Penguins Report: Southpointe 12/2/09
Wednesday, 12.02.2009 / 11:47 AM / Penguins Report
By Sam Kasan
There was some added entertainment value during the Penguins' practice shootout for the fans in attendence at Southpointe. Forward Bill Guerin somehow got hold of a microphone and started to emcee the competition. Some memorable lines were:
"Eric Godard, a seven-time all-star."
"Martin Skoula slows it down."
"Max Talbot...you all know what he can do."
"Here comes Jay 'Cheese' McKee."
On the Colorado Avalanche:
We face a hardworking team. I think early on this season they developed. Whether it was on the road, home, they were going to work and keep working. Their goaltending was very good this season and gave them a chance to win games and they found ways to win, young guys stepping up, new guys coming in. It’s really a young nucleus that provides them not only with their energy but some of the big goals that they’ve been getting from they’re team.
On playing Colorado in a second of back-to-back games for the Avalanche:
Don’t tell our players that we have an advantage. It’s not an advantage until you make it an advantage. Yes they’re traveling. Yes they’re in the middle of a road trip. If it’s going to be an advantage you have to exploit it and you have to show it. They’re going to come in here and they have every possibility of having a great game from they’re goaltender and their young players are going to come in here. They’re going to be playing Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in our building for the first time. So they’re going to have some jump and excitement because of that. I’m not expecting a tired team. I’m expecting a team that’s going to be ready to play a team they view as a team that won last year and some great players. They’ll be ready to go.
On Mark Eaton:
I think Mark, now having been with our team for a while, getting a little long-in-the-tooth in his career and experiences, he has the demeanor, much like Sergei Gonchar, a matter-of-factness about being a professional and coming to the rink. The highs aren’t too high and the lows aren’t too low. He goes out there, whether he’s the sixth defenseman or whether he’s the second defenseman, he seems to play the same way with the same demeanor. It’s tough to tell when his bad days are, because of matter-of-fact and how professional he is about the way he works and plays. It pays of in times of injuries and difficulties. You know he going to come to the rink and work and bring the same mentality everyday, no matter what the situation is. That wears off on guys.
On coming through injuries:
There are challenges about getting guys back in the lineup. We’ll gladly take them. Eight-two games, each team has to develop into their own identity, how we win, how we’re going to play. You need some adversity. You need some different scenarios for your team to struggle through that. I think our team right now has a better sense right now of how to play and win games because of having gone through the first 28 games, a lot of that dealing with injuries. We’re better now and we have a better sense of our identity and how we’re going to play, because of what we’ve gone through, especially the last 15, 20 games. We still have to keep developing that. We have to keep working on that. You need that development on the team and in the (locker) room and how you win and how you play games to really have a chance of being how good you can become. You don’t like adversity. You don’t like injuries. But when you come out of them and your team has a better sense of itself and how guys step up it makes you a stronger team.
On Sidney Crosby shooting more:
I think as a goalie and a defenseman, you could have thought he was going to be a passer. Before when he was coming on a 2-on-1 or maybe on the power play, you could see him looking for passes. You could play on that and defend against that a little bit better. The passing skills certainly haven’t gone away. And the ability to make that play has not gone away. But if the goalie’s now worried about the shot, it’s a different factor for the goalie. It’s a different factor for the defensemen, a different factor on the power play. Different scenarios, it’s adding another weapon. When you shoot the puck that much, he’s shooting it pretty hard. The last few games he’s had a couple chances that didn’t go in that were cannons to the net. You wear goalies down with that. You make them think about the hard shot coming. The third goal for his hat trick was a fake slap shot where the goalie really bit and really opened up a chance for him to score. It’s a different facet that he’s developed and he’s working on. It’s a different mentality. He’s shooting the puck more.
Assist Tom Mast
The Penguins were given a day off on Tuesday. The players had a chance to relax, get refreshed and come in ready to go for practice Wednesday afternoon at Southpointe.
The Penguins equipment staff added some flair to the dressing room by placing some team photos around the formerly barren walls.