Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma...On how exciting it is to have Staal back:
I think I’m most happy for him and his mindset. He’s been getting better, but to get back on the ice with the guys is great. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him this happy about practice.On having two good goaltenders:
Brent has come in and played really well and has been outstanding for us. He got an opportunity to play an extra game or two because he’s been going so well. But there’s a ton of games left and Marc-Andre Fleury
is going to be the guy who’s going to play 60-plus games for us. He’s going to get back in there, and we know he’s going to play really well for us. So it’s great to be able to have Johnson go in and play really well for us and go in and get some wins. But we all know that Marc is going to do the same for us.On if he is just going with the hot goaltender:
In this situation, Johnny played really well, and we went with the guy who has been winning some games for us. It hasn’t been that way all the time, but it was in this case. But again, Flower’s going to play 60-plus games and win a lot of hockey games for us. The way Johnny has played is that he stepped in and won some games for us, so we know that when he goes in there he’s going to give us a great game.
On if Fleury will play during the upcoming road trip:
We will see Marc back this road trip. On how to determine when to put Brooks Orpik back into games:
Part of it’s personal. When dealing with an injury to his midsection, his groin and his abdomen area, he’s got to be the guy who knows where he’s at. He’s had two good days of practice with the group. So some of the conditioning and timing is coming back, and he’s getting comfortable with physical contact in battle situations. He’ll be the guy who decides.
On the first long road trip:
I like the fact that we have played two hard road games to start the season. They were one-gamers, but now we’re heading out for a longer one. This is a different kind of mindset now. We’ve won two at home and now we’re going back on the road. We’re going to be playing good teams. We’re starting out with Nashville, who hasn’t lost in regulation. So we’ll get tested, but it’s also a good time to get on the road and see where we’re at.
Sounds heard from around the locker room...
On Jordan Staal:
He looks strong. That’s all the hard work he’s put in, and the trainers have done a great job with him. I think that combined with him putting in the time has really made a different for him.
On having momentum heading on the road:
Especially after struggling at home to start, it’s nice to put some wins together and we want to continue to build on that. And on the road, you always expect it to be a bit tougher. I’m looking forward to us to keep going.
On Brooks Orpik coming back during this road trip:
That will be great. A few of those guys have been skating so they’re getting closer and closer. We’re happy to see them back with us, but we’ll be even happier to get them back out there playing.
On the difference between this road trip and the previous ones:
I don’t think we’ll change our mindset at all. I think you just end up playing a few more in a row, and if anything you end up being more comfortable. And that’s the way we look at it.Jordan Staal
On how he is feeling:
I’m obviously happy with the way the progress is going and the way I’m feeling. There have been a lot of good things and a lot of positives lately, which is always nice after a long summer like that.
On the transition from being injured to practicing:
It’s been a pretty quick turnaround. Again, there have been a lot of good feelings the last couple weeks and a lot of good news. After a lot of bad news throughout the summer, it feels really good.
On finally being back:
It feels really good. It’s amazing how much you miss it when you’re out. And I think that every player can attest to that.
On if he is surprised about how he feels:
A little bit. Obviously, I didn’t do too much throughout the summer, but we had a lot of good trainers around me that were working hard. I’m a little sore here and there, but other than that I feel really good.
On if he’s aiming for a certain game to return:
I haven’t really looked at the schedule to try to pick a game where I’d like to come back or anything like that.
On the road trip:
I will be on the road trip. There’s going to be a lot more skating with the guys to get my hands back and everything.
On if he expects to play on the road trip:
No, not this road trip.
On if who is in goal matters for defensemen:
No. You might have to adjust to the way they handle the puck and their communication might be a little bit different. I think everyone here has a lot of confidence in both guys.
On going on the road with momentum:
The guys have been playing really well. It’s never fun when you are out. When the guys are playing as well as they have been the past couple of games it is enjoyable to watch. It’s a lot more enjoyable to come to the rink and everyone is in a better mood. It’s a long season and it’s a process. We had a couple of losses at the beginning, but we’ve stuck with it and turned things around.
On how he feels:
I feel pretty good. My conditioning is still a couple of days away, but the injury feels pretty good.
On skating another time before hitting the road helping him:
Yeah. I don’t think I’m playing (on Thursday). With every practice you get you get a little bit closer and your timing gets back. With the way guys are playing right now there is no reason to push it. The lineup is playing pretty good.
On playing a bunch of games in a row:
For any goaltender it’s great for your confidence. You get to know your teammates a lot better – what they are going to do with the puck. Communication becomes a lot better. In general, you can kind of anticipate what is going to happen out there.
On how comfortable he feels:
I feel very good. I am practicing hard and staying ready for whatever comes next.
On possibly starting on Thursday:
Whatever (Coach Bylsma’s) decision is, that’s it. We will see. I don’t know what to see. (Thursday) night is going to be a huge two points that’s for sure.
On the team’s winning streak:
It’s huge. These points are important. You don’t want to come close and not get any point. It seems like Assist: Jason Seidling
Here are photos from today's practice:
The Penguins are sticking with the same lines they used yesterday:
The seven defensemen all rotated.
The Penguins are working on special teams today. They started out practicing four-on-four. Then, they switched to working on the power-play. Staal and Orpik were both practicing on the penalty killing unit.
11:19 AM:Jordan Staal
, Arron Asham
and Brooks Orpik
are all practicing again.
Asham (left); Orpik (right)
Staal (left); Asham and Craig Adams
The Penguins are practicing at Southpionte today before heading out on a three-game road swing. The three games over eight days mark the first long road trip of the season. Tomorrow night, the Penguins will head to Nasvhille to take on the red-hot Predators, before taking on the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. The trip will conclude Oct. 27 in Tampa Bay.