Penguins Report: Game Day at Ottawa
Monday, 10.12.2009 / 11:04 AM ET / Penguins Report
By Sam Kasan
Here are some shots from the Brian "Smitty" Smith Press Box in Ottawa. Be sure to follow the game with Jason Seidling's live game blog, kicking off at 7:30 p.m.
AROUND THE RINK (SCOTIABANK EDITION)
Scotiabank has this exhibit called "The Hockey Country Jersey Wall" in which every teams jersey that plays hockey in the country of Canada has its jersey hanging on around the concourse.
The Penguins skated their normal line pairings at the morning skate, although if the past few games are any indication they won't stay that way for long. (They may not even stay this way before the puck drops).
Thus, the combinations/pairings were:
Marc-Andre Fleury in net.
Below is a full-wall mural right outside the visiting locker room depicting Ottawa's playoff triumph over the Penguins in the 2007 playoffs, with the prominant "SENS WIN!!!" above the series-ending handshake.
There is an interesting backstory about the picture. The mural was put up after that 2006-07 season when the Senators eliminated the Penguins, 4-1. When the teams met the following year in the playoffs, the picture was a reminder and motivating factor for the Penguins as they went on to sweep the Senators and exact a little revenge.
After Pittsburgh eliminated Ottawa in that 2008 playoff series, someone taped the letter "P" over the written portion of the picture so that the above read: "PENS WIN!!!"
Here are some random quotes from head coach Dan Bylsma after the Toronto game that I found interesting and worth re-visiting:
On mixing his line combinations:
Certain players are going to play more. That means that lines aren’t going to stay constant all the time. Some of it was penalties. Some of it was players playing well and demanding more ice time.
On the team getting its swagger back
We’re trying to find it right now.
The game against Ottawa will be the Penguins' fourth contest in a six-day span, and third road game in the last five days. With such a heavy workload, head coach Dan Bylsma gave the team the day off on Sunday. Some of the guys went to the movies, others went to sports bars to watch the Steelers game and bunch of players went out for dinner together. But I'm sure they all enjoyed a little down time for turning it back up against tonight.
"You try to rest as much as possible," said Bill Guerin, who watched the Steelers' 28-20 victory. "I think resting is the main thing, knowing when to pull back. Mentally, you need time to get away from the game. Do something to get your mind off of it and not burden yourself with every thing else. Go to a movie, read, go out for dinner, something to get your mind off the game. That eases a lot of burden on your head."
The Penguins embark on their first visit to the Scotiabank Arena to take on the Ottawa Senators Monday night at 7:30 p.m.
The Penguins will take the ice around 11:30 a.m. The Senators are just finishing up their morning skate session as I write this. Here are some pics from their practice: