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Penguins Report: Game Day vs. Colorado

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

5:25 PM:
Tonight is a Student Rush game. The Pens Ice Crew handed out hot dogs to rushers. There were also prizes and a DJ for the students' entertainment. These rushers have it easy. Back in my day there were no hot dogs, pizza, players or foam fingered TV hosts. And I had to walk uphill to Mellon Arena both ways through 8 inches of snow.

Lacee Collins of ROOT SPORTS and Katie O'Malley of PensTV sporting ridiculous looking foam fingers. I think this is called undercover journalism.

1:40 PM:
Steve Mears is the original gangsta of the Game Day Report.

12:08 PM:
Sounds heard around the locker room...

Tyler Kennedy

On his status for tonight’s game against the Colorado Avalanche:
It’s still a game time decision so we’ll see throughout the day. I feel pretty good. I’m ready so we’ll see what happens this afternoon.

On if he feels like he can play tonight:
Yeah. I think I’m ready so we’ll see. I’ll talk to Dan (Bylsma) today and see what he says.

On if the decision to play is more his or Bylsma’s:
I think it’s more mine, to make sure I’m ready, make sure I’m confident and that I’m ready to come back.

On how long it’s been since he had headaches:
It’s been quite a while.

On how long it feels like the recovery process has taken:
It feels like it’s taking forever. It’s a process and I know that. It’s one of those things where you’ve got to be mentally strong and just kind of battle through it.

Matt Cooke

On Semyon Varlamov:
He’s a very active goalie. We’ve got to get some traffic around him.

On what Tyler Kennedy adds to the team:
He’s a skilled player that helps our power play and helps in the five-on-five fight. He’s a guy with experience, a guy that’s been there and a guy that’s played.

On a player coming back from injury:
I think when they come back they’re refreshed, which is most important. Then they can come back and contribute.

Craig Adams

On Colorado’s top-ranked power play and what makes it dangerous:
We haven’t watched the tape on them yet, but talking a little bit this morning, I know they’ve got some very offensive players, creative guys and guys that are willing to attack the seams and shoot pucks on net. They work mostly off the low cycle on both sides, and we’re going to watch a little bit more tape. I think it’s just their willingness to attack.

On facing a team who leads the league in road wins and points:
To be honest, we don’t really put a lot of stock in those sorts of things. If a team comes in here with a bad road record, it’s not like we’re going to prepare any differently or think that we’re going to change our game at all. Our game doesn’t change much from game to game. Obviously we make little adjustments here and there, and while we’d like to know what they’re doing, but mostly it’s about us.

On if this game is a measuring stick for their penalty kill:
I think our goal every night is to kill off the ones we take. To be honest, I didn’t know they had the best power play in the league until you guys just told me. It’s not like football, where you’ve got seven days to think about it. We talked about it a little bit this morning, we’re going to go in and watch a little bit more and come up with a game plan of what we’d like to do and see if we can execute.

Are you listening: J-Crew (Justin Criado)
Sing it back: Michelle Crechiolo

12:05 PM:
Avs pics...

Semyon Varlamov and Jean-Sebastien Giguere have a staring contest from across the universe

Quincey: "Hey you guys wanna get Primantis after this?" (left); Hejduk is in his 23rd NHL season - plus or minus a few years (right)

The Duchene Incline (right)

11:55 AM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…

On Colorado:
We don’t see the Avalanche very often other than late night TV. They have a 6-2-1 road record. They’ve played really well on the road. Their power play on the road is over 40 percent. It’s something we need to be aware of tonight. Their young forwards Duchene, Stastny and Landeskog drive this team with skill and speed. We have to be aware of those guys on the ice. Their old steeled anchor, Hejduk is a power play guy and veteran guy among those skilled forwards that drive their team offensively.

On Jeffrey and his conditioning stint:
Dustin went down (to WBS) to get more minutes and more game situations, different roles, power play and top minutes, penalty kill, defensive situations. He’s still rehabbing his knee. He needs to rehab that knee. Playing those minutes showed he needs to rehab. That’s why he didn’t play in that third game. That’ll be part of it for Dustin. He needs to get strong and continue to rehab while he proresses.

On Colorado’s top-ranked PP:
They don’t have simple players, but they have a simplistic approach. They get the puck to the net. They get the shot up top. Then they have skilled players with a unit anchored by Hejduk. The other while O’Reilly and Duchene, Stastny. They provide not just one thing. They have skill, movement, hunt pucks down, have a big shot from the point. They’ve had success in a lot of different ways. They haven’t gotten it one way. It’s not a one-dimensional power play. They are relentless. Add the young skill and they’ve been successful. We’re acutely aware of what they’ll try to do because it’s been a big factor for their success on the road.

11:41 AM:
Pens coach Bylsma gave updates on the team's lineup tonight:
  • Kennedy & Sullivan game-time decisions
  • Fleury starting in net
  • Dupuis needed stitches at practice, but is fine

11:00 AM:
Pens pics...

HC Bylsma on the campaign trail. Kissing hands, shaking wait, other way around I think

Fleury's new gear make him blend in with the blue paint and ice. He's like the Predator - minus the weaponry...and the need to kill...and he can talk...and, nevermind (left); Sullivan back at practice with the team (right)

Dickie Park (left); Staal, Niskanen and Asham can't take their eyes off the puck #LoveStruck (right)

10:35 AM:
Pens lines at the morning skate:

(Crosby, Tangradi)

10:25 AM:
The Pens are stepping on the ice for the morning skate. Steve Sullivan, who missed practice Monday and had a game-time status, is out there with the team.

10:20 AM:
Pens forward Matt Cooke stopped by the Ronald McDonald House at Children's Hospital yesterday.

10:10 AM:
Let's take a look back at some of the Great Moments in Pens History. Today team historian Bob Grove takes us back to Sidney Crosby's first-ever home game in Pittsburgh at Mellon Arena.

10:00 AM:
The Pens have recalled forward Dustin Jeffrey from WBS. He played 2 games in a conditioning assignment in WBS. He's continuing his progress from offseason knee surgery.

9:45 AM:
Good morning from CONSOL Energy Center! Tonight the Pens will battle the Colorado Avalanche at 7:30 pm on Versus Network.


As noted yesterday, tonight marks the Pens' 20th annual Score Against Hunger Food Drive. Food and cash donations will be collected at all three entrance gates. Fans that bring non-perishable food items or make a cash donation will be eligible to win autographed Pens' memorabilia. For more info on the Food Drive click here.

Continuing with the spirit of the food drive, we'll open the day with a song from one of my favorite late 90s guilty pleasures: Jimmy Eat World (get it, the connection with food and eating world?). And we'll kick off with the song "Sweetness" in honor of the thousands of fans who have contributed to the Food Drive throughout the years - collected over 32,000 pounds of food and more than $30,000 in donations since 1992.

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