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Penguins Report: Game Day at Colorado

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Pens’ lines (11:37 AM).
  • Duchene out tonight for Aves (11:20 AM).
  • Coach Bylsma on Crosby, Cooke and Kunitz - say that five times fast; or even more difficult: state’s only self-sustaining scallop farm... (1:27 PM).
  • Seven-letter word for flightless, aquatic birds, having webbed feet wings reduced to flippers (3:47 PM).
  • Tony Granato chats with the media (2:19 PM).
  • Martin, Sterling and N. Johnson spit knowledge (1:06 PM).
  • Cab photos/Central Park practice photos loaded onto Facebook (3:25 PM).
  • Around the Pepsi Center (3:28 PM).
  • Avs skate pics (10:41 AM).
  • Pens pics (11:53 PM).
  • "Is this a cure? Or is this a disease?..." (9:57 AM).

Alex Goligoski and Deryk Engelland spend some time following the Pens morning skate to do a crossword puzzle in the locker room.


Hey guys! Remember that time when the Pens were busing to Central Park for practice in their gear, and the bus and another car hit each other, and the team had to hail cabs to get to practice, and then the team practiced outside at Central Park, and a good time was had by all? Remember that time? Well we all do.

And we just posted a bunch of photos from that fun-filled day on the Pens Official Facebook page. So click here to check out the photo album.

Coachspeak Round II (the video version) with Tony Granato...

Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…

On Crosby being in the light workouts phase
He needs to be symptom-free. It’s not something that he’s not getting checked out everyday.

On changing the D-pairs:
The past two games we’ve switched them at some point and time. We’ll see how we start tonight. I think there will be a little switch.

On missing Matt Cooke:
There are a handful of things – forechecking aspect to our game, puck management, how we play in the offensive zone – he’s a factor in that. Penalty killing is a big thing. Also, playing with some leadership on the bench and in the room, and leadership in how we play. Some of that Matt assumes on a regular basis. Some of it he’s assumed as we’ve got more injuries. Some of that responsibility has gone to Kunitz and Cooke. That’s what we miss.

On if Cooke is unfairly portrayed:
If he is portrayed as a player that plays on the edge, is an agitator and is a guy that other teams don’t like to play against, that’s pretty accurate.

On if he would have hated playing against Cooke:
I believe you said those words, not me. That’s probably true. He’s a tough guy to play against. He’s a physical guy. He’s also a guy that can play the game in the offensive zone and make plays. He can add offensively. That makes it more aggravating to play against. He can be used on the power play, in front of the net. He can be in and around the cage. He can make a play. He plays a physical style every night.

On missing Chris Kunitz and Cooke:
They get more criticism than credit for what they add to our team. They add a lot in terms of speed, the way we want to play, playing in the offensive zone, establishing our game. Most teams want to establish their game with a forecheck and creating havoc in the offensive zone. Kunitz is a big part of that. When he’s effective for us, he does a lot for the people around him that doesn’t get noticed. Not having him there makes an impact on our team and other guys have to be better at what they do. Craig Adams has to be better at what Craig Adams does. It’s more evident with the losses of Cooke and Kunitz.

On reminding the Pens that they can still be a top seed:
It seems like there’s been many other topics on the forefront than where our position is at. That’s something we have to get back at in our room – putting that aside, dealing with the adversity and being focused on going out and playing the game that we need to play, and putting ourselves in a position to have success, and win some hockey games to challenge for something we want – to try and win our division and get that top seed.

Sounds heard around the Pepsi Center visitors locker room:

Paul Martin

On Colorado being a dangerous team:
They can be, especially since they had a rough one last game too. It’s always tough when things aren’t going well. It just makes a team hungry to get back in the win column. They play hard. Like us, we’ve lost a couple and want to get back on track too. So it should be a good game.

On what the Avalanche do well
They’re an aggressive team, from the back end too. They’re all over the ice. They have a lot of young talent and speed too. You kind of just play. It’s tough to play against.

On Colorado losing Duchene:
That’s tough. We’ve been going through that too. It’s part of the game. It’s tough to see your top guys out of the lineup that help you have a chance to win every night. 

Brett Sterling

On the callup:
It’s been a good experience for me personally. We’ve been fighting it a little bit, but we have a good team here. Look at the players that we have – they’re unbelievable players. Hopefully we get a few guys back, get some wins rolling. No matter what happens with our lineup, we have to compete to win games.

On his offensive outburst:
It’s nice to come up here and produce. I haven’t had as much production as I would have liked in the past few stints. Playing with good players and getting the puck in scoring situations is what my game is all about. Hopefully I get those chances and convert when I have one.

On playing with Staal:
How can you complain about playing with an NHL (caliber) All-Star. As talented as he is, he makes it easy on you. Playing with him and a guy from Wilkes-Barre, Nick Johnson, makes life a lot easier.

On coming back to Colorado
It’s nice to be back. The air hasn’t changed. It’s nice and thin. … I’ve never played in the Pepsi Center. It’s good to be back though.

Nick Johnson

On the Avalanche:
You could look at it any way you want, we just have to play our game and that’s the bottom line. We’ll focus on that and it should work out.

On playing with Staal and Sterling:
It’s going well. We just have to keep going. Sterling and myself just got here. It’s a little more of a challenge. We’re just trying to keep up with Jordan and do what we can.

On the opportunity to play in Pittsburgh:
You don’t get too many chances. I’m not old, but I’m definitely not young. It’s a big opportunity. It’s unfortunate guys got hurt. That’s the nature of the game. They need guys to step up. I’ll try to be one of those guys.

11:53 AM:
Pics from the Pepsi Center...

Staal (right) stretching it out

Assistant coach Tony Granato (left) returns for his first visit to the Pepsi Center

Granato held a media scrum with the Colorado media before the team's morning skate

Here are the Pens' lines from their morning skate. Pretty much the same as their previous game at New York.


Avalanche center Matt Duchene is out indefinitely with a hand injury and will miss tonight's game vs. the Penguins.

The Avalanche are on the ice for their morning skate...

Good morning from Denver! (Or I guess it's afternoon in Pittsburgh). The Pens are in the Mile High City to take on the Colorado Avalanche at 9 p.m. (Eastern time).

While yesterday (Feb. 15) was the two-year anniversary of Dan Bylsma's promotion to Pittsburgh, today marks the anniversary of his first game behind the bench (a 3-2 shootout loss at NY Islanders). A lot has happened with the Pens and Bylsma in those two years

Here's a little jam to get you pumped up for the day, Audioslave's "Show Me How to Live." Audioslave is the love child of Soundgarden (frontman Chris Cornell) and Rage Against the Machine (guitarist Tom Morello and company - yes I don't know the bassist's and drummer's names offhand), bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk (thank you Wikipedia). 

In the video for "Show Me How to Live," our heroes (or villains - I'm not quite sure) are involved in a three-day high-speed police chase - just rewatched the video and realized the band doesn't change clothes over those three days, such boehmians. Cornell is the driver and anytime you see him use the stick shift, awesomeness is about to ensue.

The amazing thing is that despite the fact that the car is being pursued by cops, has near collisions with oncoming traffic quite often and is nearly run off the road by an adversary, Cornell never breaks a sweat (not to mention that he's wearing a long-sleeve t-shirt for three days in the desert! I'm not even sure if he's got a heartbeat).

Anyways, enjoy.

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