Penguins Report: Practice 5/3/10
Monday, 05.3.2010 / 11:41 AM ET / Penguins Report
By Caitlin Kasunich
Head coach Dan Bylsma, Brooks Orpik and Pascal Dupuis spoke with the Montreal media at the team hotel shortly after arriving.
On Game 2:
|Orpik talks with radio play-by-play Mike Lange|
On playing Montreal's style:
A lot of what we talked about today was that they suck you in to play the way they want you to play. We can't let them dictate that. We have to play the same way that we played against Ottawa and other teams.
On playing on the road:
We've been good so far. It Ottawa we were really good. Hopefully that continues (in Montreal). We would have liked to win both at home but we didn't. You have to come up here and play as well as you can. Yesterday is in the past. Everyone is pretty anxious to play tomorrow.
On the Bell Centre atmosphere:
It will be loud. We talked about that today. The rink is the same size, it's the same game. The noise that can be a disadvantage for you can be a disadvantage for them. If we have a good start and they aren't playing as well as they can, it could get quiet or fans could get on their guys.
On knowing how to win on the road:
It's a different crowd, different atmosphere. At the end of the day it's the same game. Guys use that to our advantage.
On playing in Montreal:
They will be that much more amped up. We just played Ottawa, another Canadien team that was loud. They love their team. It's different here. This is where I'm from. Things will be special for me. It will be a really loud building. People on the street, all they talk about is the hockey game right now.
On team's road success:
We don't change our style of play. It's one of those things where we feel comfortable on the road. Last year in the playoffs we finished every single series on the road, in the opponent's building and this year we haven't lost on the road. It's one of those things where we do feel comfortable that we can still win on the road.
On playing without Staal:
I think Max (Talbot) played really well, really hard, skated well. We all know Max steps up his game in the playoffs and he did it again last night.
Head Coach Dan Bylsma addressed reporters at Mellon Arena on Monday. Below is the transcript from Bylsma's media conference:
On the method to the Canadiens’ madness defensively:
I think a couple aspects of (Sunday’s) game after watching the tape – we did not continue to put the same shots on net that we had in Game 1. We didn’t do as well from a power play standpoint. We didn’t enter the puck into their zone and have zone time as well as we did in Game 1. Five-on-five we had quite a bit of zone time, but at times we were pushed to the outside and behind the goal line. When pucks were getting back to the point we didn’t get in the area in front of the goaltender. That’s something we have to do a better job of. We had some shots from the slot but the other guys were in the corner or on the outside. We have to do a better job of getting to the net-front area. That is a proposition against their defensemen. We have to do a better job.
On the second and third lines’ performance:
I thought Tyler (Kennedy) played really well. He moved his feet and attacked. He won a lot of puck battles. The line with (Maxime) Talbot, (Matt) Cooke and (Pascal) Dupuis I thought five-on-five was our best line in addition to the goal they got. They were in the offensive zone a lot, they were good on the forecheck and they pursued a lot of pucks and kept them alive in the offensive zone. I liked what that line did in particular. A couple of those guys worked really hard together. Again, even when we did well, we have to do a better job of getting guys to the front of the net. We have to get more opportunities in and around them. They have to go upstairs against this goalie. He is great down low.
On the Malkin line needing to step up:
Our whole group, not just them. We need to make a conscious effort to get into that net-front area and have a presence there. That was a factor in the goals that were scored in Game 1. That has to be if we are going to be successful against this goaltender.
On the contrasting styles of the teams:
I think we have to be careful about how we approach them. They have some dangerous skilled players who have been factors in each of the games to this point. We have to continue to be ready to play our game so that we can force offensive zone time. We have to continue to be better getting to our game. As the game went on I thought we got less physical on their defense. Again, maybe we got more to the outside. I don’t think we can say this is how Montreal is doing to play the whole series long. We do have get to our game better and play in the offensive zone more.
On the power play:
I think you have to be conscious of how the game is played out and not get frustrated with not getting goals or scoring on the power play when it is a tight game like that. We have to stay on our game and not get pushed to the outside. We know we can be better in certain areas. We have to be focused on doing that and not be deterred.
On the process that goes into making line changes:
There are certain matchups each team is probably looking for. If you watch a D-pair go out on the ice for a minute, that could be a time where I am looking to change – after icings and timeouts dictate that as well. Sometimes you have a (TV) timeout where you don’t get a whistle so that changes the lines you put out on the ice. In overtime you don’t really gets timeouts so you have to stay with your lines a little more tightly because you don’t get as much rest. Sometimes the score and how players are playing goes into it.
