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Penguins Report: Training Camp 9/25/11

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins

  • The latest on Crosby's situation, as he participated in a controlled scrimmage today (12:55 PM)
  • Exclusive video of Crosby participating in the controlled scrimmage (2:01 PM)
  • Crosby discusses his status (12:11 PM)
  • Bylsma on the scrimmage, Minny and face-offs (12:13 PM)
  • Group 1 and Group 2 rosters (9:41 AM).
  • Group 1 line combos (10:13 AM)
  • Group 2 line combos (11:51 AM)
  • Town Hall Meeting photos (3:53 PM)
  • Scrimmage pics (11:45 AM)
  • Group 2 pics (12:38 PM)
  • Group 1 pics (10:44 AM)
  • Shootout time (11:29 AM)

3:53 PM:
The Town Hall Meeting was a great success. The fans loved hearing from Pens CEO David Morehouse, GM Ray Shero and head coach Dan Bylsma -- and they especially loved seeing the five players -- Staal, Fleury, Letang, Malkin and Crosby -- banter with each other during the Q&A.

Here's some pics for your viewing pleasure. Make sure to check the website later for a story, video and photo gallery!

Morehouse spoke first

Shero spoke second

Bylsma spoke third

Staalsy was the first one seated (left) ... before Flower joined him (right)

Of course we need a D-man to complete the trio

Geno was greeted by roars from the crowd

While Sid was given a standing "O"

2:01 PM:
PensTV got exclusive footage of Sidney Crosby participating in today's controlled scrimmage. Watch it here!

1:29 PM:
The Town Hall Meeting has officially begun here at CONSOL Energy Center, emceed by the immensely talented Steve Mears. It's being held right on the ice, with a stage set up in the center circle with a red carpet trailing from there to the locker room.

1:14 PM:
Right now the arena staff is setting up for today's Town Hall Meeting, which is being held exclusively for season ticket holders. The event is scheduled to begin in about 15 minutes.

After Pens CEO David Morehouse and GM Ray Shero address the crowd, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury, Jordan Staal and Kris Letang will join head coach Dan Bylsma in a Q&A session with Steve Mears. Check later this afternoon for coverage of the event!

12:55 PM:
Sam Kasan has the latest on Crosby's situation -- basically everything is status quo with the Pens captain.

12:38 PM:
Evidence of Group 2 at work...

TK and Staal working on net front presence (left); Staalsy going for a shot (right)

More net front presence (left); Vitale (right)

Tangradi and MacIntyre sharing the left side of the ice (left); Strait & Staal battle (right)

More battle drills with Engelland & Adams (left); Kunitz & Tangradi (right)

TK goes 1-on-1 with coach (left); in for a shot on Johnny (right)

12:13 PM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma...

On the controlled scrimmage:
It was very controlled. It was some faceoff plays, set plays. We’ll do something similar tomorrow, mostly four-on-four, to get those details – some of them we haven’t seen yet in our game. It was extremely controlled. It wasn’t much of a display of skill, lines or matchups.

On the Minnesota game:
To leave the game getting four power-play goals and killing off nine penalties, killing off a five-on-three and four-on-three – it’s not necessarily an area of the game you want to have to work on, but to get some reps five-on-three and four-on-three was pretty good yesterday. Our PKers were excellent. The power play did a lot of things we’ve been trying to do, starting off with the faceoff and attacking the net right away. We got two faceoff goals. We had a five-on-three opportunity and ran a play on that and scored a goal. To get four power-play goals, get special teams work in and leave the game feeling pretty good. There wasn’t a real flow to the game five-on-five, so I’m not sure anyone stood out in that regard.
Brad Thiessen getting the start and full game, seeing him in the game was a good thing for Brad. He looked strong. He was good side to side. He looked good with his opportunity.

On the faceoff plays:
It’s a lot for a new guy. We’re in the mode where we’re adding something new everyday. You better be ready to move on. It is a lot in short order. Going through a couple of games, a couple practices and running through them, every player should have them under their belt and comfortable with them by the time the season starts.

On the faceoff goals:
We’re a team that likes to attack right off the faceoff five-on-five, four-on-four and on the power play.

Assist: Sam Kasan

12:11 PM:
We've got one player for today's edition of sounds heard around the locker room: Pens captain Sidney Crosby.

On the controlled scrimmage:
It was really controlled. It was a lot of teaching stuff. It was good to refresh all of that. It’s been a while since we went over that on the ice. I’m happy to be out there.

On his hockey skills:
To refresh everything, that’s what everyone got out of it. A controlled scrimmage you’re basically trying to figure out where you need to be and make sure in the right places.

On if he’s still status quo:
Yes. Everything has been really good. I haven’t ran into any issues so far. It’s been pretty smooth.

