Chit-chat with Max Talbot...On facing his former team:
This is a date I marked on the calendar at the start of the year. It’s pretty exciting. On his start with the Flyers:
It’s been good. I’m playing with speed, playing with good linemates, good chemistry has been going on. I don’t want to jinx myself, but it’s been pretty good. Defensively, I’m asked to play a lot of different roles like with the Penguins. It’s been fun.On being on the other side of the rivalry:
I don’t know if there are words that can explain. It will be exciting for me personally. If you look at the game tonight, we’re one-point difference. The team that wins tonight will be first in the East. It’s a pretty big game. It’s nice to see these two teams battle. I think the rivalry means respect. In a lot of way these two teams have a lot of respect for each other. It’s going to be fun.On visiting Pittsburgh for the first time:
Dec. 29th I marked that date too. Going back there will be fun, but there’s a lot of hockey left to be played before that. I’m going to think about tonight first. On knowing all the Pens:
A lot of these guys I played six years with. (Fleury) will be pretty fun to shoot on. Hopefully, I get one past him.On talking before the game:
We texted a little bit. It’s just exciting. On if it’s better to play the first one in Philly before Pittsburgh:
It’s nice to play here before. I know a little bit to expect. Warmups will be a little bizarre. At the same time it’s a challenge and exciting, something new.
And of course, always lurking in the halls of Wells Fargo Center... Click here for an explanation
Pens have activated forward Steve MacIntyre
from IR. To clear a roster spot the team placed Zbynek Michalek
on IR retroactive to Nov. 26. Meaning Michalek can be removed from IR at any time.
Here is today's Verizon Game Day Report from Wells Fargo Center (side note, shooting that footage may or may not have caused our camera guy and myself to miss the bus. Taxi!!!).
Pens (left); Pens (right)
Engelland skated today (left): MacIntyre may return to the lineup tonight (right)
Kunitz skated today (left); Britt will not be in the lineup tonight (right)
Orpik's twang shot (left); Fleury will be in the lineup tonight (right)
Pens captain Sidney Crosby
had this to say about missing the team's next two games...Click here for more
from Sid and Dan Bylsma on Crosby's current status.
Coach Bylsma had a couple lineup updates:
- Park & Engelland are still day-to-day with lower-body injuries
- If MacIntyre is healthy after the morning skate; he'll come off IR and play tonight
- If MacIntyre can't go; the team will recall someone from WBS
- Johnson missed skate with illness
He also said Marc-Andre Fleury
will start in goal and expects Johnson to back him up despite missing morning skate.
"I believe he will be able to. He’s just a little under the weather," Bylsma said
The rest of coachspeak with Dan Bylsma...On being familiar playing without Crosby:
We’re going and playing against the Philadelphia Flyers. They’re 7-3 in their last 10 games. Their power play is five for their last 13. They’re a good team. This game is for the most points in our division tonight, and it’s got the rivalry. We’ve got (Claude) Giroux looking at us right in the face. He’s obviously been playing very well. I think it’s 36 points he has. They have other facets of their game with obviously (Jaromir) Jagr and (Danny) Briere. (Scott) Hartnell has 22 points, and we’ll see his hair tonight. It’s going to be a great game.On if they bring MacIntyre off IR or call someone up:
We’re just going to see after the morning skate how ‘Mac’ is. We’ll take MacIntyre off IR if he’s capable and play with him tonight.On if he couldn’t play:
Wilkes-Barre is right down the road. On missing their physical defensemen against a team that crashes hard:
They’re a high-scoring team. They have skill. They have size. They’re good in the offensive zone. They have that presence on the power play as well. We obviously are missing some of our guy defenders and some physicality in Deryk Engelland
. That’ll be a factor tonight as well. The guys going in are capable and they know what we need to do. They need to be able to execute with the puck, puck retrieve and break out so that we can minimize what the Flyers can do. We also need to take care of the puck in the neutral zone to minimize their effectiveness on the rush, because they’re a very dangerous rush team. We can’t afford to put that kind of pressure on all of our defenders.On if he brainstormed scenarios including Jagr during the summer:
Of course. You fit him in where he would fit in, what players he would play with. We certainly did that.On facing Jagr as a player:
You don’t want to hear this story (laughs). Yes, I had the opportunity to defend him one game with Eddie Olczyk and Ray Ferraro against Mario (Lemieux), ‘Jags’ and Ronnie Francis. Our line didn’t fare too well. I think I shot a 69 or a 68. Minus 3 or 4, it didn’t go very well. Champion of the sun(shine): Michelle Crechiolo
Sounds heard around the visitors locker room…Brooks OrpikOn the revamped Flyers and their hot streak:
