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Penguins Report: Jan. 18, 2010

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

1:12 PM:

Sounds heard around the locker room:

Dan Bylsma
On the goaltender situation going into tomorrow’s game against the New York Islanders:
Brent Johnson was back on the ice today in practice. He’s day-to-day, and John Curry obviously was out there, as well. Flower (Marc-Andre Fleury) is still getting evaluated and seeing where he’s at with his injury. So, I don’t expect to have Flower as a possibility tomorrow, but hopefully we can with the other two guys.
On if Orpik will play in tomorrow’s game:
Brooks is day-to-day. He’s standing right over there. I'm waiting to see how his day went today and how he rated it on the ice. He’s really progressed, and he was in a full practice today, so we’ll see.
On the positive results of the five-game Canada trip:
We set out on the trip to get a little more attention into our game and into the details and how we want to play. I think we did a much better job of being able to get to our game. We were more attentive to the details that make us a good team, and we saw that throughout the trip. I think we saw some good results of that – of us being able to get to our game, and certainly we would have liked to have won all of them on our trip. But, we certainly did draw that from the trip, and now we have to translate that at home here and make a push toward the break.
On how Sidney Crosby’s role has changed over time:
I think he focused this summer on being more of a shooter - working on the shot. Sometimes that’s an improvement – you can see the improvement on the ice.  But, some of it is mentality about being a shooter. I think in the past you may have seen him look to pass in those areas, and he’s done a lot more shooting. His shot total has gone up as a result. He’s more dangerous with the mentality that when he gets into those areas, he’s going to shoot. But, he’s also shot more pucks from outside scoring areas, which you didn’t see him do very much of and made a big improvement in that area. I think going into games, teams are more aware that he’s going to be shooting the puck more.
On Ben Lovejoy’s abilities:
He did a great job the first time he came in, and I think he played real solid again and is real understanding of what his game is and how he can play it.  He’s really focused on his execution with the puck. Those are some of the toughest things to do for a young guy coming and playing his first few games and getting called up and then trying to make a statement again. I think he did a great job of doing that at this point.
On Curry’s goaltending:
John is a battler and a worker. When you turn into pro-hockey, and I know John’s been through this in his first season and in his second season, there are times when you have to get focused on playing your game. John’s shown in the past that he’s going to do that, and probably one of his strengths is his focus and his intensity and playing his game. 

Brooks Orpik
On if he'll be back in the lineup
I’m not positive but I think so. We’ll see how it goes (Tuesday).
On if there is any hesitation
Coming back too early and reinjuring it. That’s the only concern but it felt pretty good the last couple of times I skated.
On how he handled the practice
That was the first real practice I had. Dan (Bylsma) skated me real hard in Vancouver the day before the game. I got through that all right and the morning skate was easy (the next day). That was hard to judge. Yesterday was good having a day off because I was working the injury pretty good the whole road trip. Today felt pretty good.
On how long it takes to get back into his game following an injury
It depends on how long you’re out and what the injury is. The biggest thing is the timing. If you have a lower-body injury it is tough to keep yourself in shape. An upper-body injury you can still run and do the bike. It’s a bit easier. That being said, there is nothing like skate. You can do the bike and run all summer and then you get that first time on the ice and you’ll still feel bad. Luckily for me, it hasn’t been too long so I didn’t feel too bad out there.
On if the team was happy the injury wasn't that lengthy
The injury calmed down the next morning. We were pretty surprised. Initially we thought it was a lot worse than it was. That was a good thing. It’s just like when I hurt my knee earlier in the year. It seemed like a harmless play.

Brent Johnson
On how his injury feels:
It is feeling better every day.
On at least being the backup against the Islanders:
I have an appointment today. We will see how that goes. I don’t know if I am at liberty to say right now so we are going to go with that.
On rejoining practice:
I was on the ice for a brief time on Saturday morning.
On how sharp he feels:
I would like to definitely have a few more skates in.
On watching the game Saturday:
It was tough. I was concerned, obviously, for John Curry. I felt bad for him. He is a big boy and he has been through all this stuff before. I don’t think he was feeling his best before the game in terms of whether he was healthy or not being sick-wise. After the game we all spoke. We kind of had a little goalie meeting. It was one of those things where we told him to keep his head up and go get them next game.

