Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Pittsburgh Penguins

Penguins Report: Backyard Ball

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins warmed up on the ice in a little bit different fashion than normal. They tossed the old pigskin around. Eric Godard emerged from the locker room with a football and a few of the players joined in the fun of tossing the ball around. See 2:14 PM entry for details and photos.

4:30 PM:
Here are some videos from today's practice at Southpointe.

Coach Bylsma Sidney Crosby Pascal Dupuis Matt Cooke
2:44 PM:
Here are some more shots from the Penguins' Friday afternoon practice at Southpointe:

Marc-Andre Fleury put on his Steelers beanie played a little forward prior to practice.

Chris Kunitz (left); Penguins communications coordinator Erik Heasley (right)

2:33 PM:
Sounds heard around the locker room:

Dan Bylsma
On Gonchar:
It was just a maintenance day. We had lots of games and travel in a short period so it is just a maintenance day.
On other injuries:
I think Alex Goligoski was good in the game last night. It looks like he will play in the next game.
On Kunitz:
He has practiced on the (Sidney Crosby) line on and off for the past three or four days to get them back together again. That is why he continues to practice there, to give him and his line a chance to see him. They get to see him, see what he looks like and see what hand his stick is. He has progressed a little further and he has responded well so he is getting close.
On having an extra forward:
We added a player at the beginning of the year for that reason, to have an extra forward and to try a guy out while anticipating Max (Talbot) would be back (following his offseason surgery). It’s a luxury I have been looking forward to having for a while.
On Evgeni Malkin not scoring as often:
Each individual is different and needs to be treated different according to what you think might be the best thing for him. You watch video and you help him with his foundation, what his mentality is, what he brings to the game and then you help him focus on it in practice. You reinforce it and point it out when it is not there. The one thing about Geno is he cares deeply and greatly. He wears it on his sleeve. Sometimes in trying to make the right play he might look to pass when his confidence is lower. He is a guy who attacks, attacks through the defense and attacks the net. When he is shooting the puck he is a threat to score and he is a better player all-around. Getting him focused in the right direction is what he is trying to do right now.
On Malkin firing shots from all directions:
I would be more apt to say he could take page from what Sidney is doing right now in terms of having that shooter’s mentality and ripping the puck. That has developed in practice. That is also the mentality you bring to the rink and you know ‘I am going to be a shooter tonight.’ Then, when you get those situations you shoot the puck. You talk about guys like Pascal Dupuis, when he comes down the wing you know he has the shooter’s mentality. That is something when Geno is playing well and he is attacking the net he has that. He is a threat to score and he can make great plays off that. When he thinking about attacking and shooting, that is when he is at his best.
On Malkin coming out of that:
Geno has always been a guy that when you bring it to his attention he knows it is a focus. You see him getting better. He spent some time on video with our coaches and he is aware of it. It’s not something I see him taking with him for too long. He is going to come out attacking and shooting. That is what he is going to bring with him tomorrow when he comes to the rink.
On scoring first:
I think it is really more of ‘How are we playing?’ If we were playing poorly and giving up the first goal, then that would be a concern. Last night’s game – that is a tough place to play. Momentum swings are big in that building. There is a lot of emotion. We got the lead and then we gave up the lead. You look up and evaluate, we had 26 shots and they had 11 shots. We need to get back to playing the right way. On our bench we knew if we got back to playing the right way we would be ok. That is the mentality we need to bring when we start the game. Play the right way, do the right thing and that is what we need to be concerned about – executing, getting pucks behind their D and getting into the offensive zone. The score is something that we try not to focus on as a ‘hey we are doing well or we are not doing well.

Sidney Crosby

On playing as defending champions, target on their back:
I think we’ve kind of dealt with that for probably a couple years now. When we lost in the Final, we won the Eastern Conference, I think a lot of teams looked to play against us. It’s a challenge and a measuring stick. I think that’s continued here this year.
On Steelers:
I think that’s part of sports. It’s something you deal with. It’s not huge changes in their case. The difference between winning and losing is pretty small. You make a few mistakes here and there, sometimes you don’t get big plays and you pay for it.
On getting a game's first goal:
Getting momentum, usually when you score first you get the momentum. It’s good. It’s just a matter of starting the right way and getting to your game. Sometimes you play well and the other team gets the power play and they score one. That’s the way it goes. Usually you’re going to need more than one to win hockey games, so if that does happen you’re able to regroup. I think we know the difference between getting to our game and going down 1-0 rather than them carrying the momentum.
There’s a couple situations sometimes when we’re not playing that well and we get the first one and get a little bit of momentum off of that. But at the same time you can’t think that you only need one to win the game. Our mentality is just to stick to our game no matter what the score is.

Pascal Dupuis
On making adjustments:
I think we played a really good game against Chicago. We had a little let down against Carolina. I don’t know why. But last game we came back and played a really good game in a tough building to play on the road.

Assists to Tom Mast and Jason Seidling

2:12 PM:
The Penguins warmed up on the ice in a little bit different fashion than normal. They tossed the old pigskin around. Eric Godard emerged from the locker room with a football and a few of the players joined in the fun of tossing the ball around.

Eric Godard

Mike Rupp

Craig Adams

Tyler Kennedy
View More