I know they’re scoring a lot of goals, I watched the game (Wednesday) night. Obviously if they’re down 3-0, they’ve got a lot of offense and they can come back from a 3-0 deficit. But I really haven’t seen that much. We haven’t played them yet, which is unusual this late in the season. It’s a lot different not seeing (Jeff) Carter and (Mike) Richards here, who used to be kind of the face of the franchise. (Chris) Pronger will be out too. Those are kind of the three guys you associate with Philly, but obviously that (Claude) Giroux is having a great year. He’s a guy that really makes them go.On if the rivalry is still the same with all the missing and new faces:
Yeah, I think so. There’s obviously a lot of new guys on their side, but there’s enough guys there that have been there for a while and the crowd usually gets pretty riled up when we come in here even without Sid, if I had to pick on somebody else. (Laughs) I’m sure it will be a good atmosphere tonight. Craig AdamsOn how the Pens’ PK will deal with the Flyers’ hot PP:
They’ve got some really skilled guys. Guys who are willing to shoot the puck. They’ll be getting a lot of pucks to the net, so that always creates problems. But we know what we’re trying to do and we know what they’re trying to do, so we’ll try and execute.On if the rivalry is still the same with all the missing and new faces:
Yeah, absolutely. You look at their team, they’ve got some new faces there – guys that we don’t know that well and guys that are new to the rivalry. I know that we’re up for this game. It’s a big game for us. And I know that they’re going to come out hard in this building. It’ll be more of the same, I think. Paul MartinOn the revamped Flyers:
They had quite an overhaul with some of their guys and they’ve been playing well. It’s going to be a good challenge for us.On what Jaromir Jagr brings to the Flyers:
Even though he’s up there in age, he’s definitely still a threat. His hands are so good, he’s so shifty and he’s got the size and a great shot. He creates a lot of problems. It’s just trying to take away his time and space. The less he has the puck, the better.On if the Penguins thrive with a depleted lineup:
Yeah, for sure. I think it’s just the nature of the game. There’s going to be injuries and everyone is trying to prepare themselves for when they get that opportunity. When they get it and step in, they’re playing the best they can. Guys definitely take a lot of pride in that. And the way the system works, if you’re staying within the system you’re going to be successful. Master of friendship: Michelle Crechiolo
Head coach Dan Bylsma gave a short update on Crosby (who will miss the next 2 games as a precaution
When asked exactly when Crosby was hurt in the Boston game, Bylsma responded:
"It was not a one-time incident in the game. He took a couple hits in the game and didn’t feel 100 percent after the game, so that was an indication. He went and saw Dr. (Michael) Collins the next day. His imPACT test was exactly what it was when he returned to play. Dr. Collins said there is no indication of a concussion at this point in time. After practice (Wednesday), he had a slight headache. He knows his body well. It’s been a long 10 months. And as a precautionary (move), he is just kind of taking tonight’s game off and through the weekend."
Bylsma was then asked what steps would be required for Crosby to return to the lineup, and coach answered, "He’s having today off and anticipates working out (Friday). That’s where he’s at right now."
Video coordinator Jim Britt is in goal for Brent Johnson
. Richard Park
is also missing, but Deryk Engelland
is on the ice.
Here are the Pens' lines:
Since the Flyers played last night in Buffalo, they cancelled their morning skate today. So we won't be able to talk to Max Talbot or Jaromir Jagr about tonight's game. I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty bummed about this. I wanted to get their thoughts on facing the Pens.
The Flyers are blistering hot following a 5-4 overtime win at Buffalo Wednesday night. They have the NHL’s No. 1 offense and have won five of their last six games. Michelle Crechiolo scouted out the Flyers and gives you the details
on what to expect from the orange and black.
Tonight will be a tough test for the Pens. Not only are they facing a hot Flyers team on the road, but they’re doing so undermanned. The team was already missing key defensemen Kris Letang
, Zbynek Michalek
and Deryk Engelland
. But now the Pens will be without captain Sidney Crosby, who will miss the next 2 games as a precaution
Good morning from Wells Fargo Center! Tonight the Pens will meet their cross-state rival Philadelphia Flyers in a battle of Keystone supremacy. The matchup features the top two teams in the Atlantic Division, with the Pens holding a slight one-point lead in the standings.
Even though it was pouring rain all day yesterday, the skies have cleared a little today though we have yet to see the sun peak out. Regardless, we’ll open the day with a song from the show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Here is “Dayman (Remix).” Enjoy.