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Penguins Report: Training Camp 9/18/11

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Crosby gets thru 2nd full-effort practice with no symptoms (2:16 PM).
  • Daily PensTV wrap with Meesh (3:36 PM).
  • Crosby talks to the media (2:06 PM).
  • Live blogging the scrimmage (10:52 AM).
  • Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma (3:29 PM).
  • Jeffrey, Fleury and Park (12:45 PM).
  • Crosby practice pics (1:10 PM).
  • Batch one of pics (11:39 AM).
  • Bigger batch of pics (3:10 PM).
  • This is why we love Fleury (12:36 PM).
  • Standing ovation (7:30 AM).
  • Here we go Steelers, here we go (12:53 PM).

3:36 PM:
Here's your PensTV daily recap from my second favorite Pens website writer Michelle Crechiolo (after me ... Geno reference).

3:29 PM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…

On the Black and Gold Game lineup:
We’re going to split the goaltending duties evenly. There are a few guys, because of their physicality and what they can and cannot do, who won’t be in the scrimmage. So that will limit three to four guys. That only leaves a couple not to be in the lineup for the game. We’re going with a full 20-man numbers on each side of the ledger. That leaves about three guys that won’t participate in the scrimmage. You can expect to see most guys on the ice.

On if the Black and Gold Game helps in evaluating:
Absolutely, I enjoy the game because it is very much like the rosters you’ll see in Game 1 and Game 2 of exhibition season. For players like Joe Morrow, Scott Harrington, for players that may be getting in action for the first time, that’s a real NHL exhibition game. That’s the way it’s treated. When players are in that game, we’re getting an exhibition game. From that standpoint it’s a very good evaluation and a very good chance to see players in an exhibition game. From a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton standpoint, having been there, I think it’s great for us to be going there and having them see an NHL exhibition game and seeing our players.

On coaching against John Hynes:
I’m scared of that so I’m going to opt out and just make John coach. I’m scared of that matchup.

On Crosby:
Being in traffic and around people is a part of where he’s at right now. In terms of contact and body contact, the white helmet, the players are aware that he’s not going to have physical contact. Being in traffic, being around people, being in numbers is a part of where he’s at in his rehab and his skating. You can see how hard he’s pushing out there in the drills when he’s skating up the ice. That’s a part of what he’s expecting on the ice.

3:10 PM:
Here are some pics from Sunday's training camp...

2:16 PM:
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby went through his second day of all out effort without symptoms, and even engaged in a little jostling with teammates in the traffic areas. But he wasn't hit or experience any contact.

More details here.

2:06 PM:
Sidney Crosby's comments to the media...

On contact:
I’m trying to do everything, but getting hit right now. You want to make sure that when you’re told not to get hit, you don’t. But that being said you still have to create good habits as best you can. I’m trying practice being around traffic.

On practicing in traffic:
I had a lot of trouble with that early on. It’s nice to be out there with bodies moving around and moving around faster than they had before and being able to handle that. It was good to go through that today.

On how his current work compares to the summer:

I think if you ask any guy it would be more (work). It’s pretty tough skates out there, up and down. Whether you’re like me coming off of this or someone who’s trained all summer, it’s still pretty intense for everyone out there. For me, I’m happy to just be out there and a part of it. I felt pretty good.

On banning head shots:
The more you think about it and the more I watched last year you can’t have that grey area. There are guy that could hit a guy in the head and say they didn’t mean to. All of a sudden they can get out of something. I think for the speed of the game and physicality you have to have a clear-cut rule. You can’t have guys hesitating. There are things that happen out there that are too fast to judge sometimes. Guys have to be responsible. After watching and realizing guys are able to make that decision. I felt that is the best way to do it.

On NHL players supporting his view on head shots ban:
We play. We’re out there. We know what’s going on out there. I think when guys are saying that, they’re not just the guys who want to avoid that contact. They’re the same guys that are giving the hits too. We don’t want to take anything away from the game, but at the same time if there are adjustments that can be made to make it better and help it, then guys feel strongly about that because it’s the game we play in. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. It’s definitely encouraging and at some point I’m sure they’ll look harder at it. I don’t know when the new rules will be out, if they’re out already. It’s something I’m sure they’re taking a look at.

On how he feels in general:
I felt pretty good. The last couple days have been good. It’s been a pretty good test here. I’m happy with the way it’s gone.

On if he’s had symptoms:
No, felt pretty good. I was tired, but it was nice.

On if he’ll skate Monday:
Yep, that’s the plan.

