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Penguins Report: Game Day at Nashville

Thursday, 10.21.2010 / 11:04 AM / Penguins Report
By Sam Kasan


5:26 AM (CENTRAL TIME) AROUND THE MUSIC CITY:


Famous Nashville stop Tootsies, which is 50 years old.




You don't have to go far to find live music in Music City.


Cotton-Eyed Joe. Where did you come from? Where did you go?


Hard Rock Nashville style


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1:11 PM (CENTRAL TIME):

Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma… Listen to the Podcast!

On Nashville losing Ryan Suter:

The initial reaction is that you lose a guy that plays 25 minutes, a pretty big role. One thing Nashville has always been good at is plugging people in. The way they play as a team, they’ll still play a certain way. They’re going to lose a good player, big minutes and matchup minutes. But the team will still be able to play their game.

On Nashville’s style:
You have to give a lot of credit to the coaching staff. When I talk to other teams in the league about the Nashville Predators, everyone says the same thing. They don’t play with a lot of bells and whistles. It’s a straight forward game. They come at you with every player on their team for 60 minutes. They get after you with all their lines. Their defensemen are good at activating and are a factor in the offensive zone. They’re a good all-around team that puts a lot of pressure on you for 60. That’s a credit to the team, credit to the coaching staff, and the way I’d like our team to play.

On Marc-Andre Fleury:
I don’t know the technical aspects of goaltending as well as (goaltending coach) Gilles (Meloche). Marc is a big goaltender, aggressive, confident, no overworking, going side-to-side, making big saves when he’s playing well. That’s something we have to see from him when he gets in there. We saw it in the preseason. He’s a big, confident goalie that’s out challenging with his angle and in control.

On if picking a goalie is a tough decision:

It’s one that you could spend a lot of time analyzing and looking at. It’s not one that I struggle with. We’ll see who we get tonight, but we’ll see who we get tonight. For our team and our guys, we’re confident when Johnny is in there. He’s played really well. We know Fleury will make big saves for us down the road.

On if Orpik or Asham could play on the three-game road trip:

There are no changes tonight to our lineup. Brooks is the closest guy. He’s still reacting to physical contact. Hopefully he’s a possibility on the trip.


Sidney Crosby - Listen to the Podcast!

On playing with Shea Weber on Team Canada at the 2010 Olympics:
The team came together with time and doing things (off the ice). I think there are a lot of situations where that’s happening. There are situations like that with guys that you have to play against because of trades or sign somewhere else. It’s something to get used to. When you get on the ice you still have to play your games. He’s a physical guy, so that won’t change, the mentality won’t change. I’ve got to go out there and compete too. There is mutual respect, but at the same time an understanding.

On Weber’s character:
He’s a great guy. He has a lot of leadership. You play against each other. Now you’ve got to compete.

On Suter and Weber not getting the recognition:
Everybody probably has a better understanding having seen them at the highest level (Olympics), showcasing their skills the way they did. Those guys are D partners. They’ve played here for a long time. They’re a big part of this team, then get to the Olympics. Then they were playing against each other. I’m sure that was a little weird for them, but at the same time they’re a great pair and will be a big part of this team for a long time.


Marc-Andre Fleury - Listen to the Podcast!

On if he’s mentally fragile:
I’m just looking forward to getting back in the net. I’m not thinking about being fragile. I want to get back in there, play a game, stop the puck. That’s where my focus is and that’s what I want to do. I’m excited to get back in there. It’s been a while.

On being tired of addressing the issue:
I want to do well. The team is winning. It’s tough. I just have to forget about it and do my best next time.
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11:53 AM (CENTRAL TIME):




Head coach Dan Bylsma (left); Marc-Andre Fleury and Kris Letang (right)


Alex Goligoski (left) can set a new career high scoring streak with a point against the Preds; Brent Johnson (right) has played strong against Nashville in his career.


The Predators held an optional morning skate. I took some pics anyway.




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11:37 AM (CENTRAL TIME):
No surprises from the line combinations and D-pairings used by head coach Dan Bylsma:

Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis
Comrie-Letestu-Malkin
Cooke-Talbot-Kennedy
Tangradi-Adams-Rupp/Godard

Martin-Letang
Goligoski-Lovejoy
Hutchinson-Engelland
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10:11 AM (CENTRAL TIME):
The Pens players and staff are getting on the bus to head to the morning skate at Bridgestone Arena. Pittsburgh takes on the Nashville Predators at 8 p.m. (Eastern Time). It's the first of a three-game road trip, with stops in St. Louis and Tampa Bay to follow.

For the lowdown on the Preds, check out Jason Seidling's game preview.




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