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Penguins Report: Game Day at Tampa Bay

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Crosby morning skate video (12:25 PM).
  • Pics of Crosby’s morning skate (11:51 AM).
  • Pens’ lines (11:54 AM).
  • Crosby talks about his first skate (1:55 PM).
  • Coach Bylsma on Crosby, goaltending and the Lightning (1:36 PM).
  • Former Pen/Pittsburgher Ryan Malone returns tonight (10:58 AM).
  • Crosby with the quote of the day (4:08 PM).
  • PensTV game preview with a stud (5:52 PM).
  • Blackberry previews Pens-Lightning (3:54 PM).
  • Pens pics (1:19 PM).
  • "We carved the days from the hours. You showed me all you could have in the drive on to me..." (10:30 AM).

5:52 PM:
Check out the daily recap with yours truly.

4:08 PM:
Quote of the day. Crosby addressed his teammates at the conclusion of the morning skate. When coach Bylsma asked if Crosby had anything to add on the game, he replied:

3:54 PM:
The Blackberry pregame show did a piece on tonight's matchup.

1:55 PM:
Sidney Crosby media scrum…

On skating with his teammates:
It was just fun, a lot of fun to be back out there even though I’m not playing. It’s nice to be around the guys. I’ve spent a lot of time at home and guys have been on the road. It’s nice to join them and get back out there.

On pushing for this session:
No, they basically tell me what to do. They know better than I do. I was pretty excited to hear that I could join the team and do a little pregame skate here and there.

On the next step:
It’s the same thing with every step. You make sure you don’t get symptoms. It’s not just one day. It’s at least a few days, if not more. The main thing is not to look too far ahead. You just try to get through each step and hope it goes well.

On how the morning skate helps:
The motions, all the guys out there is something you take for granted a lot. That’s something that you have to get readjusted to. It puts a lot of pressure on your brain a bit when everyone is moving out there and you have to react to that. Just trying to see how that goes.

On if there have been problems:
No, not yet. At this point when you haven’t skated that much and you’re out there it’s important to separate between being fatigued and feeling symptoms of a concussion. It’s more than just one day. That’s why you have to do it a bit and see how you react.

On if he’s had symptoms:
No, it’s been really good.

On if he took hockey for granted:
I don’t think I took it for granted. I don’t think I ever do. It’s easy not to realize until you go through something like this, how easy those things seem and they’re really not sometimes. I don’t think I’ve ever taken it for granted, but it’s not something that you think about until you go through a situation like this.

On the balance between game condition and symptoms:
I’ve got to be ready no matter what. Whether it’s the playoffs or regular season, you have to make sure that you’re healthy. It’s a matter for me of making sure that I’m healthy. If that takes two months then it takes two months. If it doesn’t, great. I can’t really control that. I just have to do the right things to try to feel good and get back to where I need to be. I’m not looking too far ahead at all. I’m looking at these little opportunities as a good chance to get back with the guys. At the same time it’s just a small step with a lot to go.

On if it’s harder than other types of injuries:
There’s no set time. Usually with certain things you have a set timeframe. With this, that’s not the case, especially with the time of year. It doesn’t make it any easier. In general it’s a frustrating thing to go through. There are so many different opinions. Everyone has gone through concussions and reacts differently. It’s not easy to get a real grasp on what you’ll go through. Everyone is different. That’s been the challenge.

On if Hedman’s hit caused any damage:
I don’t know. It probably didn’t help, that’s for sure.

On his teammates winning without him:
It says a lot. It’s amazing to see what we’ve gone through. It wasn’t just Malkin and I. We had seven or eight regular guys out of the lineup. It’s been different guys. Fleury’s been good the whole year. Kennedy recently, he’s been putting the puck in the net. It takes everyone collectively to come together in adversity like that. I think we always had it, but this is a pretty good reminder of the character that we have in the room. I’ve been impressed. We’re all proud to be part of this group and proud of the way that everyone played.

On his reaction when told he could go in the morning skate:
I was pretty excited. It doesn’t seem like much. You do that 82 times a year. It feels good. I’ve been sitting around for a long time now. I recently got back on the ice. It’s just nice to be around the guys. You miss that a lot.

