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Penguins Report: Gonchar Cleared for Contact

Sunday, 11.15.2009 / 11:33 AM / Penguins Report
By Sam Kasan
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Penguins Report: Gonchar Cleared for Contact
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Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar has been cleared for contact. See 11:35 AM entry for details.
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1:14 PM:
Sounds heard around the locker room:

Sidney Crosby

On adjusting to play with Fedotenko:
With Feds it’s pretty simple. He’s going to stay on his wing and forecheck. He’s going to shoot the puck when he gets the chance and he’s going to force pucks. It’s really just a matter of reading where to puck is going to go.
On adjusting to play with Malkin:
As far as Geno, we’ve played together on and off. We played together a lot on the power play. You get used to a guys style. I know that Geno’s going to push defensemen back. If I can be closer and support him, it doesn’t matter where I am, he can find me.
On playing with Malkin:
There’s a little more space for sure. Hopefully we can create that for each other. You get guys kind of keying on one or the other and hopefully you can make them pay with opening up some more ice. Even with Feds, with his shot, if their kind of trapping us we can find Feds.

Dan Byslma
On Fedotenko fitting in:
He goes to dinner with Geno. So there’s a comfort level there and expectations and being able to converse and know what the expectations are. Playing with those big guys you always want to try to please them. You always want to try to get them the puck. Sometimes that’s not always the right play. Feds, when he’s playing his game, he’s driving the middle for them. He’s in around the net. He’s in the corner winning battles. He’s also a guy who adds stability to a line. I think it’s tough to be comfortable in that role a lot of times. That’s why Billy Guerin is a good fit on the top two lines for us, and Fedotenko has done a great job in the last year, two years filling in and being that guy on that line. To be able to have a conversation with Geno or Sid on where to go, what to do, how to do it, and then go back out and still play the right way.

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12:49 PM:
Pascal Dupuis' young son Cody was at practice on Sunday. After the team's practice he dressed in the locker room and took the ice with his "Daddy."




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12:47 PM:
Here is what head coach Dan Bylsma had to say about Goligoski's absence from practice on Sunday:

"He's been banged up. It was a maintanence day. Monday we'll take a look at him again. Hopefully he's in the same condition but we'll see. We're trying to treat him and get him better. We'll see Monday."
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11:47 AM:
Defenseman Alex Goligoski was absent from Pittsburgh's Sunday practice. We will get an update from Bylsma on his status.
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11:35 AM:
The Penguins are inching their way towards health. Evgeni Malkin, who missed seven games with a shoulder strain, played his first game in Saturday's 6-5 overtime victory over Boston.

There was more good news for the club at Sunday afternoon's practice when we learned that Sergei Gonchar, who has been sidelined for three-plus weeks with a broken left wrist, has been cleared for contact in practice.

Gonchar, who had his cast removed last Wednesday, had been practicing with the team wearing a red "no contact" jersey. Gonchar took the ice in the normal white jersey for practice, indicating that he is healthy enough to participate fully in practice - a positive step towards his recovery.

We will get an update from coach Bylsma after practice.
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