Those are some of the things without going into specifics.
On Mike Cammalleri:
I would label him as very dangerous the way he has played in the playoffs and (Sunday) night in particular. Not to put a number on it, but he didn’t get 10 scoring chances. He got a couple. The one where he got it off his skate or shin pad and then knocked it in was just a unique and special play by a gifted goal scorer going to the net. Even the shot he made there for the third goal was a shooter’s goal. He let it rip and it was a great goal. We know his number and we know what he has done for his team thus far in the playoffs. He is getting opportunities and is being dangerous with those opportunities. We have to be extremely cautious when he is on the ice. We have to know what areas he likes to get into to get his shot off.
On PK Subban:
Going into this series prior to Game 1 and losing (Andrei) Markov for Game 2, that was the one thing he was going to do – show poise. That was what our pro scouts said about him after scouting him. He has been all of that. He has been confident making plays. He has faked shots and looked off, he has pulled spin moves and done a great job back there. I thought he was good on the defensive side of the puck. It was a strong game for him. He has that confidence and poise and it is showing.
On why it is tough for guys to get to the slot:
A little bit of it is mindset. If you know you have to go through a defenseman to get there it makes it a lot tougher to get there on time. Sometimes that pushes you farther away. As the game goes on, or if you are playing a group that is making it tough to get there, some of it is a little bit of a mindset. I think we are playing a different type of defense from last series. When the defensemen shot from the point there might have been four or five men in the lanes and now we are finding a different situation where after you make a play from the corner you have to fight to get to the front of the net. It’s not so much that there are eight guys in the shooting lanes. Now I think we have shooting lanes. We have to change and adjust based on the Canadiens.
I think it is just an indication five-on-five of where we have been at in this series. That’s not just Evgeni Malkin but we have to do a better job of getting inside and in certain areas of the offensive zone. The great thing about the playoffs is that it is always about your next game. As a team we know that we did things where we can get better and do a better job. If we do that our team will be in a better position to convert on those offensive situations.
The Penguins made three players - Marc-Andre Fleury, Bill Guerin and Maxime Talbot - available at the podium today before embarking to Montreal. Here are the highlights from what each had to say:
On playing in the Bell Centre:
I hope that my family and friends will still cheer for my team. Everybody is such a big fan of the Canadiens, but everybody has been nice to me so far. It should be interesting and fun to play there.
On his favorite moment at the Bell Centre growing up:
I think that my favorite memory is when we won the Cup in ’93. I think that I was old enough to understand it since I watched hockey a lot. It was very special to see them win the Cup that year, so I think that it will be fun to be there and play a game there, and it will be exciting.
On stopping Michael Cammalleri in future games this series:
I think that he has shown over his career what type of player he is with how dangerous he is around the net. I just have to keep an eye on him and see where he’s at and make sure that he doesn’t score tomorrow.
On playing against PK Subban:
He has played with a lot of poise. He looks like he has a lot of confidence. He has played really well. For a young kid like that to jump right in and not just play in the playoffs, but to play in the playoffs in Montreal for the Canadiens is a lot of pressure. He seems to have handled it very well. It is good drafting I guess, but he has done a really nice job for them.
On the frustration that Sidney Crosby showed on the ice during Game 2:
I think that a lot of what happens with Sid is that he is so emotional, and he invests so much of himself into the game that sometimes he lets it show. I don’t see a problem in that. I think a lot of times people take it the wrong way, but inside our dressing room, we don’t. We know what it’s all about. We know why he’s doing that. It’s only for good reasons. We all handle things differently, too. Yesterday he was letting his emotions show. Personally, I don’t have a problem with that.
On allowing a little more than three goals per game throughout this year’s eight postseason games:
I think that we definitely have to cut down a little bit. We definitely have the capabilities of scoring more than three goals a game, but you can’t plan on that. You have to plan on 1-0 games. You have to plan on 2-1 games in the playoffs. I think that as we move along, we have gotten better. As we move along, we will get better. The defensive end is part of it.