1:36 PM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…

On the postseason preview against Tampa Bay:
The probability of it being a playoff match is very high. We’re going to most likely see these guys in the first round and first game of the playoffs. It is still yet to be determined where that game might be at, which is some of the importance of the game here tonight. What does it mean for Game 1 if this is the matchup? It doesn’t mean a whole lot. There is a statement part of this game and how you play. There is some importance here. We’re going to see these guys again. I think that’s an important way for our guys to go into this game, and look at this game. In addition to that we’re still focused on getting home ice for the playoffs.

On if it helps to playing them right before the playoffs begin:
I think there’s a benefit. They’ll also see us as well. These are always interesting games. Every year there are times in the last few games where you end up playing a playoff opponent and the games take on some extra meaning because this is a team that you’ll start the Stanley Cup playoffs again. To see them just sets up this game as players that start the quest for the Stanley Cup will see each other tonight.

On Crosby’s work:
It’s good to see him out there. This is probably the longest time in his life that he’s gone without a real practice. To be out there with the team and practice was good to see.

On when Crosby’s will play:
There are no expectations on when the next step after this would be. He still would have to return to a full practice and then return to contact. Those are two things that are down the road. Both have no timetable.

On the goaltending work down the stretch:
There is a plan for one more (game for Johnson), and possibly two going down the stretch. Fleury has played one more leading up to the Philadelphia game than was planned. The workload hasn’t been tremendous for him at this point. Right now the plan is for Johnny to get one in the immediate future and we’ll see as we go into the last three games.

On the key to winning without star players:
The expectations from the players in the room on how we’re going to play and the standard of playing that way has been extremely high from the players. When we’ve had an injury to one player or two, or more there hasn’t been a ‘What are we going to do? How are we going to win? What are we going to change?’ We know how we need to play and how we’re going to play. Whether it’s Craig Adams or Ben Lovejoy, it doesn’t matter. We’re going out to play that way. We’ve had a lot of success doing it. We’ve proven we can win against good teams in tough places, on the road, at home. That’s been the focus for our team regardless of who’s been in or out of the lineup. The guys have been extremely good at it.

1:19 PM:
Pens pics from the morning skate...

12:25 PM:

Grabbed some quick video of Crosby skating with the team at today's morning skate. (Check out that stud on the left when Crosby comes out of the runway).

11:54 AM:
Here are the Pens' lines from the morning skate. Looks like Comrie will be in for Asham.


11:51 AM:
Crosby is skating with his teammates at St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa. After warmup, Crosby joined Arron Asham and Eric Godard in rush drills.

10:58 AM:
The Lightning opted not to skate this morning. There will be a familiar face in the Tampa lineup tonight as Ryan Malone will be playing for the first time since missing 21 straight games (and 26 of 27) with a groin injury.

10:30 AM:
Good morning from (not so) sunny Tampa Bay. Tonight, in a possible first-round playoff preview the Pens will go head-to-head with the Lightning at St. Pete Times Forum.

But other than the hype over the game, the big news today is Sidney Crosby rejoining his teammates in limited action - morning skates, but not practice. Although this is a nice step toward recovery from his early January concussion, the team is still cautious with Crosby's progress, and haven't even considered timetable for playing (if at all). We'll bring you all the coverage from the day.

But on to the music! One of my favorite indie bands of the early 2000s (and the one I'm constantly recommending people listen to) is Elliott. The band brilliantly used the soft-loud dynamic with their sound and lead singer/guitarist Chris Higdon's voice is a perfect compliment to that crescendo. 

Their album False Cathedrals is perhaps one of the best put together pieces of work I've ever heard. From start to finish, the record just captures a certain mood and experience that's unique and hard to describe. Below is their song "Drive On To Me" which perfectly embodies their sound.

My first exposure to Elliott was their EP "If They Do." I fell in love with the sound immediately. But the first track, "Waiting While Under Paralysis," is still arguably my favorite song of all time. It's so well structured and put together. The song builds, falls, strikes, collapses and resurrects. It also has the most amazing drum breakdown I've ever heard.

BONUS LIVE!! Here is a video of Elliott performing "Drive On To Me" live in one of their last shows together as a band. Enjoy.

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