Penguins Report: Game Day at Detroit
Monday, 03.22.2010 / 11:11 AM / Features
By Sam Kasan
The Penguins will not have Evgeni Malkin in the lineup. It was confirmed by Bylsma that Malkin will not play. When asked if Malkin was out for the game, Bylsma responded, "that's the case, yes." See 12:40 PM entry for more.
AROUND THE RINK (JOE LOUIS ARENA EDITION)
Here are the lines for the Red Wings:
Howard in net
Sounds heard around the locker room:
On if Detroit can get on a roll and make noise in the playoffs:
When you get to the end of the season and look at what possible matchups could be around the league and for your team, I don't think any team in the top of the conference wants to see the Wings as their matchup going into the playoffs. They're fighting right now and in that mode where they need to play their best hockey. They're also a dangerous team that knows how to win when it comes to the postseason, and their an experienced team. Matchup-wise I don't think anyone is looking down and saying the Red Wings are who they want to go agaisnt.
On adjusting to playing without Malkin:
The adjustment to our game isn't to scrap what we do and how we play, and go into a defensive mode. We're going to play as quickly as we can both defensively and offensively. We're going to try to get to the offensive zone and play there as much as we can. That doesn't change much without Geno. The adjustments we have to make is that we don't have a lot of natural centers. Once Geno is out of the lineup we are putting (Talbot), (Adams), (Rupp) and sometimes (Kennedy) in the middle of the ice and that's not their natural position. That's the adjustment we have to make but we've made it the past four games. We're deep in the forward position, so we have good players to go in and take minutes that Geno won't take tonight. We've made that adjustment the past four games.
On Pittsburgh having to fight last year to get into the playoffs:
We were in fighting mode and not in the playoffs until the third to last game of the season. If that's an advantage, I don't know if I want it. Your team has to know how to play, how to win and how to compete. When you're in that fight mode and winning games, you know what that is and how to win games. That's part of the development of a team. Knowing how to play, knowing how to win, knowing how your team plays and being confident and comfortable, that develops when you're on that streak. We know what it is and we're trying to get it on a consistent basis. I think our team is confident in what it is and what it looks like. That's the challenge but I'd rather have the X by our team's name as soon as possible.
On winning the Rocket Richard Trophy:
Those are things that will take care of themselves with playing well. You're better off not worrying about it or thinking about it. You focus on the details that are important to have success. It's something that's been brought up, and will be more and more, as the season goes on. I just want to make sure I'm playing well heading into the playoffs.
They keep playing better and better. They had injuries and the guys coming back are feeling better with time. Their game is showing that. The last game they had 50 shots in Vancouver. It's a different position. We were in the same position last season, having to fight down the stretch for the playoffs. It's not necessarily a bad thing. You just have to get in there. They've got the team to get in there. Once you're in there, it's anyone's game. They're in the mode already. That's why it's important for us to get that mentality in the next 10 games.
He's probably surprised everybody. He came in and did a great job. When you think about goaltending for Detroit, you think about Osgood. He's come in and played solid for them. All you can ask of your goalie is to give you a chance to win every night, and he seems to be doing that for them.
On being back at Joe Louis for the first time since winning the Cup:
There has been a lot of emotion in this room for a lot of players. It's a nice memory. You can't deny thinking about winning it here last year. It is in the past. It's a good thing to bring back but at the same time we have to keep looking forward. You can sense the way hockey goes in this room. There have been a lot of ups and downs, a lot of tough games we've lost in this building, a lot of big games that we've won. It's a pretty neat feeling to come back here.
On being back at Joe Louis for the first time since winning the Cup:
It's pretty cool to be back. We've had tough times and good times also here. We had some tough games. It's just good to be back. I liked the memories from last year better than two years ago. It's cool to see the room again, to see the ice. We've had some fun here so it's pretty cool.
The Penguins will not have Evgeni Malkin in the lineup. It was confirmed by Bylsma that Malkin will not play. When asked if Malkin was out for the game, Bylsma responded, "that's the case, yes."
So I guess there won't be a repeat of this:
Dan Bylsma (left) takes in practice from the bench; Brooks Orpik (right)
Marc-Andre Fleury (left); Sergei Gonchar (right)
Bill Guerin jokes with Jordan Staal during stretch (left); Mike Rupp gets some H20 (right)
Forward Evgeni Malkin was not on the ice for Pittsburgh's morning skate. Malkin returned to game action Saturday after missing two games with a foot injury. He rested the foot Sunday and did not practice with his teammates. We'll try to get an update on his status from head coach Dan Bylsma.
With Malkin out, the combos looked like this:
I must admit, it is a very different feeling being back in Joe Louis Arena. It's very quiet and desloate at the rink, the antithesis of the last time these two teams met with everything on the line.
It was only a few months ago (last June to be exact) that the Penguins played the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Final, and became the first professional sports team since the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates to win a Game 7 championship on the road.
The environment was much different then. An entire section of the event level was quarantined off for the media to work, and there were hundreds of media there. In the hallways to both teams' locker rooms there were television sets for live shots before, during and after games: everyone was represented from the CBC to Versus to ESPN to NBC to RDS.
Tables and makeshift food areas were staged for the overflow of media to eat. You couldn't walk 15 feet without seeing a sign of the "2009 Stanley Cup Final."
Speakers were set up in the hallway to serenade the post-skate/post-game press conferences live. It wasn't atypical to wonder to the eatery to grab a slice of Little Caesars pizza (you're welcome for the plug) while listening to Mike Babcock avoid reporters questions about Pavel Datsyuk's health. In fact, it was almost a ritual.
Now, those same hallways that were cluttered with people, props and signage are empty. Their wide open, non-activity only illuminates how vastly things have changed from last year's championship series. The "media section" is now filled with popcorn. The makeshift food area is now vacant space, unfilled. The signs are gone.
What remains is the lingering feeling of what could have been, back-to-back titles for Hockeytown. But it wasn't meant to be.
Revenge is so sweet.
The Detroit Red Wings just finished their morning skate session at Joe Louis Arena. They just came off the ice and headed to the dressing room. Here are some shots to commemorate the moment.
Longtime Red Wings Chris Osgood (left) and Nicklas Lidstrom (right)
Head coach Mike Babcock (left) and Pavel Datsyuk (right)
Read Pittsburgh vs Detroit Game Preview >>