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Pens Find Balance During Break

by Tony Jovenitti / Pittsburgh Penguins
Prior to the All-Star break, Penguins players stressed the importance of getting some rest during the five days off. But they also had to stay in shape and not get too much rest.

That’s where strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar comes in.

“Kadar gives us programs to follow,” Pascal Dupuis said. “If you follow it, pay attention, eat the right way and rest the right way, then breaks can only be beneficial.”

“I came up with three different programs that consisted of lifting, cardio and some plyos,” Kadar said. “But basically, over the five days, if they can get two or three lifts in, it would suffice.”

(Strength and conditioning coach Mike) Kadar gives us programs to follow. If you follow it, pay attention, eat the right way and rest the right way, then breaks can only be beneficial. - Pascal Dupuis, on the NHL's five-day break
Dupuis said staying in shape is simply the responsible thing for a player in the National Hockey League to do.

“We know what needs to be done,” Dupuis said. “It’s basically accountability to your teammates. I know the guy next to me will stay in shape, so I try to do it myself.”

Mark Letestu enjoyed his time off, especially considering the fact that the Penguins have seven games in the next 11 days.

“Looking at the schedule ahead, it looks like we’re going to need a little bit of rest,” Letestu said. “So any time off is nice.”

But despite being in sunny Fort Myers, Fla., for break, Letestu still followed Kadar’s workout instructions.

“He made sure there were the resources there to make sure we were working out and staying fit,” Letestu said. “Whether guys did it or not is up to them, but it was definitely there for us. It’s a lot of the stuff we do here – squatting, some plyos and a lot of cardio mixed in. It kind of touches on everything, (both) upper and lower body. Most places guys went, the facilities were there for it.”

From Kadar’s perspective, figuring out how to deal with a five-day break in the middle of the season can prove difficult.

“It’s tough, because we’ve played 50 games,” Kadar said. “We’re well into the season, so from my side of things, rest is as important as lifting. But if they can get two or three workouts in prior to coming back, that’s good.”

But even if any rust did develop over the break, Letestu said that Monday’s practice and Tuesday’s morning skate will give the team time to get back to game form.

“There’s time to shake off any rust,” Letestu said. “Five days isn’t a whole summer.”
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