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Penguins Report: Game Day at Los Angeles

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Verizon Game Day Report (2:13 PM).
  • Picard in; Martin/Staal game-time; Fleury starts (12:28 PM).
  • Pens lines (1135 AM)
  • Martin absent from morning skate (11:47 AM).
  • Crosby has Dr appointment (11:32 AM).
  • Scouting the Kings (10:36 AM).
  • Coach Bylsma on Crosby (1:04 PM).
  • Fleury’s shootout moves (10:45 AM).
  • Coach Bylsma on Bortuzzo & the Kings (1:23 PM).
  • Bortuzzo & Picard spit knowledge (1:24 PM).
  • Pens pics (3:13 PM).
  • “Why did I move to Southern California…” (3:29 PM).
  • “What’s a game of chance to you? To him it’s one of real skill…” (10:30 AM).

Well that's a wrap for Pens Reports on the West Coast trip. And since we opened with a song, we're going to close with a song - "Southern California" by Wax. This comes from a faithful twitter follower (@strangerdangers) - Michelle and my twitter handle is @PensInsideScoop in case you aren't in the know.

If I had to summarize this video in six words: Man on fire running slow motion

Pens pics...

Army of 1, or 22 in this case (left); King of Engelland (right)

Two former Kings players HC Bylsma and the greatest person ever Asst coach Granato (left); Hard to tell from this photo if this is a goal or not. Someone call Toronto (right)

Matt Cooke takes over the goaltending duties for Johnny (left); Bortuzzo may make his NHL debut tonight, but either way his mustache is sweet (right)

For the lowdown on tonight's game, tune in to today's edition of the Verizon Game Day Report from Staples Center. A thanks to Veronica Corningstone for her anchor talents:

Sounds heard around the visiting locker room...

Robert Bortuzzo

On the call-up and possibly playing tonight:
It’s exciting. This is my first time being a part of something like this. I’m just real excited to be here.

On the disappointment of missing training camp:
It was obviously frustrating to have something like that happen early in the year. Your summer of training kind of feels like it was a bit of a waste. You work hard getting back and I’m fortunate to be here right now.

On the number of games he’s had with WBS:
I played two games last weekend.

On if that’s enough:
I felt good out there. My conditioning was there. Hopefully hard work pays off.

On his injury:
It was a knee injury. That’s what the doctors told me. A sprain. I was fortunate that no further surgery was needed. I was lucky there.

On if he’s pleased to be the one chosen for the call-up:
Oh, absolutely. There’s a lot of depth in the organization, especially in the defensive position. The boys have been doing a great job down there; they were successful (Friday) night. They shut out a good team down there, so they’re doing a good job too.

Alexandre Picard

On getting the call-up:
It’s awesome. That’s sort of been my goal towards making the team. It didn’t happen; I went down to Wilkes and practiced hard, played hard. I was hoping to get the call and then here it is and here I am. I just want to make the most of it.

On being comfortable playing with Kris Letang:
We’re still not really sure what the pairings are going to be tonight. Obviously Kris is a great player. I think nowadays, the way the league is and the way the injuries are, you kind of have to be ready to play with everybody. If it’s Kris, then great. If it’s not, then we’ll adjust ourselves.

No one's gonna fool around with us: Michelle Crechiolo

The rest of coachspeak with Dan Bylsma (a short one today!)...

On showing faith in Robert Bortuzzo to call him up:
He did not get to participate in training camp; missed that opportunity. He was certainly strong in his efforts last year with what he’s done in the American Hockey League. Then coming back, his two games were very good. He was probably looking forward to getting his third and fourth games under his belt, but he was the guy to get called up with the way he’s played and what we think of him, what we think he can do and be for our defense. So he’d like to have more work under his belt, that’s for sure. But we’re confident he’s going to be able to step in and play and play well for us.

On the team’s success having any bearing on when Crosby will return:
Not in the least bit.

On the Kings’ struggling offense:
We’re certainly aware of the last few games for the Kings and maybe where they even have talked about in the papers that they’ve struggled. But we also know and look at a lot of dangerous people over there, some good players and a good team. We’re certainly very wary of that opponent coming out strong and some of the solutions they’re going to have to try and get on the scoresheet. So we’re aware of that situation and hopefully after the game, we’ll say we got the first scenario.

On the correlation between the number of games and the injuries:
I think the amount of work we’ve had and the number of games has contributed to what the players that have played have dealt with, not the injuries. In terms of Brooks Orpik and Zbynek (Michalek) and Ben Lovejoy, those don’t have anything to do with the number of games we’ve played. But some of the maintenance days and some of the guys that have had to deal with some bumps and bruises I definitely attribute to the amount of work early on in a season we have gotten and that we’ve gone through.

So glad to meet you: Michelle Crechiolo

Bylsma elaborated on Crosby's doctors appointment:

"He had a scheduled doctors appointment. He left to go see the doctor. We have a team-building event next week and he didn't want to miss that. He was able to see the doctor and get that taken care of. He'll return to practice on Monday. There's no timetable. There's no date. There's no point in the future we're talking about yet. It's a progression down the road for Sidney."

Pens coach Bylsma said following practice that both Martin and Jordan Staal will be game-time decisions. Alexandre Picard will definitely be in for Ben Lovejoy and Fleury gets the nod between the pipes.

"Marc-Andre Fleury will start in goal tonight," Bylsma said. "Picard will go in for Ben Lovejoy, who sustained a broken wrist. It looks like we'll stay the same after that. It will be game-time for a couple other players, including Paul Martin. He wasn't on the ice today."

Pens D-man Paul Martin also absent from the skate. We'll get an update from coach Bylsma after on his status for tonight's game.

Here are the Pens' lines from the morning skate:


The six D rotated.

Pens Sidney Crosby is not at the team's morning skate. He went back to attend a scheduled doctor's appointment. He'll be back with the team for practice on Monday.

I believe it goes without saying that Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is a perfect human being. He's always friendly, always has a smile on his face, has a big heart and is always willing to do whatever he can to help anyone - even when that anyone are us annoying folks at PensTV.

"Flower" is always trying to have fun and give his teammates a good laugh. So when the team holds its post-practice shootout, he started doing some interesting moves to keep things loose, entertaining and hilarious.

Click here for more details on where he comes up with his moves, his inspiration and what moves he may bust out next. For a visual example, click the play button below. #AreYouNotEntertained

Don't know much about the Kings? Here's your cheat sheet from Michelle Crechiolo. Or for the shorter cliff notes, watch the Scouting Report vid:

Good morning from Los Angeles, California! Tonight the Pens will battle the LA Kings at Staples Center in the second half of their 2-game West Coast Trip.


Since we are in the city of Los Angeles, I want to open the day with the song "Angeles" by my favorite singer/songwriter Elliott Smith (and second fave musician next to the Mighty Kurt Cobain).

Smith was a rare talent that played multiple instruments and had a very distinct singing style - a layered whisper. His lyrics are very powerful and pull no punches, revealing his personal struggles without holding anything back - completely exposed.

The first record of his that I bought was Either/Or, titled after a book with the same title by existential philosopher Soren Kierkegaard (who just happens to be my favorite philosopher. A lot of favorites in this early entry). The album has a lot of great tunes like "Between the Bars," "2:45 AM" and "Rose Parade." But I've always been drawn to "Angeles." Plus, it's my favorite song to play/sing on my acoustic guitar (the favorites just keep on coming).

So without further ado, here is "Angeles" by Elliott Smith. Enjoy.

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