El Segundo, California - The Pens held a Sunday afternoon practice at Toyota Sports Center. Here is what you need to know…
*The Pens boarded an early morning flight from Philadelphia en route to California. After landing at the airport, the team took a bus immediately to the Toyota Sports Center for practice.
*The Pens had full attendance at practice, including the addition of injured defenseman Kris Letang (upper-body). There isn't much new to report regarding Letang. He continues to progress and is still listed as day-to-day.
"Today was another step in the right direction," said Letang, who once again took part in full-contact practice. "Everything is going really well."
"The fact that (Letang) is in full-contact practice, he looked pretty good out there," head coach Mike Sullivan said. "We'll see how he responds to this practice, but everything looks encouraging."
*The Pens used the following workflow…
All three goalies split net duties
*The Pens pushed several points of emphasis during this afternoon's practice. Namely, breakouts and defensive checking.
"We worked a fair amount on our breakouts and retrievals, going back for pucks, trying to beat the forecheck under pressure," Sullivan said. "We worked a little bit on techniques, playing down low in the corners, so that we're a little bit harder to play against underneath the hash marks."
*The Pens had very little practice time during the opening month of this season due to playing so many games in a short period of time. But the team practiced on Sunday, will have a day off Monday to recover and will practice again on Tuesday.
"It's something that all teams are trying to manage, playing a lot of games in a short-period of time," Sullivan said. "We're trying to manage the type of practices we run so that guys have the best chance to recover so that they can be at their best for game time."
The practices opportunities are something coaches relish.
"To have the opportunity to have a substantive practice, the coaching staff looks forward to those moments because we haven't had a whole lot of them to work on things and get better on the ice," Sullivan said. "We spend a fair amount of time in the video room and try to get better by watching ourselves. But the practice time is really important as far as getting repetitions. Those repetitions improve execution. We'll try to maximize every opportunity that we get."