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Penguins Report: School Open Practice

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

  • The Penguins held and open practice for school students. TBone has the scoop (1:06 PM).
  • Forget the offense. That Crosby guy does it all well (2:58 PM).
  • Maintenance days for Orpik and Letang, still no Malkin (12:39 PM).
  • Pens lines (11:18 AM).
  • With no Orpik, Godard dishes out the candy (11:00 AM).
  • Coach Bylsma on Crosby, school practice and shortcomings (1:02 PM).
  • Players’ speak with Goligoski, Letestu and Conner (1:53 PM).
  • School practice pics (11:12 AM).
  • The students arrive (10:35 AM).
  • “You were a child crawling on your knees toward it…” (10:24 AM).

2:58 PM:
That Sidney Crosby has been blowin' up the scoresheet. But what you may not know, is that his all-around game is what is really impressive.

1:53 PM:
PensTV chats with a few guys:




1:06 PM:
The Open Practice has concluded. Tony Jovenitti put this report together. The team saluted the students at center ice, and then the players were give t-shirts, which they tossed over the glass to the students.

The Pens salute the fans (right)

Kennedy tosses t-shirts

More shirt tossing from Talbot (left) and Kunitz (right)

1:02 PM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma….

On the kids at practice:
It’s amazing how loud 10,000 thousand people can be. I think for the playoffs we’ll fill the building with 18,000 school kids because that’s as loud as it’s been all year. That gives practice a little bit of energy, a little different feel. It’s a little harder communicating out there. That’ll be the equivalent of making noise for a quarterback in football and trying to challenge him. We were talking on the ice and calling for pucks, but we couldn’t hear each other cause of how loud it was.

On Toronto taking runs at Crosby
It’s always an area of concern. This year, even before our game last night, it looks like they were trying to target skill guys and get them off their game. Our guys have been there for each other and say that’s not going to happen with our team. It’s not just one guy. It’s right through the lineup. Players should feel comfortable in any situation. If it does get rough we have enough guys to put the jerseys together and backs together. That’s not going to happen to our team. It’s probably not even a good idea to try against our team.

On the players stressing the shortcomings than celebrate the successes
We try not to, and it gets hard sometimes, to not get caught up in a loss and the emotional part of it. You feel good when you’re winning hockey games. We’ve tried to assess where we’re at as a team win or lose, doing good things, what we’re doing well, what do we need to keep doing, areas of our game we need to get better at it. That mindset should happen whether we’re winning or losing. We have a lot of guys in our room that do that individually and for our team. Today is about going back out there and working on our game, what we do well and what we can do better at, get ready for the next one.

Assist: Sam Kasan

12:39 PM:
Head coach Dan Bylsma said that Letang and Orpik were given the day off for "maintenance." He "expects them to be on the ice (Friday)."

11:18 AM:
By the way, some practice notes: No Malkin, Letang or Orpik on the ice. The forward combinations have not changed from the last few games:


11:12 AM:

Sidney Crosby had the biggest ovation (right)

11:00 AM:
Eric Godard stepped on the ice with gum and candy in his helmet. As he made laps around, he tossed the candy/gum over the glass to the students. Godard may have the biggest heart on this team.

10:57 AM:
The Penguins are making their way on to the ice. As each player steps on the ice, they are being introduced to the crowd of students by Paul Steigerwald and Phil Bourque. Of course the loudest cheer came for Sidney Crosby.

10:35 AM:

The students are taking over CONSOL Energy Center!!!

Big yellow buses own the streets today

10:24 AM:
The Penguins will practice today at 11 a.m. at CONSOL Energy Center. But this is no normal practice.

Thousands of young students have invaded the rink and will get to enjoy watching their favorite hockey players in action. The streets are lined with big yellow school buses and the children are slowly filtering into the arena.

In honor of the open school practice and the thousands of children that will deafen CONSOL Energy Center with their cacophonous screams, let's open the day with MGMT "Kids."

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