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Penguins Report: Game Day at Washington

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Coach Bylsma on Malkin, line shuffling and AHL call ups (11:38 AM).
  • “Get your towels ready. It’s about to go down.” (12:10 PM).
  • Black and Yellow – Penguins edition (11:44 AM).
  • “Oh momma, I’m in fear for my life from the long arm of the law…” (10:35 AM).

12:10 PM:
To quote Lonely Island from the "I'm on a Boat" song: "Get your towels ready. It's about to go down!!!"

11:44 AM:
Black and Yellow (Pittsburgh Penguins' version). My favorite player was also Tom Barrasso.

Favorite line: "Haters hate and they always wanna tell us. That's OK, 87 make 'em jealous."

11:38 AM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…

On if a decision was made for Malkin to have surgery:
Not yet, no.

On if he won’t be around until fall:
It’s a serious injury at this point. Surgery would be in that category. Even rehab, I’m not sure what the prognosis would be with that. I don’t know if he’s talked to the doctors about what the options are at this point.

On shuffling lines when a player goes down:
There is input from the coaches in between periods in those situations. There are scenarios in the game that you plan for and anticipate. There are some that you don’t, but some are similar. We’ve played games without Geno recently, we’ve only played a period with him. It wasn’t like we didn’t have a game plan or previous history. Dustin Jeffrey sliding into the center position between Kunitz and Dupuis. That was natural. We’ve done that in previous games. It does get interesting when you take a player out of the lineup that’s going to play 20 minutes and you have to distribute minutes around to different players. It makes for some juggling naturally or not so naturally during the game.

On having a lot of practice with line shuffling:

I did it a fair amount with healthy players. It felt like the American Hockey League at times. We’d have 10 forwards, 11 forwards in the American Hockey League. There is some juggling there. It reminds me of managing those benches.

On players called up having motivation:

There is a burst of adrenaline that a player rides when he gets called up. The challenge for a player is maintaining that consistency level once the adrenaline goes away and you get into the day-to-day. For our organization we’ve had success with players coming up and contributing because they’re 100 percent comfortable in what their role is and how we’re going to play. There is a confidence level for them that they know what to do when they get on the ice. They don’t guess or wonder. They’re actually able to go out and play their game, bring their foundation and skill set. They are 100 percent confident on what they need to do on the ice and how we want to play the game. That gives them the opportunity to go out there and show their skill. Dustin Jeffrey, Tim Wallace and Eric Tangradi are not worried about systems right now. They know them as well as, or maybe better, than some of our players here. Now they can go out and be affective in their roles.

On if the adrenaline has worn off on Jeffrey:

We are by that already a little bit. Maybe there is realization now that there is a longer-term opportunity with Geno’s injury. Todd Reirden and myself have coached Dustin for a while now. We know him as a player and maybe he needed a jolt two games ago to make sure he didn’t slip, and he hasn’t slipped. We’re aware of it.

10:35 AM:
Welcome to Verizon Center, home of the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals, and host site to the NBC afternoon titl between the Penguins and Capitals (the Super Bowl prequel).

A great day of sports for Pittsburgh fans, starting with Pens-Caps and ending with Steelers-Packers in Super Bowl XLV. Pittsburgh sports will dominate the national sports coverage today and I'm sure the city is buzzing with anticipation. My Black and Gold pride is runnin' wild. The wait is almost over.

To get you pumped for the day (not that you should need it for a day like today), here is a Steelers/Pens video featuring Styx "Renegade."

And here is the unedited version of "Renegade" for your listening pleasure. Enjoy.

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