On the exertion level Sunday:
They were both all out. Today was a little bit tougher because yesterday was the first day of going that hard, and on back-to-back days. Today felt tougher. As far as symptoms, I felt just as good as yesterday. It’s good.

1:10 PM:
Crosby on the ice for his second training camp practice.

12:53 PM:
The Steelers have their home opener at 1 p.m. against Seattle. We spotted a USC Polamalu jersey in the crowd. 

12:45 PM:
Sounds heard around the locker room...

Dustin Jeffrey

On how he felt after Saturday’s practice:
I felt pretty good. It was the first practice that I went at that pace for that long. Obviously training camp is at a different level than most of the practices in the summer, so it was a good skate.

On getting his timing back:
It’s coming. Doing stuff at that level, being out for four or five months without skating and getting right back into it the last 3 or 4 weeks, it takes a little bit of time. But I felt pretty good yesterday, so it helps the confidence a little bit.

On the intensity of Saturday’s practice:
Yeah, even the last practice of the day without a scrimmage, they make it a little bit tough on the guys.

On if there’s still soreness or if he feels good overall:
Overall it feels pretty good. There’s a little tightness and stuff like that, but I think it’s just from pushing it that hard. It’s nothing that I’m concerned about and I’m going to go do it again today.

On being back on the ice with his teammates:
It feels good to be a part of the team again. Obviously you’re here when you’re hurt and you’re around the guys, but to actually be on the ice and participating with them and just being around them in the locker room and everything like that, it feels really good to be back and be a part of it.

Marc-Andre Fluery

On balancing his summer workouts:
I pretty much start working out earlier than usually. I still take some time off, rest my body, rest my mind a little bit. I go to the gym earlier. (For on-ice work), I started early August. I like to stop and rest my hips and knees. I’m looking forward to getting started again and coming back here.

On if camp is different with shorter summers:
It usually seems like summer flies by so quickly. But now I’m anxious to get back at it. Summer you just workout. It’s not the same challenge.

On his timing:
The first practices feel like pucks are coming fast. In a little time it should be alright.

On his starts:
Usually I’m not that good in camp. Last year I had one of my better camps and the start of the season wasn’t good. I try to improve every day. Work with Gilles (Meloche) and try to get the timing back for the first game.

Richard Park

On how he feels having two scrimmages under his belt:
Training camp is never easy. The first few days in particular are kind of long and things kind of need to get done. Summer skates are quite different than games. You just make sure that you get your rest and when you’re out there coming into a new system, the organization, your attention is always at a high level and you do a lot of studying so you don’t have to think out on the ice. They’re a little trying the first couple of days, especially trying to learn new personnel, a new system. But overall it’s been good.

On if he feels that this system suits his style of play due to how well he’s performed so far:
Sometimes questions are asked a little too early – I’m still trying to learn. Let’s just leave it at that. I’m just trying to soak everything in. I expect to make a few mistakes. As long as I’m working and I don’t repeat them, I’ll be okay with myself. Just still in the process of trying to learn what they’re trying to accomplish here.

12:36 PM:
The group of kids in the front row of seats behind the net gave Fleury a huge cheer as he skated to the cage. He picked up a puck and tried to flip it over the glass for them. His first attempt failed, but he got it through on the second try.

12:28 PM:
Group A is currently on the ice for practice. Crosby and Jeffrey are out there for this session.

11:39 AM:
Some pics for Pens fans...

The fans filling the seats at CONSOL Energy Center for the open practice.

Pep talk (left)

Malkin with HC Bylsma (left); Some up-tempo rush drills (right)

Kennedy about to bury a shot from the slot (left); Lonely glove (right)

Players trapped in a net, trying desperately to escape (left); Paulie Martin (right)

10:52 AM:
The lines for Sunday’s scrimmage are…

Group B

Group C


20:00: Puck drops. Scrimmage underway.

17:22: Bryan Lerg steals the puck, and jukes the goalie (Johnson) down but his backhander sailed high over the net.

14:50: The hitting is really picking up. Some big blows. Sill, Adams and DeFazio with some big hits.

10:16: Thiessen looking good. He has solid positioning on a Kennedy shot from the circles to make an easy save. He follows that with a great glove save on a shot from the mid-point.

7:12: Richard Park is flying on the ice. He’s dancing with the puck. Pretty impressive speed from the former/current Pen.

1:50: Engelland with a nice keep in the offensive zone. His shot is steered aside by Brent Johnson.