On maintaining an even keel throughout the playoff run:
Remaining even keel is not an easy thing to do all the time. You constantly have to keep yourself in check and remind yourself that if you have one, two or three wins, you still haven’t won a series yet. You just have to constantly remind yourself of that, but you do understand that the fans are passionate. They love their teams, and they’re on an emotional rollercoaster just as much as we are. They’re following, and they’re putting everything that they have into it. They’re going crazy. It’s great.
On facing the Canadiens throughout the remainder of the series:
(Montreal) does an excellent job in front of the net. I think that, collectively, what Montreal does is that they come back, and they play great as a unit in their end. They all have good sticks. You watch the videos or you see a replay of the game, and their sticks are constantly on the ice in passing lanes and in shooting lanes. They do a really good job of that. We’re just going to have to make more of a conscious effort to shoot more pucks and create more traffic.
On allowing a little more than three goals per game throughout this year’s eight postseason games:
We want to put all of the chances on our side obviously. Allowing three goals – we obviously need to reduce that number. We’re going to have to maybe put it in our heads that it’s alright to win a game 2-1 or 3-2. We don’t need to score four or five to win the game. Maybe if we pay a little bit more attention to details defensively and try to play our game, we’ll get better.
On what it will be like to play in the Bell Centre this week:
It’s going to be special. That’s for sure. For us, we grew up watching the Canadiens. Even during seasons, you kind of watch them, because you’re used to it. When you go back to Montreal in the summer, you watch the talk shows about what signings they are going to do. You obviously know the team. For us, during the season, we played four games against them, which were always pretty special – two in Montreal. Having a chance to play there during a playoff round is going to be crazy, fun and exciting. In the meantime, it’s going to be just another hockey game, so we’re going to have to control our emotions. It’s going to be special for families, too. My mom works in a high school, and she has bets with all of the students that the Habs are going to win. It is fun for us and for our families.
On guaranteeing his mother’s losses in case the Penguins lose the series:
She’s cool with it. She can take the heat. She likes to do it. What is fun about Montreal is that you look at last year when we felt like the entire city of Quebec was behind the Penguins. Now you have the Penguins against the Habs, so it’s special for parents to get back to that I think.
On the Penguins’ ability to play seven games like Game 2 against Montreal in this series:
That’s the objective. We take pride in working in the offensive zone and taking some shots on net. We know that we have a couple of things that we want to adjust in games – little details here and there. Obviously there is no secret to a game. We’re going to have to put more traffic in front of the net, and everybody saw that. It’s nice to take shots from the exterior, but we need to go into dirty areas and try to create a little more.
On wearing extra protection after Jordan Staal and Matt Cooke got injured:
Usually what you wear over your boot is more for a shot protector kind of thing. I think that these two incidents don’t happen in every game. Sometimes it’s just bad luck. It’s going to happen. In the game of hockey, there are sticks flying. There are plays. There are steals. It’s always a little bit dangerous, but I don’t think that I will use extra protection for cutting laces. I think that these were two bad luck situations, but you have to be careful obviously.
On the need for the team to wake up after losing a game at the beginning of the series and his ability to keep the team focused on that aspect of the playoffs when he plays on the second and third line:
There are different types of positions. When I play as a second line winger with Geno (Evgeni Malkin), and when I play as the third line center with Cookie (Matt Cooke) and Duper (Pascal Dupuis), those are two different ways that I need to play. Obviously I still need to be myself and do my own thing. I think that when I play with Geno, I especially need to focus on finishing my hits and driving to the net and trying to create space for Geno. That’s how I need to play. When I play with Duper and Cookie, that’s a little bit easier, because the three of us play the same way. We just try to finish our checks, and I feel like we support each other really well. When we got the lead 1-0 last night and when we watched the tapes this morning, we let them off the hook a couple of times. We had chances to finish body checks, and we didn’t. We tried to anticipate and cut plays instead, but we know that it can be a long series. We’re going to have to invest and be a little bit more physical maybe.
Here are some pictures from the Penguins' practice today:
Brooks Orpik snaps around a few pucks before practice (left), Jordan Leopold (right)
The Penguins held an optional practice this morning at 11:30 a.m. at Mellon Arena. Ten players participated: Jay McKee, Jordan Leopold, Ruslan Fedotenko, Eric Godard, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Brent Johnson, Tyler Kennedy, Mike Rupp, Matt Cooke and Brad Thiessen.
Pittsburgh will play Game 3 against the Montreal Canadiens tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at the Bell Centre.