Penguins Report: 1/13/11
Thursday, 01.13.2011 / 11:05 AM ET / Penguins Report
By Sam Kasan
- Fleury's vogue (12:08 PM).
- Optional skate for Pens, 8 players participate (12:36 PM).
- Godard skates, but doesn’t practice (1:13 PM).
- Pens’ website ranked No. 1; You like us, you really like us (4:11 PM).
- Coach Bylsma on Staal, Crosby and optionals (3:22 PM).
- Fleury spits knowledge (4:22 PM).
- Real entertaining blog entry from Rossi (3:28 PM).
- PensTV chat up Letestu and Kennedy (4:30 PM).
- Pens pics (12:48 PM).
- “Oh yeah, oh yeah what’s that you see? Tell me more of what’s gonna be…” (11:42 AM).
PensTV talks to Letestu and Kennedy:
Not many sounds heard around the locker room (optional skate):
On striking the pose:
It was just for a laugh with the guys. The puck was at the other end, so I didn’t think the camera would be on me. It was just quick for the guys. It kind of got blown out of proportion, I guess.
On if goofing around is out of character for him:
No, I goof around with the guys a lot, but I’ve never been caught on tape like that.
On how he didn’t get a lot of camera time Monday with the way the Penguins played:
It was a little quiet for me. The guys did a great job and played well. So they made my job a little bit easier.
On the confidence gained from Wednesday’s win:
It was big. We lost a tough one against Boston at home. Just to get that many goals last night and the power play doing so well, that was good for us. Everybody was in a good mood, so it was a fun game to play.
On if it’s fun to take on other top goalies in the league like Price and Tim Thomas:
It’s not such a big deal for me, because I don’t shoot on them and they don’t shoot on me. So I’ve just got to worry about their players and what they do and and try to stop them.
On if going on the PK so soon in a game changes his mindset:
I think we’ve just got to get into the game very quick. Most teams are bigger than just their power play. Our guys did a good job on the PK coming in and not giving them much, so it was a good start to the game.
On if Saturday’s game against Boston will be personal:
I think everybody’s looking forward to having a chance to play them so quickly after the loss the other night. Everybody’s looking forward to the game and hopefully we get two points there.
Assist: Michelle Crechiolo
I want to take a moment for one non-hockey related item. The website rankings for NHL teams for the month December came out today, and the Penguins website ranked No. 1 in the entire league with more than 2.8 million visits.
During the current season, traffic figures compiled from July through December, the Pens' website ranks No. 2 in the NHL - and No. 1 among all U.S.-based teams.
There are a lot of people who work very hard behind the scenes to make the Pens' site one of the best in all of professional sports. Just to briefly name a few: Jen Bullano, Jason Seidling, Erik Heasley, Michelle Crechiolo, Tony Jovenitti, Jon Meck, Jeremy Zimmer, Steve Finerty, Mike Davenport, James Archer, Dave Weldon, Mark Cottington, Meghan McManimon, Katie O'Malley and many more.
Also a big thanks to Communications V.P. Tom McMillan, CEO/President David Morehouse, GM Ray Shero, Asst. GM Jason Botterill, head coach Dan Bylsma, assistants Tony Granato, Todd Reirden and Gilles Meloche, the entire hockey operations staff and, of course, all the players for their cooperation and professionalism.
But the biggest thanks goes to YOU the fans! I am continually blown away by your outpouring of support and dedication (whether it's voting Penguins players to the All-Star Game in record numbers or packing Southpointe for practice). Penguins fans have proven to be the best in the NHL time and time again. And now you've made www.PittsburghPenguins.com the No. 1 ranked site in the NHL for December. Again, we thank you and hope to keep you coming back for more.
I am grateful to all.
Great stuff today from Trib Total Media's Rob Rossi on his blog "Chipped Ice." Some great insight into how reporters have to deal with players who are unhappy with what is written about them (in this instance, Orpik).
