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Penguins Report: Practice 11/11/10

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

4:53 PM:

PensTV chatted with Brent Johnson and Paul Martin.




1:29 PM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…

On Malkin’s absence from practice:
Maintenance. He’s still dealing wth bumps and bruises. He played a hard game last night. He took a couple hard plays to the ice.

On Malkin’s performance against Boston
He was at the net, playing hard in the corners, blocking shots. That’s a huge effort from ‘Geno’ with physicality, playing in the game in traffic. A solid effort from him.

On taking positives from the 7-4 loss to Boston:
We have a task of playing Friday and Saturday. We have a lot of games coming up here. We need to focus on how we need to play, what we’ve been doing well. There are also areas we need to tighten up and sharpen. We need to have a clear understanding of the effort level, standard and physicality that we’ve played with the last three games is where it needs to be. That’s something we need to focus on. We need to keep getting games from our players as we have been, in terms of being all in. We also have some areas we need to clean up and tighten up. Both those things we worked on today.

On if he’s aware of the scrutiny of the coaching staff
I was aware of that Feb. 14, 2009. My focus is on our team and where we need to go and what we need to do. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about anything else.

On the team’s great start against Boston:
When you look at the last three games, the third period in Anaheim especially, I thought we did some good things in that game, but didn’t get the result. In Phoenix, after getting down 2-0 and how responded in that game and how we played, I sense that how we are playing is how we need to play the game. Passion, commitment, work ethic, physicality of the game last night is something that we need to have. It’s got to be there every night. I think you’re seeing that happen. We had that in the first two periods. We need to continue to make decisions effectively with the puck to give us better odds to have success. We at times play too much 50-50 percentage wise or taking a chance and it ends up on a two-on-one more than once last night. We’re leaving our goaltender in a tough spot. We need to increase those chances. That’s the way we need to play.

Sidney Crosby

On playing risky hockey:
I think it’s just taking chances that you might not have to. And obviously when you have a lead you never want to sit back. That’s the worst thing you can do. You want to also make sure you’re not giving up big chances and you want to err on the side of caution. We just need to be a little bit smarter, whether it’s in the defensive zone or making good reads and maybe pulling back. Little details like that can create some problems.

On if it’s the team’s nature to keep the pedal to the metal:
I would say the last three games, yes. We’ve done a really good job of that. The effort and competing and all that has been there. That’s why we’ve been successful for the most part. But that one time you take that chance, it usually ends up in your net. We’ve done that more than once, so it’s a matter of learning form that. You’d rather have to learn from that than not competing and sitting back. We’d rather learn this way.

On the Penguins leading the league in fighting majors:
It’s not by design. It’s not something that we really look at, that’s the way it’s worked out. Who knows, by the end of the season it could be completely different. But we’d certainly like to be high in those categories.

On if the team worked in practice on some areas in which they struggled during Wednesday’s game:

A bit, and that’s pretty typical of every game’s next-day skate. I think this is something that we’ve been working on the last week or so—D-zone coverage and making sure we’re really sharp there. It’s kind of been a progressive thing and something we’ve improved on with each game, but there’s still some room there.

On the new All-Star format, with captains choosing teams:
I think it’s cool. There’s going to be a lot of talk and excitement around that. Anything to bring interest and excitement, that’s what all-star games are about, celebrating the game. I think that’s a pretty good idea. We’ll see what the format’s going to be, but I think we’ll be pretty excited to see how the teams end up.

On if he would like to be an All-Star captain:
Yeah, it would be fun. But there would be a little bit of pressure that comes with it. You don’t want a guy to leave someone off their team, but I don’t know how they’re going to do it. Nobody wants to be the last guy picked either. Either way, it’s going to be fun for everyone involved.

On being near the top of the scoring race:
I think you don’t always gage yourself based on points. Sometimes it’s a good indication, but there are other times where you play really good hockey for a stretch and the puck doesn’t go in. Sometimes you don’t play so great and you score. I think it’s just a matter of being honest with your game—knowing what that is and what it looks like. Eventually, those things come with playing well. I think the worst thing you can do is get caught up in worrying about points sometimes. Every game, I try to evaluate myself the same, no matter what the outcome.

On how he judges himself so far:
I think it’s been pretty good. But I’d like to generate a bit more and get a few more shots. As far as competing and those things, it’s pretty consistent. That’s always the toughest part, since you’re challenged every night you play. You have to be prepared to do that every night, so I think as a line, we’ve got some good results the last few games. But whether it’s the line or the team, it’s the same thing. You’ve got to be ready to compete every night and make some plays.


12:18 PM:
Here's a little something to break up the monotony of practice.


11:42 AM:
The Pens employed the following lines for practice:


11:36 AM:

Mike Comrie (left) continues to battle through the flu, but was on the ice after missing Wednesday's game against Boston


11:25 AM:
No Malkin on the ice for Pittsburgh. He had a rough game Wednesday night - having twice to be attended to by trainers. We'll get an update from coach Bylsma after practice.

11:10 AM:
The Penguins are making their way on to the ice for their Thursday afternoon practice at CONSOL Energy Center. But let's start the day with a little WBS news. The Baby Pens have named forward Ryan Craig the 16th captain in team history. 

The captain was selected by player vote, and the results were unanimous, according to head coach John Hynes.
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