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Penguins Report: Game Day at Anaheim

by Jason Seidling / Pittsburgh Penguins
Today's final thoughts:

  • Marc-Andre Fleury gets the start in goal (12:55 PM)
  • Sidney Crosby and Pascal Dupuis will be in the lineup (11:37 AM)
  • Crosby will play the high slot position on the power play as Evgeni Malkin moves to the right boards and Alex Goligoski shifts to the left point (11:52 AM and 2:40 PM)
  • Coachspeak with head coach Dan Bylsma (2:36 PM)
  • We catch up with Anaheim forward and Washington, Pa. native George Parros (6:03 PM)

Earlier today, Mike Lange and I caught up with Washington, Pa. native George Parros in the Anaheim locker room. Parros, who is noted for his impressive moustache, recently shaved his trademark facial hair as part of the team's 'Movember' men's cancer awareness initiaive.

On the competition he is re-growing the facial hair:

I did it to awareness for ‘Movember.’ It’s a worthy cause that raises awareness for men’s health issues – prostate cancer, colon cancer, things of that nature. It started a few years ago back in 2003.  Hopefully me shaving my moustache turns a lot of heads on the awareness.

On how long it will take him to re-grow his moustache:

I’m thinking it will take me at least three full weeks and probably four. It’s going to take me the whole month.

On who the fastest player he’s ever seen grow a moustache or beard is:
I think I would have to say (the New York Islanders) Doug Weight. He sprouts early and often. He has a big upper lip there – it’s perfect for one.

On guys being able to grow facial hair so quickly:

We have some warewolves on this team. I think Danny Syvret is off to an early lead.

On the last time he shaved his moustache:

It was the past summer. I have shaved it two out of the last five years in the summer time.

On how long he has had the trademark moustache:
This is my fifth year with it. I grew it the first year I came to the Ducks.

Here are a couple of my interviews from the locker room today. I chatted with Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury and proud new father Pascal Dupuis. This is what each had to say:

Sidney Crosby

On keeping tabs with Bobby Ryan and his 2005 draft class:
A little bit, but I don’t think that is something that you think about a whole lot. It’s one of those things where you go through that process, but everyone follows a different path. It’s always neat to see how do and end up. He has had a great career.

On the inconsistent start for the team:
It’s not a matter of one thing hasn’t been the case. There have been games where we haven’t executed well and competed as much as we have needed to. Unfortunately it’s not something that is a quick fix. We have to do it game after game and make sure we are executing right and ready to compete. That is something we have to solve. That’s not ‘Xs’ and ‘O’s’.

On meetings about the power play and doing something different:
We always talk about how it doesn’t change. We have had good power plays and the puck hasn’t gone in. We’ve had bad ones (too). It’s frustrating when you have the bad ones. At the end of the day you need results. It doesn’t matter how you get them, you have to get them to give your team a chance to win when you get those five-on-threes. I don’t think the meetings have been any different. I don’t think it is a matter of changing what we are doing. We are creating good chances. It’s up to us to make the plays.

Marc-Andre Fleury

On what he has been working on in practice:
I have watched a lot of tape with (goaltending coach) Gilles Meloche – little things I have to work on. We had a little bit of time to work on it. I just have to work hard in practice and play well tonight.

On being up for the game and feeling like it’s an important start:
I am really looking forward to playing. I love to play hockey.

On how getting a winning streak will help:
I think that would be a good thing for me and the team. As a team, and for me personally, if we can put a couple of wins together that would be a big confidence booster.

Pascal Dupuis

On how his wife and daughter are doing following the birth of Lola on Wednesday:
Mom and the baby are doing great. Everything went well. Little Lola was born at 12:57 p.m. on Nov. 3. Everybody is healthy.

On barely getting there in time:
I got there literally seven minutes before.

On his ride from the Pittsburgh airport to the hospital:
Chuck was my driver and he was quite a driver. He knew what the situation was.

On if he saw any of Wednesday’s game:
I was actually at home watching the game a little bit. I went home to get a change of clothes and then I went back (to the hospital).

On what his other three kids think of their new sister:
They love her already. Everybody is excited.

On how flying home added to an already crazy travel trip:
I didn’t need to adjust too much in Dallas because I was only there for nine hours. I just went back home. I got a great night of sleep (on Thursday) and I’m ready to go.

On shaving his moustache before getting pictures with his daughter:
The moustache was gone at 3:30 a.m. on the third. As soon as I got the call I shaved it. I didn’t want my newborn to have pictures of daddy with a moustache.


I told you in the 11:52 AM entry that Sidney Crosby, and to a lesser extent, Evgeni Malkin, where rotating through the spot in the middle of the power play that Alex Goligoski had been manning.