0:00: Adams intercepts the puck at center. His slapper is stopped by Johnson’s pads. That’s the end of the first period, both teams are scoreless.


20:00: Here we go.

16:58: Adams breaks in on goal all alone. His backhander hits the post. He pokes at the rebound and the puck trickles through the blue paint, but doesn’t go in.

15:29: Malkin with a nice backhand wraparound shot, using his body to shield the defender and his excellent hands to corral the puck.

14:22: Sill gets Group C on the board. Dupuis took a shot from the circle and Killeen kicked out the rebound to Sill in the slot. Sill buried his shot. Group C 1, Group B 0.

10:01: Great pass from Tangradi to break Park down the near side. His shot is stopped by Munroe.

6:48: Dupuis gets a penalty shot. He goes with the head fake and backhander, but Killeen stretches out the pad for the save.

3:33: McDonald split the defense and ripped a hard shot at the net, but it sailed wide right.

1:23: Park is stopped right on the doorstep by Munroe to keep it a 1-0 game. Group B pulled their goalie. A wayward puck was sliding toward the empty net, but great hustle from Martin prevented it from going in.

0:24: Tangradi ties the game with a beautiful 5-hole shot from the slot. Group C 1, Group B 1.

0:00: The game ends on a tie and we’ll have a three players shootout.

Kennedy stopped by Munroe
Letestu beats Killeen high glove
Sullivan buries it 5-hole on Munroe
McDonald shot goes wide
Malkin stopped by Munroe
Dupuis with a water bottle shot to win it for Group C!!

Group C wins the scrimmage, 2-1, in a shootout.

10:00 AM:
The ice is clean and the two squads (B and C) are stretching before their scrimmage. Stay tuned at the conclusion for the running blog.

9:06 AM:
Practice is underway. The Sullivan-Malkin-Kennedy trio is skating together. That line had an epic scrimmage Saturday, combining for four goals in a 5-1 win.

7:30 AM:
The Pens held their first training camp practice Saturday morning/afternoon in front of their fans at CONSOL Energy Center. Click here for all the details from the first practice.

Sunday will feature the same setting for the team with an open practice, one intra-squad scrimmage and three practice sessions.

For all the details on Sunday's open practice click here. Below are the cliff notes:
  • Both practices are free of charge. Free > not free
  • Gates open at 8:30 am
  • Parking is free at surrounding lots on first come basis
  • Practice starts at 9 am, intra-squad scrimmage at 10 am
  • Concession stands, PensGear store and Dick’s Box Office will be open and ready to offer you goods and services in exchange for American dollar
  • Those not in attendance can watch at home online as will be live streaming the entire practice. Penguins HD radio is also broadcasting the practices with Steve Mears making the call.

The complete training camp schedule is click here. The 55-man training camp roster can be downloaded here.

Sunday’s itinerary:
9 am – Group B practice
10 am – Group B and Group C scrimmage
11 am – Group C practice
12 noon – Group A practice

Sidney Crosby and Dustin Jeffrey will now join Group A.
Below are the complete groupings:

Group A

11 Jordan Staal
14 Chris Kunitz
15 Dustin Jeffrey
18 James Neal
28 Nick Johnson
42 Keven Veilleux
46 Joe Vitale
62 Ben Street
64 Tom Kuhnhackl
87 Sidney Crosby

37 Brian Strait
44 Brooks Orpik
55 Philip Samuelsson
58 Kris Letang
59 Carl Sneep
70 Joseph Morrow

29 Marc-Andre Fleury
33 Scott Munroe

Group B

12 Richard Park
19 Jason Williams
25 Eric Tangradi
26 Steve Sullivan
48 Tyler Kennedy
56 Paul Thompson
57 Brian Gibbons
71 Evgeni Malkin
76 Dominik Uher

4 Zbynek Michalek
7 Paul Martin
47 Simon Despres
52 Alex Grant
53 Joey Mormina
67 Geoff Walker

1 Brent Johnson
61 Patrick Killeen

Group C

9 Pascal Dupuis
10 Mark Letestu
23 Ryan Craig
24 Matt Cooke
27 Craig Adams
38 Colin McDonald
45 Arron Asham
51 Zach Sill
69 Bryan Lerg

2 Matt Niskanen
5 Deryk Engelland
54 Alexandre Picard
74 Brandon DeFazio
78 Scott Harrington

39 Brad Thiessen
33 Scott Munroe (double shifting)

If you ever wanted to know how amazingly supportive and faithful Pens fans are, just watch this video below of their standing ovation for Crosby at Saturday's practice.

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