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Penguins Report: Team Celebrates Thanksgiving on the Road

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins will spend their Thanksgiving afternoon with a practice in Buffalo in preparation for their matchup with the Sabres on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The schedule quirk was a hidden blessing for defenseman Brooks Orpik, whose parents reside in the Buffalo area.

“Selfishly speaking it works out for me because my parents still live in Buffalo,” he said. “Thursday, hopefully I’ll get back and see some family there. It’s kind of lucky the way the schedule worked out. It’s always a good time of the year to be around family.”

The Orpik household will be full of family members, and could possibly get overrun by Penguins if a few of Brooks’ teammates tag along.

“I don’t know if we’ll be able to fit everyone,” Orpik said. “(My parents) just moved so they downsized a little bit. It would be a tight squeeze. Maybe a couple guys, I don’t know if the whole team will fit over there. The Canadian guys celebrated in October anyways. I don’t think it means as much to them.”

Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October, which fell on the 13th this year. However, there are other differences in the way the two neighboring countries celebrate the holiday.

“It’s a little bigger here,” Nova Scotia native Sidney Crosby said. “There’s no doubt when I was younger and I was home, we had Thanksgiving dinner a little earlier in October. It’s some time to spend with your family. It’s a day or two off school.

The general idea is spending time with your family and having dinner is all the same. That’s the way it was in Canada. - Sidney Crosby
“It’s bigger here. Kids here get off school a little bit longer; I think it’s like a week. It’s a big deal here. The general idea is spending time with your family and having dinner is all the same. That’s the way it was in Canada.”

Even though the team will be observing Thanksgiving on the road, they intend to enjoy a little turkey.

“I think we’re planning on it,” Crosby said. “We’ll have to have a good morning skate the next day and get that out of us. It’s always awesome. I think we all enjoy a good turkey dinner. Hopefully we can get the guys together and have a good little meal.”

“We’ll see what’s going to happen,” forward Pascal Dupuis said. “We’re playing on Friday. We don’t want to be too heavy.”

Thanksgiving may be a North American holiday, but its tenets of family and being thankful for everything one has

“I’m thankful for all the things I have in life, family, career, health,” Slovakian native Miroslav Satan said. “It’s good to remind yourself that.”


“You have to be thankful when you have beautiful children at home,” Dupuis said. “It’s all about family. I’ll be sharing the moments I have with them.”

“I think we all feel pretty fortunate doing something we love and waking up everyday to enjoy that,” Crosby said. “To be here is something to be thankful for.”

But leave it to an American to keep everything in perspective.

“Thanksgiving is usually a lazy day,” Orpik said. “Just eat as much as you can and watch football. Hopefully, we’re not feeling too bad the next day because we play.”

> Maxime Talbot sufferred an undisclosed injury against the New York Islanders on Wednesday. He is listed as day-to-day and his status for Friday night's game against Buffalo is unknown.

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury continues to heal in Pittsburgh from an undisclosed injury he sufferred against the Sabres on Nov. 15 at Mellon Arena. He is still listed as day-to-day. Defenseman Ryan Whitney continues to practice with his teammates but is still a few weeks away from being able to play.


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