sure we’re playing the way we want to. We both need a win. There’s no hiding that, but I think that if we do the right things, we give ourselves some nice chances. That’s kind of where our focus is at.

On if the Flyers’ choose to mix it up Saturday:
I don’t know. We’ll see if that happens or when that happens. That’s not something we’re looking for. I’m sure both teams are looking to play a good game, but that being said, things happen in hockey games. Everyone will be ready to respond if that happens, but nobody’s looking for that as far as our side. We’re not looking for that.

On when he learned to back off from the refs:
I think after a while you learn it’s a waste of your energy. It doesn’t help anything. They’re not going to change their mind after penalties. Yelling isn’t really going to help. I think it’s just something with time you learn. It’s experience and I’m a pretty competitive guy, but you’ve got to learn to kind of control that sometimes and put your energy towards things that matter. That’s playing hockey. I think it’s been a gradual thing. There’s no doubt I’m emotional. There are times when I’m going to get fired up, but not enough to warrant all that. It’s nonsense. You can put a camera on me all game if you want. It’s not even close.

--Brittany Goncar

1:39 PM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…

On Rangers coach Tortorella’s post-game comments:
His postgame comments for a lot of games this year we’ve heard different things from hits, starting lineups, how referees ends games. It’s part of his coaching manual to go off there. I did hear them.

On if there is gamesmanship in the comments:
We’ve seen that in the last week all over with gamesmanship and trying to talk to, at and through different mediums to the team, referees and who might be listening to some of the talk. That’s all it is: gamesmanship. They’re trying to have an effect where I’m not sure they can have an effect. I think it’s gamesmanship and they’re trying to have someone hear them. Whether it’s the referees or whom I don’t know.

On if the gamesmanship ever works:
In every series, and the series coming up, one team will win four games, there will be a handshake. One side will wish the other side luck in the next round. The other side will go on. That will happen on the ice. We’re going to have a whale of a series. We respect (the Flyers). We have a great adversary. There is a storyline going on and it will be played out on the ice.

On if Orpik has heard from the NHL:
He has not.

On if he expects Orpik to hear from the NHL:
I don't.

On if Malkin will play Saturday:
Our lineup right now is game-time.

On if he’d play both Johnson and Fleury in Saturday’s game:
Yes, I would look at that.

On the factors involved in playing and resting players:
There’s limited possibilities. Last night you saw different ice time allotments and fewer minutes for certain guys. I would expect that to be tempered with who goes on the ice and how much and their roles. That may be different tomorrow based on it being Game 82 and us getting ready for the next round.

On how they’ll handle post-whistle stuff Saturday:
We’re going to play our game the way we always play. That’s our intention of playing the game. It’s Game 82 and we’re getting ready for Philadelphia in Round1. We’ll play the game like Pittsburgh Penguins ice hockey and that’s what we’re intending to do.

On if he’ll show the Flyers as little as possible Saturday and save his strategy for the playoffs:
There’s some consideration there in terms of what you see on the ice tomorrow. There may be different looks that you may give. You may be vanilla to not show everything. We’ve played them five times already. I’m not sure there are a ton of secrets between the two teams or what we can expect from players and tendencies. For the goaltender there is more consideration for resting. The goaltenders will have a long time between this game and the start of the series. That plays into whether Marc-Andre (Fleury) will play or not.

On how this Flyers team matches the one the Pens played in the ’09 playoffs:
There are some familiar faces. You feel like they’re a part of the same team. From year to year every team is different and every feeling is different. I know this group of guys going into the playoffs, we know we’re playing a team that we respect a lot. We know they’re really good. Going into this round we know that’s what we’re facing right off of Game 1 Round 1 of the playoffs.

On if Neal’s hands are OK after his Tuesday fight:
I think his hands have been good all year. Forty goals is pretty good.

--Sam Kasan

1:33 PM:
Pens coach Bylsma said he had no updates on the four missing players (Asham, Neal, Sullivan and Niskanen) and would not disclose who would be playing in Saturday's game, saying "I don’t have an update on our lineup for (Saturday) or for those guys. Expecting to have everyone available for the start of playoffs."

Bylsma was also asked if Brooks Orpik had heard from the NHL about his hit on Derek Stepan in Thursday's game, and he responded, "I have not." When asked if he expected Orpik to hear from the NHL, Bylsma answered, "I don't."

--Michelle Crechiolo

12:20 PM:
Pens pics...

Dupuis makes the puck float - a major reason he's scored in 16 straight games. That and talent (left); Fleury is tied with Barrasso for most wins in franchise history - 226 (right)

Letang concentrates on the puck (left); Strait defends the goal (right)

Staal reworks his stick tape (left); Full house (right)

Coach Bylsma gives the orders (left); Martin's final days as Mustache Boy (right)

--Sam Kasan

11:45 AM:
Forwards James Neal, Arron Asham and Steve Sullivan and defenseman Matt Niskanen are not on the ice for the team's practice.

--Sam Kasan

11:40 AM:
Pens are starting to hit the ice at Southpointe for practice.

--Sam Kasan

11:00 AM:
Good morning from Southpointe! Today the Pens will hit the ice for an 11:30 a.m. practice. Pens fans, as usual, have filled the bleachers to see their favorite team. The Pens will battle the Flyers at 4 p.m. Saturday in a preview of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.


Last night the Pens announced their annual Team Award winners. For the full list and more details click here.

Evgeni Malkin was named Pens Team MVP for 2011-12 season

--Sam Kasan
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