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Penguins Report: Care Bear

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
5:38 PM:

A couple of the players had fun with some Halloween costumes, particularly Eric Godard in a Care Bear mask, and Marc-Andre Fleury with Kermit the Frog. See below for pictures!

1:28 PM:
Sounds heard around the locker room:

Sidney Crosby
On guys being high in several non-traditional statistics:
When you start off well like we did you are going to see that. That’s a result of winning. They both help each other when you win. Statistics are good but you need wins. It’s one of those things that comes with winning but everyone is contributing. That is a big part of it. That’s why we are winning and numbers are up. It’s a long season so it’s important to stay on track. That doesn’t mean everyone’s numbers have to be stunning or out of the ordinary. Everyone just has to be solid and we will be fine.
On those things being important to the players:
I think as long as everyone is doing their job that is the main thing. Everyone has a responsibility. It a guy is scoring that does not typically score, that doesn’t mean his job it to now score goals. That means he is doing a good job and he is being rewarded with goals. Because I have more goals than assists doesn’t mean I am going to get 12 shots a game and shoot from everywhere. You still have to know what your strengths are. That is something I think you just have to realize. You have to work on things to be good in every area, but we all have to realize what our goals are and our responsibilities. That is the main thing.
On getting to 10 wins:
We are just keeping track. You want to win hockey games. That is why you play. You want to start well. We have done that. We have had a good start so far. We just want to keep building and get better as we go on. It’s good the way we started but we have to make sure we keep getting better.
On the Mike Richards hit on David Booth:
It’s tough. That is a clean hit if you are judging by the rule book. It was a shoulder. You are always flirting with danger when you come across the middle like that. As a hockey player, everyone realizes that, but at the same time it is still the head. Whether or not that was the only part of his body he could have hit, it’s tough to say. I watched the hit a couple times. It’s easy to say he could’ve went to his shoulder a little more and not to his chin. It’s tough. A lot of guys pride themselves and make a living hitting guys. For me to say that I don’t like to see hits like that, it is easy for me to say because I am not the guy who has to go get eight hits a game and have an impact like that in a hockey game. At the same time, I think there has to be a level of respect. When a guy has no idea he is going to get hit like that, it is tough to see that – guys leaving on a stretcher. Nobody likes to see that. It is a clean hit by the book, it was a shoulder. By the rules it’s not a dirty hit, but at the same time the guy might not know it’s coming so you might want to let up, I don’t know. It’s easy for me to say that because I don’t have to do that every game and make sure I make that impact in a game. I think it’s pretty mixed around the room. You ask Cookie (Matt Cooke) or Adsy (Craig Adams), they might say that was okay. If you ask Geno (Evgeni Malkin) or Gonch (Sergei Gonchar), they might not like that. That’s tough. It’s not fun to see that. We need to make sure not too many guys are taken off on a stretcher like that.

(Check out the hit below and NHL Network commentary)

Dan Bylsma
On team being good in “minor” statistics:
It’s an indication of our record right now and how we’ve won those games. It hasn’t been the power play, the top lines, just our goalie. It’s been a team effort in a lot of areas, a lot of players doing their job, not our team playing great in every aspect, but a lot of people doing their jobs, adding their part. As a result we’ve put ourselves in a position to win some hockey games.
On playing three-on-three scrimmage during practice:
Three-on-three is so we leave with a smile. And costumes.
On Kennedy, Dupuis, Kunitz being absent from practice:
Yeah maintenance for Kunitz and Kennedy, and Dupuis is sick right now.
On Montreal game, going for 10th win:
I’d definitely like to get to that 10th win before anybody else. Montreal certainly poses a different look than they have in the past. They have some dangerous players, a new top line and kind of a different look and different things to be worried about. Of course we get to see Hal Gill come back into this building, so we’ll see the big fellow with the long stick. Their goaltender (Carey Price), as well, can be a game changer. So we have some things to focus on going into the game.

12:33 PM:
After digging for some information, it turns out the players held their Halloween party Sunday night, hence all the masks and costumes at practice. Eric Godard got the ball rolling with his Care Bear mask but goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury managed to up the ante.

At the conclusion of practice, Fleury put on a Kermit the Frog face mask, wrapped around his goalie helmet. Fleury then took a few shots from teammates to the delight of the team. In one particularly funny moment, Fleury made a sprawling glove save and raised his arms in triumph.



"I was just trying to give a different look to the shooters and mess with their eyes a little bit," Fleury said after practice. "It didn't work out well. I couldn't see."

"I am not surprised he did that," Sidney Crosby said. "He talks about that a lot. I think he was pretty happy to be a frog.

"For some reason he is always wearing tights with his costumes," Crosby joked. "I don’t know why that is. He was Cat Woman before and now he was a frog with leggings so maybe it just means he likes to wear tights. I don’t know."

While the players had fun with the party, the coaches did not take part in the fun.

"I had my Halloween parties when I was a player," Bylsma said. "Coaches aren't a part of those, thank goodness."

12:20 PM:
Got the update from Bylsma regarding the absence of Kunitz, Kennedy and Dupuis. It was a "maintenance days" for Kunitz and Kennedy, meaning they were given a day off to rest. Bylsma has given different players a practice off for "maintenance days" throughout the year.

Dupuis is feeling ill and did not practice.

11:06 AM:
Three Penguins players are not participating in practice: Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis and Tyler Kennedy. We will check with head coach Dan Bylsma after practice for an update on their status and condition.

11:03 AM:
The Penguins took the ice at Mellon Arena with what appeared to be a new player, a giant blue Care Bear - no kidding. Somebody donned a giant Care Bear mask as he skated the ice in warmups.

The team had a good laugh and there was much speculation as to who was underneath the furry head gear, until the mask was finally removed and Eric Godard was exposed as the culprit.




10:28 AM:
The Penguins are back on the ice after having Sunday off. The Penguins will practice Monday and Tuesday before hosting the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday night at Mellon Arena at 7:30 p.m.

Starting with Wednesday's contest against the Canadiens, the Penguins have three games scheduled in four days with Columbus (Friday) and Minnesota (Saturday) coming up. After that the team hits the road Nov. 1 for its West Coast swing through Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose.
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