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Penguins Report: Practice 11/18/10

Thursday, 11.18.2010 / 11:02 AM / Penguins Report
By Sam Kasan
THURSDAY’S WRAPUP:
  • Malkin, Martin and Asham get maintenance days (12:24 PM)
  • A little fun with the ‘Flower’ (12:45 PM)
  • Michalek is starting to look pretty solid (4:07 PM)
  • Bylsma talks Fleury, Talbot and Johnson (12:57 PM)
  • A Russian teenage got to meet his idol, Geno! (5:20 PM)
  • Some words of wisdome from Crosby and Fleury (12:48 PM)
  • PensTV chats with Orpik and Talbot (3:42 PM)
  • Pens pics (11:53 AM)
  • “Thinkin’ about the scene, do they just want to be seen?” (11:04 AM)
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5:20 PM:
A Russian teenage hockey player traveled to Pittsburgh to follow in the foot steps of his idol, Evgeni Malkin. He even wears No. 71. At Southpointe on Thursday, he actually got to meet his idol. Tony Jovenitti has more on the moment.





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4:07 PM:
Orpik was one of the biggest reason's for the Pens' win over Vancouver. The other unsung hero is "Z", who is slowly working into the shutdown presence the Pens envisioned him when they signed him in the offseason.
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3:42 PM:
PensTV talked to Brooks Orpik and Maxime Talbot:

BROOKS ORPIK



MAXIME TALBOT



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12:57 PM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…

On Malkin, Asham and Martin:
It was a maintenance day for all the players that didn’t participate in practice today. We anticipate seeing them tomorrow morning on the ice.

On if Fleury is officially back:
There was a lot of talk about Flower before, but no one in our room thought he wouldn’t play good hockey for us and win games. I think maybe last night’s performance, more than the other ones, probably looked his best, being solid and square and confident back in there. It’s good to see him string some games together.

On if it makes his goaltending decisions easier:

Yeah, it’s a tall task being back there. You go face Vancouver one night with their skill level, and you’re going to get it again tomorrow with (Eric) Staal coming in off a hat trick and scoring those goals. It’s every night you’re going to be challenged. That’s a tall task to be in there. But that’s our guy and we know he’s going to play great hockey for us. It’s good to have him put those together and our team to be playing the way we are to get ready for Carolina with the past behind us.

On Maxime Talbot:
Max has earned the games where he’s gotten 14-15 minutes and gone out in defensive situations. He’s big on the penalty kill and he got a few shifts on different lines, adding energy and a little grit and sandpaper. That and blocking shots, he’s adding to our team in a lot of different areas. He’s been doing that now for four or five games and you can see the bounce is back in his step.

On making sure Brent Johnson doesn’t sit out for too long:
We’re more back into the rotation. We have the month planned out. We probably made an adjustment for the back-to-back games (Tampa Bay and Atlanta), we gave Flower the back-to-back game after his solid game. But now we’re back to that situation where in a month like this, where we’re playing 14 games, it’s 10 games for Flower and 4 games for Brent. We still have to make those decisions about getting Brent back in, keeping him fresh and playing those games as well.



Assist: Tony Jovenitti
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12:48 PM:
Sounds heard around the locker room....

Sidney Crosby

On getting Fleury through his tough times:
I think everybody was trying to keep the spirits high. I think that’s part of something that goalies deal with. They deal with it at times like any player does. It takes time to get out of it. Like anyone, you’re always there for your teammates. I think everyone was there for him, and we’re happy to see him playing well.

On how to deal with slumps
:
It’s tough. It’s really just trying to have a strong mind and knowing what you have to do to get out of it. It’s a matter of working hard, and even when you do that it doesn’t always seem to come right away. But eventually you have to believe that things will turn around. We’ve all been through it at different times, and it’s going to happen. It’s an important part of being part of a team, and I think everyone was there to support him and we’re happy to see him doing well.

On if he ever thought about being a goalie:
I wanted to when I was younger. I think a lot of kids liked being a goalie with the gear and everything. I wanted to be a goalie but I was kind of steered the other way from my dad. That’s what he played so I think I just wanted to do what he did, but I’m happy I ended up being a forward. Goalie’s a tough position, so I’m happy about being a forward.

On Carolina:
They’re confident, and they are scoring a lot of goals. We have to be aware. The game last night is a good preparation for it, since that’s a really skilled offense that (Vancouver) has. They played really skilled and disciplined, and it’s the same thing with Carolina here tomorrow night.




Marc-Andre Fleury

On putting his early struggles behind him:
It’s a lot more fun getting up in the morning and coming to the rink, going on the ice. I’m still working at it, but I’m having fun with the guys also.

On if the puck is moving slower:
I’m not Mr. Miyagi. I don’t catch flies like that. It just feels better. I’m a little more relaxed and not thinking as much. It’s good to get some wins, and trying to get going.

On going from his struggles to four straight great starts:
That’s sports. It’s tough at times and you start thinking too much. Then you start doing well and it’s the best thing in the world. Hopefully it keeps going.

On the team being supportive:
They’ve been great. We’ve got a great bunch of guys here. They’ve known me for a long time. They always encourage me and help me on the ice. They’ve helped me out a lot.



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12:45 PM:
There was a pretty entertaining interview with Marc-Andre Fleury and KDKA's Jory Rand.

Jory asked if Fleury's teammates had been supportive during his early season struggles. The two had the following exchange:

Fleury: They've been great. We've got a great bunch of guys here. They've known me for a long time. They always encourage me and help me on the ice. I know they're playing their butts off. Can I say that?

Jory: You just did.

Fleury: That's true. I have to watch what I say.

Jory: We can bleep it.

Fleury: Alright (laughs).

Jory also asked if the play was slowing down now that Fleury was playing better, and if the puck seemed to be coming at him slower.

Fleury responded: "I'm not Mr. Miyagi. I don't catch flies like that."

  

  
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12:24 PM:
Coach Bylsma said that Malkin and Asham and blueliner Paul Martin were not on the ice for maintenance days. No need to panic.
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11:53 AM:








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11:15 AM:
The Pens are on the ice for their 11 a.m. practice at Southpointe. Forwards Evgeni Malkin and Arron Asham and defenseman Paul Martin are not practicing. We'll get an update from coach Bylsma on their status.
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11:04 AM:
As the Pens make their way to practice, we kick the day off with a little Soul Asylum "Just Like Anyone."

It's a pretty underrated song and has a great message that our imperfections are what make us unique as individuals.

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