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Penguins Report: 5/1/10 Practice

by Jason Seidling / Pittsburgh Penguins

2:48 PM:

Head coach Dan Bylsma addressed reporters following practice Saturday. Here are the highlights of what he had to say:

On Staal:
I’d like to begin with clarification on the Jordan Staal situation. There have been a number of rumors. It is not an Achilles. He is not ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs. He had a procedure to repair a tendon on top of his foot. He will be day-to-day from here on out. He is not out for the remainder of the playoffs.
On who fills in for Staal:
Matchup-wise it is a little bit different than what I’m looking for. Jordan was a guy that we’d put, on most occasions, against their best line or best centerman. That may shift in responsibilities with Cooke and Talbot, Adams possibly in that role, with Dupuis. Sidney Crosby’s line will probably see a little more time against other teams’ top lines. It’ll change our matchups a little bit, but it won’t drastically change the roles on our team.
On updates for Leopold and Kennedy:
We won’t have a morning skate, but we’re going to go game-time on them. They’re both progressing and doing very well. They are possibilities.
On the Canadiens’ PK minds:
I’m more concerned about the message it sends to our team. Power play and special teams are always about the next one and the next game. In Game 1 we won the special teams battle. It doesn’t mean it will be that way for the rest of the series. We know we need to make sure that we come out on special teams, how we’re going to execute, what we’re going to do and take care of the details, also five-on-five we can’t rest on the fact that our power play scored four goals. We need to played better five-on-five. We can do a better job of getting to our game and playing our game. That’s the focus for our team. We can’t rest on the fact that we had a good power play in Game 1. We have to play better than we did in Game 1, and we think we can play better. We think Montreal will play better and find their legs in Game 2.
On exploiting the absence of Andre Markov:
We have a focus on trying to get to the offensive zone. We want to play a cycling game below the goal line, use the back of the net, east west and play that offensive zone. Now it’s without one of their best defenseman, or their best defenseman in that regard. We just emphasis on how we want to play and need to play to get to our game. At times we did last game, but I still think we can do a better job of that. Anytime you lose a guy that plays 26 minutes out there that you count on in a lot of situations, now we need to keep making their team go back and making their whole team play in the defensive zone.
On if Montreal was drained in Game 1:
I didn’t feel that. I don’t think our bench felt that. I feel the Canadiens will come out with more urgency and try to get to their game. The way our power play executed, that made it tough on the Montreal Canadiens. One power play is a goal, second is a goal, third is a goal, that  makes a team uncomfortable and off their game. I don’t expect that to be the case for our power play every night. I do expect them to get into a more playoff type game and get to their game, feel comfortable with how the game is going. We do expect that in Game 2 and going forward.


2:36 PM:
Much of the talk around the locker room today centered around the loss of Jordan Staal and how the Penguins will overcome his loss. Here are some of the sounds from around the locker room:

Sidney Crosby

On talking to Staal:
I just texted him. You can’t tell his mood. I just him I hope he is feeling better and we will see him soon. I just wanted to say hi and see how he was doing.
On players’ roles changing with Staal out:
I don’t think anybody’s role really changes. I think we want to make sure this isn’t something that hurts us.
On Markov being out:
It’s tough to replace any guy that plays those minutes. He is a big part of the team. We are dealing with the same thing. That is the bottom line. That is the way the playoffs work. I’m sure they don’t want anybody to feel sorry for them like we don’t want anybody to feel sorry for us. Nobody likes seeing their teammates get hurt.
On exploiting the Montreal defense with Markov out:
They have some other guys. (P.K.) Subban played pretty well in his absence last night on the power play. (Jaroslav) Spacek is an experienced guy. I’m sure he’ll be getting back in there soon. They aren’t filling the void with inexperienced guys.
On getting more PK time:
I have no idea. I guess that something we will see. If that is the case then obviously I want to make sure I am ready for that.
On how the Penguins can improve:
We want to get more shots. There is no doubt when you put pucks on net you wear teams down and create more chances.