Sidney Crosby
On being back home:
It’s definitely nice to be back. We had a long trip there. Guys are excited to be home and see their families. We get used to the routine of being here and playing at home. We have a lot of home games left so we have to make the most of that.
On the adjustment coming home:
It’s alright – you get used to it. Maybe yesterday was a little weird because of the time change and stuff. We were lucky going there because we had an hour (time) change every day so we kind of eased our way into it and it wasn’t something where we flew to Vancouver and had a three-hour time change right away. We kind of eased ourselves into it. It’s a long trip for sure and once it’s done everybody is happy to get home.
On his brief preview of the Olympic city:
Yeah, it was great. I couldn’t believe the amount of things that were going on there. They are still working away. I am sure they will be right until the end.
On the Olympics not creeping up in the back of the mind:
I don’t think there is anything wrong with thinking about it a bit. I think it’s important to focus on what you have to do here. I think I have been able to do that for the most part. It’s pretty easy because you want your game to be the best it can be going into the Olympics. The best way to do that is to focus on the here and now and when the time comes we will be ready to switch gears. It hasn’t been difficult at all to focus on things here. When the case happens where you wonder off and think about it then it’s fine and normal because everyone deals with that, especially with getting ready to go there.

John Curry
On getting back in there:
Yes, definitely.
On getting another chance:
That is what it is all about – getting another chance after a rough game. I am just eager to get back in there and prove myself again.
On looking at the Vancouver game on tape:
No. I know I didn’t feel my best. There are certain things you want to go over and improve on but there are also certain games where you want to forget about it and move on. You want to go out have a good practice to regain your confidence and go out there again.
On knowing he had success last year against the Islanders:
I played a home game against them last year but they are a different team. I think they have a good record of late. It should be a good challenge. I know not just me but everyone else is eager to get back out there again.
On studying the tendencies of opposing shooters:
I probably would rather just go out there and play. You certainly look at their tendencies on the power play and who in their lineup is a shooter and who is a passer – things like that. Maybe look at their shootouts if you get into that situation but other than that you don’t want to think too much about it. You want to be ready at all times no matter who has the puck and play your game.
On nerves factoring into the Vancouver game:
I am always nervous. Usually nerves help me to stay sharp. I definitely wasn’t feeling my best that night.
On whether he knew that going in:
I kind of knew going in. It was a tough situation. I wish I would have played better. You want to get a win the first time in there. Luckily I get another chance and the team gets another chance right away.
On the Henrik Sedin goal:
That didn’t get in my head. I actually felt pretty good at that point. It was a tie game. They got some momentum off the shorthanded goal. That was definitely a fluky one and you forget about those ones.
On wanting to bounce back:
I think a lot of goalies do. It sharpens you up and makes you more desperate to get out there and make that extra save.
On talking with Johnson and Fleury after the game:
They said tough luck and tough bounces on some of those. They are there to support me and tell me to pick myself right back up. Coach (Gilles) Meloche is right there too. You are only as good as your last game and obviously that one wasn’t that good. Being a goalie is all about confidence and going out and regaining that confidence.

11:26 AM:

Defenseman Brooks Orpik could return to the lineup Tuesday against the NY Islanders.

Sidney Crosby is stopped on a one-timer attempt by goaltender John Curry

Brent Johnson is still listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury

Left: Tom Fitzgerad chats with Evgeni Malkin; Right: Fitzgerad and Mike Yeo are back on the ice together for the first time since Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. 

10:48 AM:
Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who missed the team's previous game due to a fractured left ring finger, skated prior to the team's Monday practice. However, he left the ice as the team official began it's practice period.

Fleury was the only Penguin not to skate. Injured defenseman Brooks Orpik and goaltender Brent Johnson both participated in the practice.

10:32 AM:
In a sign that the Penguins are gradually getting healthier, Luca Caputi and Ben Lovejoy were sent back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

10:08 AM:
The Penguins had Sunday off following their grueling five-game, nine-day road trip to rest. They return to the ice Monday morning for practice to gear up for two home games this week (Tuesday vs. NY Islanders; Thursday vs. Washington) before hitting the road again.
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