He also talks about his acrobatic display of athleticism (or lack thereof) to get to Jordan Staal's media scrum. It wasn't quite the Kierkegaardian "leap of faith," but entertaining nonetheless. Seriously, worth the read.
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…
On Crosby’s progress:
First off we’re not going to give daily updates on Sidney Crosby. As we’ve stated, he needs to be symptom free to move forward. We’re not going to give daily updates. If there’s an update, we’ll let you know.
On optional skates:
I wanted to guys to come in. We did some video work with the schedule. We haven’t had a ton of days to reinforce our foundation and things we need to work on. We had a couple guys sick, couple guys banged up. They needed some time off the ice. We still gave a few guys a chance to get on the ice. It was optional for that reason. I did want the guys to come in and work on some things, and strengthen some things with video work.
Staal on the PP:
He was a guy that coming into this year we pegged for more power play time. We challenged him in training camp, gave him some video, about being a net-front guy on the power play. He didn’t get that opportunity being out, but now that he’s back, he’s still vying for that position in front of the net. He’s been standing in front of the goal. He does have a goal. The second Goligoski goal was from Jordan standing in front of the net and creating that loose puck. He scores the goal from the dot. He gets more playing time because Sid is not there. But he’s been challenged to get to the front of the net on our power play. He did that last night.
On Staal’s PP role when Crosby returns:
He’s a guy vying for that net-front position with Chris Kunitz. We’ve flat out said with (Kunitz), Tyler Kennedy and Staal that the best guy being at the net-front will get the majority of the time. He has that in the back of his mind.
Pens winger Eric Godard, who has a broken orbital bone, did some light skating but did not practice. He had been working out off the ice for some time.
"He still has to do light workouts on his own for some time now with the injury to the eye before he gets to exert himself," head coach Dan Bylsma said. "He's been working out. He got on the ice a little bit, but it's very, very small doses."
Adams and Johnson (right)
Fleury and Meloche (left); Fleury and Johnson (right)
Conner (left); Letestu (right)
The Pens are holding an optional practice right now. Only eight players are on the ice: Craig Adams, Mark Letestu, Chris Conner, Tyler Kennedy, Mike Rupp, Deryk Engelland, Marc-Andre Fleury and Brent Johnson.
Assistant coach Tony Granato is running the show, along with Todd Reirden and Gilles Meloche.
12:08 PM (Updated 1:00 PM):
A lot of great things came out of the Pens' 5-2 win at Montreal Wednesday night. The power play cranked out four scores against the (formerly) No. 1 ranked PK unit in the NHL. Jordan Staal's hard work was finally rewarded as he broke through with three points.
But the hot topic in the locker room following the game was Marc-Andre Fleury's victory celebration. Some of the Penguins players had some extra motivation heading into last night's game when Habs goalie Carey Price celebrated Montreal's 2-1 shootout win Dec. 6 with a crossed-arm pose.
The Penguins said the best way to avoid such celebrations was to beat Price. Well, the team did just that by posting five goals on him. As the buzzer sounded Fleury mimicked Price's winning pose for some poetic justice.
"It was just for a laugh for the guys," Fleury said. "The puck was at the other end so I didn’t think the camera would be on me. It was just a quick one for the guys. It got blown out of proportion."
Welcome to Southpointe, the site of the Penguins' Thursday optional skate. Last night the Pens' PP blew it up with four man-advantage tallies to best the Habs, 5-2, in Montreal. Jordan Staal was the star of the game with a three-point effort (1G-2A), all scored on the power play.
Former Weezer bass player Matt Sharp jumped ship to start up his own group, The Rentals. The group released two albums before splitting in 1999. The Rentals reformed in the mid-2000s and have released two more albums. But I will always remember their Weezer-esque, happy tune "Friends of P."
(The embed for the actual music video is disabled so I had to settle for this one. You can see the full video here. It even comes with Russian subtitles so Evgeni Malkin can enjoy).