After talking with Crosby and head coach Dan Bylsma following practice, I was able to find out that yes, indeed, that was a change the Penguins were working on.

"It was something we were working on a bit," Crosby said. "It’s kind of an area where there isn’t a specific spot you are in – you are everywhere. You have to read the play a lot and move your feet. It’s something that is a new area for me, so I was trying to get used to it."

"We want to emphasize movement and motion," Bylsma added. "In the Dallas game, when we had the five-on-four, Sid got two chances from the middle of the ice. … That offers us a different look, but still looking for movement and motion. I think Sid is a guy who understands that going down into a low position sometimes is a good alternative as well."

Crosby sees the change being able to pay dividends for himself and the PP.

"Hopefully I can support the puck," Crosby said. "From there, you are able to see what the other team’s are doing pretty quickly. You have to find the open ice. That’s what I like to do."

With Crosby moving to the middle of the power play, Malkin slid to his spot along the right-wing boards and Goligoski returned to the left point.

Coachspeak with head coach Dan Bylsma:

On getting back to moving the puck up ice quick:
We want to play a fast, aggressive, physical game and get to the offensive zone as quick as we can and have that as our mantra or calling card. There has been that focus. We’ll look to do that through all 60 (minutes) tonight.

On how he will play the goalies on Saturday:
I never go that far in advance.

On battling through different time zones on this trip:
It just means that I get up earlier thinking about hockey than another trip, that’s what it means. It was 4:30 a.m. today when I woke up.

On not scoring on five-on-threes:
A big part of the power play is emotionally and what your team draws from it. A good power play fails 75 percent of the time. I think when you get to the five-on-three, I think you feel like it should be a goal. That can really add to the psychological toll of not scoring on that. I think our team needs to do a better job of executing at a better rate when we have a five-on-three. We can’t just stand around and pass the puck. We need to execute, attack, move the puck from high to low and east to west. We have to move (the PK) around with more authority than we have. We had two really good chances on the last five-on-three and we didn’t score on them. That really deals a blow to your team, especially in the situation where it would have gotten us back into the game or tied in the game if we could have gotten two goals in that situation.

On what the Penguins can take from Dallas into tonight to make them a better team:

I think you have to play a certain way. You have to be on that page and play that way every night to have a chance to really be a successful team. You just don’t go out and play 60 minutes, see how it goes and count on a star player, goaltender or power play to win a game. It was to be a certain way. Right now, we are not there mentality-wise. The last week or so has been good for us to get really focused and getting back to the way we need to play.

I'm currently in the process of transcribing today's locker room interviews, but before I did that, I joined director of communications (and my new boss as of Monday) Jennifer Bullano at lunch. We went to Jerry's Restaurant and Deli across the street from our hotel. Let's just say it was a great decision on her part!

They had a ton of pictures of different musicals along the perimeter of the deli. I'm a huge fan of musicals (hey, it can't all be about sports). I was disappointed they didn't have a picture of my all-time favorite - The Lion King.

I went with the triple-decker sandwich, potato salad and coleslaw as my main meal. For the second straight day I strayed from the diet, eating a delicious piece of peanut butter-chocolate cheesecake. I'm glad I went off course it was AMAZING!

Head coach Dan Bylsma said that Marc-Andre Fleury will be in goal tonight for the Penguins when they take on the Anaheim Ducks.

"I could tell you that it is a game-time decision tonight, but I think you know Marc's going in the game tonight," Bylsma said.

Here are some pictures from today's morning skate:




The Penguins are currently practicing their power play at Honda Center. One thing I'm noticing here today, and I'll be sure to check on this following the skate, is that it seems as if Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are doing more rotating through the rover position. Alex Goligoski had manned this spt the past few weeks, but he looks to be back along the blue line next to Kris Letang.

Pascal Dupuis and Sidney Crosby are on the ice for the Penguins at the morning skate.


Here are the forward lines being used by head coach Dan Bylsma:


The Anaheim Ducks went onto the ice for their morning skate half an hour earlier than home teams usually do, so I only got to catch the tail end of their practice by the time we arrived here. I wasn't able to get many good pictures at all - in fact I only got to take six total - but here is the best of the best from two minutes of watching them:




We are live at the Honda Center for this morning's (afternoon for those of you back on the East Coast) game day skate. The Penguins are currently in the locker room getting ready to go. Pascal Dupuis is back with the team after arriving in Anaheim late last night following the birth of his daugther, Lola. We'll keep you posted on how Dupuis' addition potentially changes the Penguins' lines for tonight.

Unfortunately, as we wait for the Penguins to hit the ice, I don't have any good adventure stories like I did yesterday. Today I spent my morning working on Ice Time features for my favorite department in our organization, the graphic designers - Barb, Erin and Lori - three of the best in the business!
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