On the encouragement of his progress:
It’s nice, day at a time. It’s been a lot of fun out there competing and getting back to doing typical things that you’re used to doing everyday as a hockey player.

On his take from the preseason:
I think we’ve played really well. All that attention to detail is pretty tough when you’re learning a lot of new things and guys are getting back into everything. I think we’ve done a really good job of doing that and being committed to that. You have to make sure you make the most of the preseason. I think we’ve done that so far.

Assist: Sam Kasan

11:51 AM:
Group 2 is on the ice for practice. Since they have 10 forwards, Tangradi and MacIntyre are both skating on the left wing for the third line. Here's their combos:


11:45 AM:
Scrimmage photos...lots of pics of set faceoff plays, because that's mainly what they worked on.

11:29 AM:
The scrimmage ended the way the Pens like it best: with a shootout. Unfortunately, no Mustache Boy will be named yet as its still training camp...

Here's how it played out:
Adams shoots wide on Fleury.
Sullivan tries some slick moves on Munroe, who isn't fooled and makes the save.
Sid goes in on Munroe to huge cheers and releases a quick snap shot, which deflects high and wide.
Fleury robs Engelland.
Neal lets off a scorcher at Munroe. He gets a piece of it and it deflects wide.
Staal goes in with a convincing leg kick and slips puck under Fleury to more cheers (and a great goal celebration...)
Not to be outdone, Letestu beats Munroe right after.
Fleury sprawls and keeps Niskanen from scoring.
Geno goes to his backhand but Munroe gloves it.
TK clinks a shot past Flower stick side and celebrates accordingly.
Munroe finishes with a pad save on Cooke.

Now it's time to head down to the locker room. We'll be back before Group 2's practice, scheduled for 11:45 a.m.

11:00 AM:
And they're off! The scrimmage opens with Craig, Crosby and N. Johnson for Group 1 against MacIntyre, Park and McDonald for Group 2. Coach Bylsma is stopping play periodically to go over certain things with the players. There's no running clock or anything either, so it seems more of an opportunity to work on certain aspects of their game rather than an actual scrimmage. It's very controlled.

Munroe is in one goal. Fleury in the other.

10:51 AM:
Group 1 has headed to the locker room (well, everyone except Jeffrey, who's staying on the ice for a little extra work) and is preparing for their 20-minute scrimmage in 10 minutes against Group 2.

10:44 AM:
Visual evidence of Group 1 at work...

Crosby with coach Granato (left); Crosby battles with N. Johnson (right)

Craig and Letang in deep conversation (left); Duper all alone (right)

The "Flower" getting some work in...

Malkin -- although I doubt you needed me to tell you who that is (left); Jeffrey (right)

Group shot! (left); Munroe's turn for some work (right)

10:26 AM:
Assistant coaches Todd Reirden and Tony Granato are running the Group 1 practice. The players are currently doing battle drills in the corners and the defensemen are certainly getting a workout on this one, as they're double-shifting.

10:13 AM:
Here's the Group 1 line combos:

N. Johnson-Crosby-Craig

10:05 AM:
The only players not on the ice for Group 1 are Jason Williams and Brooks Orpik. Everyone else is accounted for. Both Sidney Crosby and Dustin Jeffrey are skating with this group. Sid is wearing a white helmet to signify no contact while the rest of the players are wearing black.

9:41 AM:
Welcome everyone! We're back at CONSOL Energy Center after the Penguins improved to 3-0 in preseason play on Saturday against Minnesota, defeating the Wild 4-1. Pittsburgh's special teams play was the story of the game, as all four of their goals came on the power play and the Penguins penalty killers successfully averted all nine disadvantages they faced.

The Penguins are now down to two groups after re-assigning three players on Friday and re-assigning 13 players on Thursday. Here's how today's schedule plays out:

Sunday's itinerary:
Group 1 practice: 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Groups 1 and 2 scrimmage: 11 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.
Group 2 practice: 11:45 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Group 1:

4 Zbynek Michalek
7 Paul Martin
44 Brooks Orpik
54 Alexandre Picard
58 Kris Letang
70 Joseph Morrow

9 Pascal Dupuis
10 Mark Letestu
15 Dustin Jeffrey
18 James Neal
19 Jason Williams
23 Ryan Craig
24 Matt Cooke
26 Steve Sullivan
28 Nick Johnson
71 Evgeni Malkin
87 Sidney Crosby

Marc-Andre Fleury
Scott Munroe

Group 2:

2 Matt Niskanen
5 Deryk Engelland
6 Ben Lovejoy
37 Brian Strait
78 Scott Harrington

11 Jordan Staal
12 Richard Park
14 Chris Kunitz
25 Eric Tangradi
27 Craig Adams
33 Steve MacIntyre
38 Colin McDonald
45 Arron Asham
46 Joe Vitale
48 Tyler Kennedy

1 Brent Johnson
39 Brad Thiessen
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