The stakes were raised at Southpointe on Saturday as the Penguins ended the practice with their monthly "mustache boy" shootout. The loser of the shootout has to grow a mustache for the entire month of February. Past losers include Alex Goligoski, Tyler Kennedy
and reigning 'stache boy Bill Guerin.
When Guerin scored he raised his arms in celebration and the packed crowd gave him a standing ovation for successfully avoiding a second-term as mustache boy. The contest came down to Ruslan Fedotenko and Mike Rupp.
Rupp beat Marc-Andre Fleury
with a between-the-legs goal. Fedotenko failed to score, giving him the mustache boy crown. Wear it with pride Fedsy!
"I already did it once so it’s easy," Fedotenko said. "On me you probably won’t even be able to tell until the last week."
Guerin did write a parting message on the board in the locker room: "It been nice knowing you guys, Billy Moustache"
Sounds heard round the Penguins locker room:
On the fluctuation of teams in the standings:
I think it’s interesting. I think if you really look into it you will see a lot of different factors. Injuries are a big one. It shows the strength of the league for sure, but at the same time some of those teams run into bad luck. (Detroit) is a perfect example. That is just the way it is. There isn’t much room to slip up. You see that quite often.On where the team is two-thirds of the way through the season:
I think these next seven or eight games before the break to start to make a push and make sure our game is where it needs to be. Not only for the fact that we want to be strong and good at this time of year, but the fact is teams are playing good hockey right now. We are sitting good right now, but we can’t afford to lose points for our own selves and for the standings.
On his between-the-legs shootout goal to not have to grow a mustache:
If you lose for eight rounds then the goalies say this guy is pathetic, and then you just do it. You have nothing to lose. My strategy worked.On having to shave his beard if he would have won:
Yeah, my mustache has a little Hulk Hogan vibe to it – it gets real blond. I’m glad I don’t have to do it. Feds has grown his (facial hair) for a month already and it doesn’t even look like it so for him it’s really no loss.On teams going up and down all season in the standings:
If you look at previous years, and even right now, two points separate seven or eight teams from about four spots for the playoffs. That is good. It keeps everything pretty darned competitive. You also have to buckle down. We and Detroit are trying to move in the right direction. We have been winning one, losing one and being back and forth really for a while now. We have to start trying to string wins together.On watching teams go up and down from year to year:
I think that there are a lot of teams the past few years who have started off pretty well and were looking at making their first playoff appearance in a while and then as the season goes on, they kind of fall down. It’s good to see teams like Phoenix still going strong. It makes everyone be on their toes and it shows how good this league is. On any night any team can beat anyone so we have to be prepared.
On becoming more dominant at home:
I think sometimes we are trying to make things happen as opposed to just being patient and being ready to pounce on it when it is there. I feel like we have a great group of guys who care and want to do the right things. Sometimes we are just trying to do too much. We need to keep it simple and go from there. Our home needs to be a place where we are tough to play against. That is obviously what you play for – home-ice advantage.
While Kennedy and Goligoski did participate in practice, Max Talbot did not. Head coach Dan Bylsma had a couple of injury updates:
"We're still day-to-day with a couple of players but they're looking better," he said. "There's a chance we could see a couple of guys tomorrow. Max was not out on the ice. We're still evaluating where he's at. This was our last skate before tomorrow's game. He didn't skate today and is questionable for tomorrow."
Shots of the Penguins' Saturday practice:
It was a packed house at Southpointe Saturday to watch the Penguins practice Chris Kunitz
(left) and Tyler Kennedy
Alex Goligoski was also back at practice for Pittsburgh