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Penguins Report: Training Camp 9/23/11

Friday, 09.23.2011 / 9:45 AM / Penguins Report
By Sam Kasan
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Penguins Report: Training Camp 9\/23\/11

  • Details on Orpik, Letang and Williams missing practice (11:10 AM).
  • Steve Mears talks hockey with Joseph Morrow (2:35 PM).
  • Group 1 roster and line combos (10:11 AM).
  • Crosby, Sullivan and Jeffrey practice (10:03 AM).
  • Coach Bylsma speaks in front of a burning bush (12:36 PM).
  • Strait, Harrington and Niskanen spit knowledge (12:32 PM).
  • Group 2 practice lineup (12:00 PM).
  • Pictures (11:47 AM).
  • “Hello, I'm waiting here for you…” (9:45 AM).



2:35 PM:
One player that was particularly impressive in the first two preseason games for Pittsburgh was 2011 first-round pick Joseph Morrow. You can see he has all the tools to be a legit NHL defensemen with his skating, vision and breakout abilities.

PensTV veteran field reporter Steve Mears talked to Morrow today at Southpointe. This is what the 18-year-old youngster had to say about his experience so far in his first pro camp.




Coach Bylsma had this to say about Morrow:

"(Wednesday’s) game was his best work at camp. You can see the skating and the shot, and his ability to play out there at that speed has been evident at camp. But the game was a really good indication of this guy at an NHL match making plays. His skating, his defending ability – that was an impressive game for him. Great to see from him. He’s getting more chances as a result because of it. Going forward, we’ll see him get more opportunities here coming up and it’s great to see. The longer he can stick around and be in more games, the more we can see from him and the more he can show what our scouts saw in him and why we drafted him the first round. So great game and looking forward to seeing him out there again."



12:36 PM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma...

Injury updates:
Kris Letang just had migraines today, so he wasn’t on the ice. Brooks Orpik had sympathy pains for his partner (laughs). Just a maintenance day for Brooks as well. Jason Williams still not able to get on the ice in his situation right now.

On how much it hurts Williams’ chances not being able to participate in exhibition games:
He’s in a competition to show what he can do and there’s certain areas that he’s added in the past and can add. He’s not getting a chance to do that right now, so hopefully at some point in time he gets to get out there and show he can be effective in those areas, because that’s what he’s done in the past and what we’re hoping to see from him. You saw a little bit of that in the Black and Gold Game. You saw him on the point on the power play and him shooting the puck, so hopefully he can get out there soon and get back into the competition of it.

On Tyler Kennedy’s strong camp validating that he is a legitimate top-six scorer:
I’m excited to see him come into camp and play the way he’s playing. He’s got a lot of confidence right now and it shows in pretty much every aspect of TK right now. It shows in practice and his habits and his work ethic. It’s showing in the game. I think he showed that last year and I think he’s coming into camp with that mindset and that mindframe now. I don’t think he’s worried whether he’s top six or not. He’s going out and playing and being effective, and sure looks like a real effective winger out there whether he’s next to Jordan Staal, Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. He’s an effective player right now and playing with a lot of confidence.

On if there is anybody listed in the second group that won’t be skating:
No, I don’t believe so. I’m pretty confident that all of those guys are going to be out there.

On if he saw Brendan Shanahan’s disciplinary videos and if so, if he likes that approach:
I spent some time with Brendan this summer, both at the draft and at the (research and development camp). So I was well aware that when situations and rulings came up, he would be providing video and explanation as to what they were looking at and what the criteria was of the hit, and then kind of explaining his decision. I have not seen the ones currently. I know they’re out there. We will be seeing them here. Everyone will be seeing them here in the next couple of days just to see the rules that were put in place and how they’re clarified. I think it’s a great thing. From what I’ve heard from the coaches that have seen it and the players, it’s a really good step to see the thought behind the decision process whether it was deemed a clean hit or an illegal hit.

