UPDATES FROM COACH
Head coach Dan Bylsma had a few notes regarding the team’s roster…
- Team became cap compliant with the roster
- Harrison Ruopp is traveling Tuesday
- Chris Conner had a maintenance day
- Matt D’Agostini (lower-body) slowed in his progression; was off the ice
- Kris Letang (lower-body) is on IR; earliest possible return is Oct. 8
- Tomas Vokoun has been okayed to do light workouts by doctor
WIFFLE BALL PHOTOS
Sam went onto the ice to get a bunch of fantastic shots of the guys playing wiffle ball on the ice. Thankfully he didn't get beaned in the head. Enjoy...
It all began with coach Bylsma drawing the bases...
Kunitz and Jeffrey head onto the "field" in their wiffle ball uniforms...
Adams and Crosby are right behind them
Action shot of coach tossing the
catcher's glove to Sid
Sid behind the plate. Bortuzzo the first batter up
SWING, BATTER BATTER!
Duper going into his wind-up at the mound
Team Black batting order. Please note that our No. 18 is wearing the Pirates' No. 18
Neal on deck...I love Brandon Sutter's face in this. He's probably thinking "please don't hit me..."
Sid having a talk with the umpire, Tony Granato.
Action shot of Duper pitching
I believe this is Chuck Kobasew at bat...
He was the first one to get on base after Duper struck the first two batters out.
Sid pulling a Babe Ruth?
87 swinging for the fences (or in this case, the glass boards). P.S. Love that Zatkoff is behind the plate. Makes a lot of sense since he's wearing his goalie pads.
That one may have gone foul...
But this try didn't. Joey V. can't handle the grounder and Sid gets a single!
First baseman Geno was waiting for the throw to tag Sid out, but the captain skates there in time
Sid looks ready to steal second. Better watch out, Geno!
Chris Kunitz up to bat...
AND IT. IS. OUT OF HERE!!! HOME RUN FOR KUNI!!! A Bucco Blast, if you will!
Circling the bases...
That hit drove in three total runs, including Matt Niskanen and Paul Martin
Kunitz with a joyous expression on his face as he goes for high fives from the two guys he got RBIs on
"James Neal" Walker up next
And Kuni, back in the infield after his homer, makes an incredible stretching catch. What an All-Star!
Now it's Geno up to bat with Sid behind the plate...
What a photo.
After that half of the inning was over, Geno took the mound
Fleury hits a foul ball...can you spot the wiffle in this pic?
Goes back to the plate and tries to bunt it...
And he's out. Sorry, Flower!
Sid pops up to Geno, who easily catches it. Out!!!
Time for the grounds crew (aka the equipment and athletic staff) to clean up the field...
Coach Bylsma touches up the batter's box and home plate
When it was Olli Maatta's turn, the bat flew out of his hands and hit Robert Bortuzzo waiting in line. The guys clearly got a huge kick out of it as you can tell from their reaction...
To keep it from happening again, Olli wipes down the wiffle bat with the sticky stuff that provides grip
Huddle at the pitcher's mound just before the game ends
GAME OVER! Team Black (Kuni's team) wins 3-0 off his two-run homer. Handshakes all around.
Team photo of the winners!!!--Michelle Crechiolo and Sam Kasan
WIFFLE BALL VIDEO
A lot of you were asking us on Twitter if we would have video of the wiffle ball game. Is that even a real question...of course! :) We had two PensTV cameras there to record all of the action.
Watch it here...and enjoy. GO BUCCOS! --Michelle Crechiolo
PENS PLAY WIFFLE BALL
We posted a photo earlier of the bases lined up in the Penguins locker room for a potential game of wiffle ball. Well, turns out the team decided to take their game of wiffle ball onto the ice.
Practice ended with the guys going into the locker room to change into Pirates shirts while coach Bylsma skated around and drew the bases, batter's box and pitcher's mound with black spray paint. The Pens then came back out wearing all of their equipment (including helmets and skates) save for their shoulder pads, as they were wearing the Pirates T-shirts, and played with plastic yellow bats and white wiffle balls. I tried to live-tweet the action as best I could...
Chris Kunitz's two-run homer won the game for Team Black. It was a blast to watch the guys having so much fun showing their support for the Buccos. We'll have photos here momentarily. The PensTV video is here
HELMETS AND CAPS
During today's practice, all of the players wore Pirates stickers on the backs of their helmets while the coaches wore Pirates postseason baseball caps.
Here's Brooks Orpik with his sticker
Assistant coaches Jacques Martin and Tony Granato in their Pirates hats
I like those a lot, not going to lie. May need to buy one for myself...--Michelle Crechiolo and Sam Kasan
The Pens made a series of roster moves on Monday
. Here's who is on the ice for practice Tuesday (in order that they appeared)...
Forwards: Jeffrey, Vitale, Dupuis, Crosby, Kunitz, Glass, Adams, Kobasew, Sutter, Neal, Jokinen, Malkin.
Defense: Bortuzzo, Engelland, Niskanen, Maatta, Scuderi, Martin, Orpik.
Goalies: Fleury, Zatkoff.
Defenseman Kris Letang (lower-body) and forward Matt D'Agostini (lower-body) were not present.--Michelle Crechiolo
DUPER DONS A PIRATES HELMET
Pascal Dupuis absolutely loves the city of Pittsburgh and has embraced everything about it, especially the most important part to a lot of people here - the sports. He's always the first guy to show his support for his fellow teams, as he's worn a Steelers helmet before and today donned a Pirates batting helmet when he hit the ice for today's skate. Duper is just the absolute best.
Duper on deck!!!
Million-dollar smile thinking about a Pirates win tonight
Swinging for the fences at practice
Awesome action shot with the Pirates helmet on
Close-up shot--Michelle Crechiolo and Sam Kasan
LOCKER ROOM LOVE FOR THE PIRATES
Penguins head equipment manager Dana Heinze (@RealDanaHeinze) tweeted these photos from his account of the team showing their support for the Pirates in the locker room and surrounding areas...
RAISE THE JOLLY ROGER!
This is seriously an awesome photo. Bases lined up in the locker room for a potential game of wiffle ball.
Pirates helment and logo sticker on the Penguins' dry erase board
Marlon Byrd and Pittsburgh's own Neil Walker jerseys hanging in the equipment shop
Dana sharpening skates wearing a Pirates hat and hoodie
Penguins strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar showing love for the Pirates
As is assistant equipment manager Danny "the Banker" Kroll--Michelle Crechiolo (assist to Dana Heinze)
START THE DAY
Good morning everyone! It's a...
PLAYOFF BASEBALL RETURNS TO PITTSBURGH TONIGHT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 21 YEARS! The Pittsburgh Pirates are hosting the Cincinnati Reds in the National League wild-card game at PNC Park (first pitch is at 8:07 p.m.). It's a one-and-done game, as the winner advances to play the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday at Busch Stadium while the loser is done for the season.
We are so 'Burgh proud and excited for the Pirates over here in the Penguins organization. Look for shows of support throughout the day from the Penguins, who are scheduled to practice at 11 a.m. this fine morning at CONSOL Energy Center. Stay tuned for photos, quotes and more!
P.S. Sam and I are showing love for the Pirates by wearing ball caps at work today...what are you guys doing?
RAISE THE JOLLY ROGER!--Michelle Crechiolo