Penguins Report: Game Day vs. Anaheim
Monday, 11.16.2009 / 10:38 AM ET / Penguins Report
By Sam Kasan
The hits keep coming for the Pittsburgh Penguins as it was learned today that defenseman Alex Goligoski, who was off to a great start with the club, will be sidelined for 2-3 weeks with a lower-body injury.
"He's getting an MRI today; He's got a lower-body injury," head coach Dan Bylsma said. "We are going to estimate 2 to 3 weeks on Alex."
The Penguins are now missing their top four defenseman: Sergei Gonchar (broken left wrist), Kris Letang (shoulder contusion), Brooks Orpik (lower body) and Goligoski.
Also on the mend are forwards Tyler Kennedy (undisclosed), Chris Kunitz (lower body) and Maxime Talbot (torn labrum).
PENGUINS MEDICAL WATCH
Player, Injury (Date), Time Frame, Current Progress
Maxime Talbot, torn labrum (July 7), 4 to 6 months, practicing (cleared for contact)
Sergei Gonchar, broken left wrist (Oct. 20), 4 to 6 weeks, practicing (cleared for contact)
Evgeni Malkin, shoulder strain (Oct. 29), 2 weeks, returned after missing 7 games
Tyler Kennedy, undisclosed (Nov. 5), day-to-day, no ice participation
Kris Letang, shoulder contusion (Nov. 7), 2 weeks, no ice participation
Brooks Orpik, lower-body (Nov. 10), 2 weeks, no ice participation
Chris Kunitz, lower-body (Nov. 13), 2-3 weeks, no ice participation
Alex Goligoski, lower-body (Nov. 16), 2-3 weeks, no ice participation
The Consol Energy Center is really taking shape. Here's a photo of the interior taken this afternoon:
Here are some more photos of Monday's pre-game activities, courtesy of Erik Heasley:
Mark Letestu (left) awaits questions from reporters while Pittsburgh native Nate Guenin (right) addresses the media.
Mellon Arena's scoreboard was lowered to ice level Monday afternoon for some maintenance.
Here are some shots of Anaheim's morning skate:
Left Ryan Whitney: Right Teemu Selanne
Left Bobby Ryan: Right Scott Niedermayer
Sounds heard around the locker room:
On the constant 2-week injuries:
It doesn't seem to end there. When does the two weeks end? Hopefully some of the guys will continue to progress and maybe by the weekend some of the guys will get some relief soon enough.
On adjusting to the injuries:
At this point of time it's tough to say that we have continuity where that's going to be a matchup, or going into a game that's the amount of minutes a player may get or not get. It will be how things go that particular night...We have new matchups, new guys in the lineup. The good thing is that you saw Deryk Engelland and Ben Lovejoy come in (knowing) our system and how we want to play, fitting right in and playing the right way. Nate Guenin is going to be the same way tonight. There is some continuity there with how we want to play.
On the benefit of playing in the same system in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton:
Guys like Ben Lovejoy and Deryk Engelland are more comfortable playing the way you want to play than a Jay McKee or Martin Skoula, who have only been here for a short amount of time. That does help them out and help us out.
On the defensive depth order:
Coming out of training camp is different than during a point in the season. Nate and Deryk put themselves neck and neck coming out of training camp. Both of those guys could have made our club in a split decision as to who would be our seventh defenseman before we acquired Martin Skoula. At that point in time Deryk may have had a little bit upper hand versus Nate. Ben had the injury in training camp and didn't get the chance that Nate and Deryk had. He was a guy, in his case with his skating, is the difference. All three are really close in terms of the depth chart. At times it's a given with what we need at that given time or who's playing the best down there.
On Eaton playing on the power play:
He's played the second unit for us before. In different scenarios he's gotten almost half the power play at times. He's a real strong player that knows what's expected of him in different situations. As a result, his goal last game was getting up the ice, making the smart read, being an option for getting that goal in the last game. That was a smart read and adding offense to our team. The same thing applies to him on the power play, knowing what's expected, keeping it within his skill set, keeping it simple and being ready to add by getting pucks to the middle of the ice, back to the half wall, when he has a chance getting shots to the net. He's done that effectively for us. In the Columbus, he had a great game by getting three shots to the net on the power play. You can expect to see that from him tonight.
On working through injuries:
It doesn’t seem like it gets any easier. We’ve faced that for a while now. I think we’ve got to find ways and keep things really simple. We’ve got a lot of guys playing new and different roles, so the best thing is to keep it simple and find ways to win.
On the morale boost of Saturday’s game:
We needed a game like that. The ones we had won weren’t necessarily easy, but there weren’t many where we were faced with a situation like that. We were faced with a situation where it turned around very quickly and we needed to bounce back. We did a great job of that and found a way to win. They don’t get any easier, but we found a way to win.
This is the second time we’ve seen them in a couple weeks. We think we have a pretty good idea now, playing them in such a short period of time. That will be good in preparing. They’ve got a lot of different weapons. I think the main thing is always we try to worry about us, but you have to be aware of a lot of guys on their team, too.
They’ve got a lot of fire power, a lot of guys who can make plays. They’ve got that one big line especially (Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan) that’s dangerous every time they’re out there and Niedermayer quarterbacking things out there. They’re a dangerous team.
On Ben Lovejoy, Deryk Engelland:
I think they’ve done well. Everything that they do in Wilkes-Barre is pretty similar to what they do here, so that’s great for adjusting, and as far as making plays, making reads for them. So hopefully that’s helped them a bit. They come in and just kept their game simple. They’re doing a good job there. It’s not easy to be thrown in and see the amount of ice time they’re getting right off the bat.
On playing with Malkin and Fedotenko:
We’re just going to try to create things. When myself and Geno are put together we’ve got to. We make sure we create offense, not necessarily always score, but at least created opportunities and create momentum. That’s really been our focus. As far as Feds is concerned, he’s done a great job of winning battles and being strong in front of the net. He’s done a lot of great things. We’ve all just got to play to our strengths.
On the team through the quarter mark of the season:
I think we’d like to be in a different position with having a few guys in the lineup that are normally there. I think it’s a little difficult to judge when you’re missing that many guys. Typically I think you would like to evaluate where you’re at. Right now we’re just really trying to simplify things. I don’t think there’s too many new things really that we’re trying to bring in. That may delay the things we learn because of the situation, but I think we know the way we need to play. We need to play a fast-paced game and control the puck and hold on to it. Even with what we’re facing that’s what we need to do.
Some emulsions from the morning skate:
Pittsburgh native Nate Guenin (right) could make his Penguins' debut against the Ducks.
Alex Goligoski, who missed practice on Sunday, did not join his teammates for their morning skate Monday in preparation for their game against Anaheim at Mellon Arena at 7:30 p.m.
We will get an update on Goligoski's status following the skate. Meanwhile, with the call up of Hopewell's Nate Guenin, the workings at the morning skate were:
With Goligoski out, Malkin took his spot at the point on the power play. Eaton occupied the other slot with Guerin providing net-front presence and Crosby and Fedotenko working along the boards.