Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…
On Mark Letestu:
He came to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after a year at college. There was a lot that we asked of him, expected from him. There was a lot he needed to do to get to an offensive level at the American Hockey League level. He’s really worked on his game. He’s really worked on his conditioning, his quickness. He worked hard on his puck battles. Last year he played some good games for us, but wasn’t able to get the production. He had some scoring chances, we saw him do some good things. He wasn’t able to add that. He clearly came back this year with a mental-edge to what he was going to bring to the ice, puck battle-wise and offensive-wise. He’s getting chances and making good on them. He’s making plays with the puck, and doing a lot of good things away from the puck that allow him to be used in those situations. I can’t say I ever envisioned what he’s doing right now. But every game he’s been an impact on the offensive side for us, and that’s a credit to Mark.
On Deryk Engelland:
Deryk has made some strides off the ice and away from the rink the last two years. This summer he took it to another level with his off-ice (workouts) back at home. He made the commitment to come here for a month as an older guy. He worked for a good, hard month. He’s in the best shape of his playing career. It’s translating on the ice. His skating ability, when he was flying up the ice in Philly you were checking the name on the back of the jersey to make sure it was Engelland. He still adds that grit and bite to playing defense. He’s playing physical. He’s hitting skilled guys in the corners. He’s playing hard on them. He still has the toughness element that you’ve seen the last couple of games.
On Alex Goligoski:
He got points last year, but I see a different player right now at a different confidence level. The hockey sense and confidence in making the right read, shooting the puck, it’s at a different point than it was when he was getting points last year. He has to continue to bring that game, skating, reading the play and execution. He’s at a different level from last year so I expect him to keep it going.
The Penguins are having a little fun practicing half-ice inside the blue line. The goals were moved to the along the side boards. The team is playing three-on-three - offense vs. defense - with a player in the corner passing the puck in. The offense is trying to score on Marc-Andre Fleury
, while the defense is up against Brent Johnson
. Arron Asham
(right) was in the corner feeding the puck to Jordan Staal
Here are photos of today's practice: Brent Johnson
is breaking in new all-black pads.
This month's mustache boy, Pascal Dupuis
, is sporting some nice facial hair.
The Penguins used the lines they used during the second half of Monday's game:
The seven defensemen all rotated.
We have some breaking news as the Penguins hit the ice a couple minutes early for practice. Injured forwards Jordan Staal
and Arron Asham
, along with defenseman Brooks Orpik
, are on the ice with the team. This is the first time all season Staal is skating with the team.
The Penguins will begin practice at Southpointe shortly, but defenseman Zbynek Michalek
took the ice before the team to work out with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar.