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Penguins Report: Guerin Returns

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

The major news at practice was the return of Bill Guerin. The NHL veteran has missed the past three games with back spasms but was back on the ice Monday for practice.

"I am starting to feel a lot better," Guerin said. "It’s just one of those things where it just takes time. Your back goes into spasm and it just depends on the individual how long it is going to take to loosen up and settle down. We will take it day-by-day and see."

Guerin said that he used the practice session to test out his back.

"That was kind of the idea," Guerin said. "I almost went in warmups (Sunday) but we decided that it would be better to give it another couple days to make sure it is right because we don’t want to rush it.

"It is just a matter of time. Each episode for each guy is different. It is not one of those things where you can say two days, four day or a week. It is just when it is ready."


3:13 PM:

Dan Bylsma
On if Matt Cooke has heard from the league:
We have not heard. We believe they are looking at all hits and situations. We have not heard anyone yet.
On if he saw the hit and what he thinks:
We had a change of possession and we were coming back. They were in a good spot to score a goal. Cooke and (Jordan) Staal were in the play.  I think Matt Cooke is coming back with the intention of breaking up a good scoring chance by another player. The unfortunate part is there is a guy who is hurt and down on the ice. It is a situation nobody wants to see. It doesn’t matter what color uniform he is wearing. I know from our dressing room, we don’t want to see that happen. Matt Cooke has reached out to him and tried to say that wasn’t the intention. He was coming to break up a play. It is a physical, fast game and it happens in a split moment. We want to reiterate we don’t like to see a guy on the ice in a situation like he was last night.
On making an example of Cooke:
The timing of it certainly is not great given that (general managers) are talking about that situation at the meetings (coming up). That is the NHL’s policy to look at these things and make the decision based upon what they see, the timing of the hit and where it is at. That’s something the league will do and we will wait for.
On the upcoming five-game road trip:
I think we have come back from the break playing like we say we can play. We have had a couple different types of games. One where we had to get 55 shots to win the game. (On Sunday) with the penalties being in favor of Boston we lost momentum a couple of times. Our penalty kill kept us in it in the first and we had to win that game out there in the third. It was a different type of game but still it was about staying with it, staying with the game plan and getting to our game. We have built up four games now and now we have the challenge of going on the road. It is not one or two (games), we have five games against us against some tough opponents. We will be ready to play that same type of game for the next five.
On comparing this five-game trip to the one at the end of last year:
Our intention is how we play not where we are playing. I take pretty good pride in the number of wins we have had on the road to this point in the season. It doesn’t matter what building we are playing at or the length we are on the road. We are going out there to play our way. That is our challenge. We put some games together but now we have new challenges. We are going out to play the same style we started here.

Assist Jason Seidling

Marc-Andre Fleury

On his last couple of games:
I think it was good to have two games in a row this weekend. Two wins were good for our confidence. As the game went on, I started to feel a little better, so it’s good.
On the game against the Boston Bruins:
I always believe that no matter what the score is – if I get scored on first or not – I always believe that our team can come back and get some goals. Last night, we were down by one, and they were a good defensive team. We were still able to get two (points), so that’s good.
On the team’s record over the past few years:
I know that the last two or three years, we’ve been doing well, and we usually have a good push at the end of the year. I don’t keep track too closely.
On his ability to play his best before the playoffs:
It’s an important time of the year, but I don’t try harder now than I did in December. I still try to stop the puck.

Assist Caitlin Kasunich

1:15 PM:
Following their back-to-back home wins against Dallas, 6-3, and Boston, 2-1, the Penguins held an optional practice at Southpointe on Monday. Eleven players participated: Forwards Craig Adams, Mike Rupp, Bill Guerin, Tyler Kennedy, Maxime Talbot and Pascal Dupuis, defensemen Kris Letang, Jay McKee and Jordan Leopold and goaltenders Marc-Andre Fleury and Brent Johnson.

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