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Penguins Report: Practice 4/17/10

by Caitlin Kasunich / Pittsburgh Penguins
1:05 PM:

Sounds heard throughout the locker room:

Head Coach Dan Bylsma

On Leopold:
I don’t have one this morning, actually. He did not come in. He will be re-evaluated today. He is definitely going to be day-to-day and will not be on the ice today or tomorrow.
On potential callups:
We have and will. Ben Lovejoy is on his way to Ottawa today.
On Crosby continuing to amaze:
I think that kind of question has been asked a lot in the short time I’ve had the opportunity to coach him. I think my answer is always that I shouldn’t be surprised because he keeps doing it. He elevated his game again. Not just the whole game long but you see it go to a different level and it’s tough not to be a spectator when you see the shift he has on the play which led to the (Kris) Letang goal. We watched it today on TV today right before we had our meeting to talk to our players and we were all being spectators watching it again.
On what has changed in Pascal Dupuis’ game over the past year:
The perfect example that I can give you is a play in third period (on Friday) where the puck went into the corner. He went into the corner first to put himself in jeopardy of getting hit hard to make a play, which helped us get the puck out of the zone. That has been why he has found himself in a lot of different situations helping our team. He has gone to the net. He has gone into the offensive zone on forechecks and been a factor. You saw him in Game 1 when he knocked (Anton) Volchenkov down on a forecheck in his first shift of the game. He has gone to the front of the net with a lot more vigor. Again, last year a lot of times he was effective with shots from the outside. He has a big shot coming down the wing. He scored some goals for us, but you didn’t see many of them from the blue paint. He has gotten a lot dirtier with his game adding some grit to his game. He continues to bring that and adds to our team in that way.
On how road playoff games are different:
It’s quite a bit different from the regular season. When we found out it was Ottawa I was just anticipating what it was going to be like going into that building with how loud it was going to be and with the fans going crazy. The level of play picks up, but so does the intensity of the building as well. We expect that to be a factor in every building you go into on the road. It’s going to be loud, it’s going to get amped up. It provides momentum for the home team and it can make it feel like the pressure is that much more for the team on the ice because the fans are behind them. We expect and anticipate that. It is always something that you have to deal with in the playoffs. Every series that I have been a part of has been that way. We expect it going into Ottawa.

Maxime Talbot

On Leopold’s hit in Game 2:
I’m sure that (the league) reviewed it a couple of times and watched the tape. It’s a league decision. There’s nothing that we can do about it. It’s never fun when you see a guy getting hurt and a guy getting carried off the ice a little bit. It’s a league decision. We have to respect it. With everything that happened this year, they really took the time to think about it and did what they thought was right.
On if the Penguins will seek revenge in Game 3 as a result of the hit:
Obviously the best revenge that we can have is to win the game. We always use the mentality of a pack of wolves in the dressing room, so whatever happens, I’m sure we’ll be there. But the most important thing is to win some hockey games.
On getting goaltender Brian Elliott out of his comfort zone in Ottawa:
He’s been good. He definitely didn’t look like a rookie back there. He has been making some key saves that kept them in the game a little bit last night. We are going to have to do the same thing. There is not really a magical solution. We have to put some pucks in the net and attack them early and put pressure on them.
On playing on the road during the playoffs as opposed to during the regular season:
It’s a little different, because obviously every rink has its fans. You see the red in Washington and the orange in Philly. Obviously it can get a little intimidating, but for us I think that this year we have been one of the best road teams in the league. We have that confidence that we can really be a good team on the road, and I’m sure that we’re going to bring the same type of mentality in the playoffs.
On the kinds of things that he has been doing well in the playoffs thus far in the postseason:
I’ve been a little better obviously. It was a tough season for me. It’s nice to be back with my old self and winning battles and being the pain in the butt of the opponent. It feels good to be out there and have a chance to be a factor in the game.
On getting traffic in front of Elliott:
Last night was better than Game 1 obviously. We have to keep doing that. It’s a key in this series, but he has been good during the second half of the season. He has been a really good goalie, and last night was proof that if we put pressure on the net, we can score goals.

Tyler Kennedy

On the Leopold hit:
You never want to see a guy go down like that.
On playing on the road in the playoffs:
Obviously their fans are going to be a lot more fired up. We have done it before and we know how to play in their rink and opposing rinks. I think we are ready.
On playing the way they want to play:
I think everybody is buying into the system and getting pucks behind their D. That is what we have to do to be successful.

12:03 PM:
Here are some pictures from the Penguins' practice today:


Brad Thiessen (left), Alexei Ponikarovsky (right)

11:56 AM:

The Penguins held an optional practice this morning at 11:30 AM at Mellon Arena. Nine players participated: Mike Rupp, Jay McKee, Tyler Kennedy, Craig Adams, Eric Godard, Maxime Talbot, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Ruslan Fedotenko and Brad Thiessen.

The team also recalled Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman Ben Lovejoy, who will join the team in Ottawa. The Penguins will play Game 3 of their quarterfinals playoff series against the Ottawa Senators tomorrow night at 6:30 PM at Scotiabank Place.
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