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Penguins Report: Yellow Jackets

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins busted out some bright, bright, bright yellow practice jerseys at Mellon Arena Sunday afternoon. Mike Rupp, Maxime Talbot and Pascal Dupuis donned the yellow jackets, which reminded me of Marc-Andre Fleury's golden pads during his first few NHL seasons.


1:36 PM:
Coach Speak (Dan Bylsma)

On the USA-Canada Gold Medal Game:
I’m looking forward to a good hockey game. It’ll be exciting and entertaining. There will be a ton of emotion at the end of the game. It will be emotional watching it. It will make for an interesting afternoon.
On making a prediction:

I really have no good feeling about who will be the team. I heard someone say the best goalie is going to win.
On if the NHL gets a lot out of the Olympics from a business standpoint:
I can honestly say I haven’t given it one thought. I haven’t looked at these games as a way for the league to capitalize. I’ve been looking as a fan, as a coach of the some of the players. I think it’s great in looking back to the last Canada-US Gold Medal Game (in 2002 Salt Lake City). It’s great with the attention that this game gets versus if this were Sweden-Finland – which are two great teams playing for a gold medal. This gets a lot more attention in the United States and North America, and I think that’s great for the game.
On how he’ll handle the Olympians workload on their return:
I wish I had a litmus test. We have already given it consideration going into the break and we’ll give it consideration coming out of the break. Not just with Brooks, Sid and Flower but also Gonch and Geno. They already have a little bit of a break but they’ve also added some games to their total this year with a little bit more workload and travel. We’ll monitor them and give consideration to where they’re at physically and mentally in terms of another day off here and there.
On if he’s concerned the Olympians will be fatigued:
I’m not concerned with them coming back on the ice physically. You wouldn’t ask that question after the All-Star break. That’s basically what Geno and Gonch have had, a four-day break. They’ll get back and have a couple skates before they get on the ice. I think the rest will do them well. The other guys will be getting back Monday with short turnover. They’ll get some consideration going forward in terms of what break they get.
On Fedotenko and Talbot’s status:
I think Max has had with his practice with the group and off-ice workout, a challenge and he seems to be progressing very well, as anticipated given the break we had, his rehab during the break. Feds, we expect to be on the ice tomorrow. I anticipate him being healthy when he gets on the ice. That’s where they both should be (Monday).
On if Gonchar and Malkin will practice Monday:
I expect them to be participants on the ice.
On getting Crosby and Orpik back in mental shape:
It’s easy for us to analyze and say the guy who wins will be in a better mood than the guy who loses. I don’t particularly think you can judge how they’ll react to that and say it will set them back for the rest of the year. Winning could do that. Losing could do that. It might be different for Flower or Sid. There will be an adjustment in terms of their focus. Right now they’re focused on the one of the biggest games of their lives. Then they’ll have to get on a plane and come here, shift focus back to the Pittsburgh Penguins and where we’re at here. That’s going to take some effort and mental fortitude. Each guy will be different given the different scenarios.


11:22 AM:
The Penguins are on the ice for practice. The only missing bodies are Ruslan Fedotenko (who aggravated a lower body injury Thursday) and Russian Sergei Gonchar and Evgeni Malkin (who had been participating in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver).

The Mellon Arena boards (left) have been swiped clean. It's quite an oddity to see, but they will have fresh decorations when NHL play resumes Tuesday against Buffalo. Also, some underprivileged children (right) were in attendance for the drills. They were part of Davis Vision of Highmark. The kids had their vision checked, had bagels and food, received goody bags with hats, coolers, sunglasses, toothbrushes, floss, lollipops, etc.

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