Craig Adams

On secondary scoring:
I’d say most teams need to rely on more than just two guys. Those guys (Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin), we are going to count on them for a lot of goals but they aren’t going to score every night. If we want to be successful and go a long way we are going to need everybody chipping in.
On him chipping in:
I don’t think there is anything different. I’d like to think I play the same way during the regular season and I just didn’t put one in the net. I got a lot of good passes and things like that. I think it’s just some good luck.

Mike Rupp

On Staal seeming indestructible:
He’s been an iron man with his streak and not missing any games. You know when a guy like that is having trouble getting off the ice he is really hurt. Hopefully it’s not going to be very long.
On needing multiple people to fill in:
Jordan is our best defensive center. He’s pretty good at the offensive end too. I think he is a great penalty killer so we are going to need a lot from everybody to help fill that void.
On the Canadiens not coming out strong:
It wasn’t easy. It’s never easy. I expect them to be better in Game 2. They were coming off an emotional series and maybe there was a bit of a letdown after that. I thought that they played pretty hard. It was a pretty close game there for a while. They are going to come out and be better and we will have our hands full.

Kris Letang

On playing Montreal in the playoffs:
It is different. I was born in Montreal. I live there. I always watched them growing up. To play against them in the playoffs is something special. My family, all my friends will watch the series. We’ll try to bring the effort.
On it being the playoffs:
I’m nervous in Montreal for a preseason game so imagine it as a playoff game. The atmosphere is great. It’s a great place to play hockey. They have really loud fans. It will be a special place to play in.
On impressions of Game 1:
We watched them on tape. We know what to expect from them. They will make adjustments but we will do the same thing. 

1:50 PM:
Here are pictures from the Canadiens optional skate at Southpointe:



1:27 PM:
Tyler Kennedy and Jordan Leopold both continued to progress from their injuries on Saturday. Kennedy skated on a line with Mike Rupp and Maxime Talbot while Leopold ditched his non-contact sweater in favor of a regular white jersey.

"It feels good," Leopold said. "Obviously there is more progress to be made, but I got rid of the non-contact jersey, so that’s good."

Although both players were optimistic about how they are progressing, neither was willing to give a timetable on when they will return to the lineup. Kennedy said his return is dependent on getting himself into game shape while Leopold has to see how he responds to live hitting.

"I think just getting back into game shape is a big thing," Kennedy said. "I have only been skating for four days so we will see how I feel (Saturday) and see how I feel on (Sunday) morning."

"No. 1 I have to feel comfortable with contact," Leopold said. "That is a big thing. I have to feel good for consecutive days. I am still looking for that."

Kennedy continues to look closer to making a return than Leopold, although the blueliner holds out hope of returning against the Canadiens.

"I definitely hope sometime this series but you never know," Leopold said. "These injuries can be funny so you have to be cautious."

12:47 PM:
Penguins center Jordan Staal will be listed as day-to-day after undergoing a procedure to repair a lacerated tendon in his foot. Staal was injured during the second period in Game 1. Click to read more details.

12:44 PM:
Montreal is now on the ice at Southpointe for an optional practice. Here are the seven players participating: goaltender Carey Price, defenseman Jaroslav Spacek, and forwards Andrei Kostitsyn, Mathieu Darche, Ben Maxwell, Sergei Kostitsyn and Tom Pyatt.

12:33 PM:

Here are some pictures from the Penguins morning skate at Southpointe:

We had another huge media gathering today at Southpointe.

Mark Letestu (left) and Craig Adams (right) are among the players expected to fill in for Jordan Staal.


11:04 AM:
The following players are not on the ice for the Penguins today: Jordan Staal, Brooks Orpik, Bill Guerin, Chris Kunitz, Mark Eaton and Sergei Gonchar. Center Mark Letestu is practicing with the main team today.

Here is the lineup the Penguins used at practice today with those guys out:




11:01 AM:
We have positive news on the injury front as defenseman Jordan Leopold is skating in a regular white practice jersey for the first time since returning to practice on Wednesday. Leopold had been wearing a gray or blue non-contact sweater the past few days.

10:53 AM:

The Penguins have hit the ice at Southpointe and are warming up the goaltenders. We have 19 skaters and three netminders out there so we will provide an update on whose in and out shortly.
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