On keeping Joseph Morrow around even though he won’t be playing with the team this year:
(Wednesday’s) game was his best work at camp. You can see the skating and the shot, and his ability to play out there at that speed has been evident at camp. But the game was a really good indication of this guy at an NHL match making plays. His skating, his defending ability – that was an impressive game for him. Great to see from him. He’s getting more chances as a result because of it. Going forward, we’ll see him get more opportunities here coming up and it’s great to see. The longer he can stick around and be in more games, the more we can see from him and the more he can show what our scouts saw in him and why we drafted him the first round. So great game and looking forward to seeing him out there again.

(Check out the glare from the camera light off the TV behind Bylsma's head. It looks like a halo, which is only fitting because he did lead the Pens to the promised land in 2009!!!)


IR: Michelle Crechiolo



12:32 PM:
Sounds heard around the locker room...

Brian Strait

On yesterday's exhibition game:
I thought it went pretty well. I played my game. I played pretty solid . I was physical when i had to and I moved pucks up. It was s solid first game and something to build off.


On being physical during the game:
It's something that the coaching staff told me to do. When I have a chance to be physical - to do it- make sure the guys aren't getting to the net. Make sure the opponents aren't getting scoring chances and I thought I was pretty accurate with my stick and shut some guys down.


On how his comfort level:
Real comfortable, I think. It's one of those things where your home in the summer time you might not be playing in the system that you used to be playing in Pittsburgh. It takes a couple of games to get back into it, but slowly things are coming back to me. I made strides in that direction last night.




Scott Harrington

On yesterday's exhibition game:
I thought we did alright. It was a pretty big change. It was definitely a lot faster than Juniors. It was a lot of fun and it was a great experience. It was something I'll remember for the rest of my life. (I was nervous) a little bit before, but after a while those were all gone. I've played a lot of hockey the last few weeks. The nerves were kind of gone, I just played my game out there.

On playing in his first NHL level game:
It's something that I've been looking forward to my whole life. Playing my first NHL game was a lot of fun. My parents came up and they were really excited for me after the game.

On how he felt he did during the game:
I didn't make too many mistakes, but it's a learning process. All the other D they helped give me some pointers and the coaches, too. Just try to learn from the mistakes and not make them next game.




Matt Niskanen

On how he felt during the exhibition game against Detroit and during camp:
Camp's gone well. It's been a fast paced, high intensity camp, a little bit more so than the ones I've had in the past which is a good thing. My body feels good. I'm feeling strong and getting a little better every day. The game went well the other night. I got a few shots on net and one went in.

On how he feels coming into the system this year:
It was tough last year coming in and within two days playing a game, trying to learn a new system, getting used to new players, and how they want things done here. I felt by Spring I made the transition pretty quickly. I think that gives me an advantage coming into camp this year. I feel much more comfortable knowing what to expect and just being aware of what's going on here in this organization and where this team's headed. It's been a good camp so far that way.

On how comfortable he feels with the system:
There's always little details in the game that you can improve on and each team does differently, so it's picking finer smaller details up as you go. I do feel comfortable being here and I really do love the way this team plays at the fast paced, up ice quick, and offensive pressure. I think it fits my game and I'm comfortable with it, and I keep getting better within that game.



Assist: Kaitlin Zurawsky



12:00 PM:
Practice group 2 is on the ice:

Forwards
Adams, Asham, Kennedy, Kunitz, MacIntyre, McDonald, Park, Staal, Tangradi and Vitale

Defensemen
Engelland, Harrington, Lovejoy, Niskanen and Strait

Goaltenders
Johnson-Thiessen



11:47 AM:
A picture is worth a couple hundred words...


Neal and Letestu laughing at practice. Dupuis is not amused.


Letestu (left) and Morrow (right) with a couple Matrix shots


Malkin about to abuse that puck

 
Johnson gets low (left); Dupuis tries to juke Fleury (right)


Fleury with an off balanced save (left); Cooke makes a better door than window, although I think that is the point (right)




11:10 AM:
Pens head coach Dan Bylsma gave an update on the three missing players from practice: Brooks Orpik, Kris Letang and Jason Williams.

Orpik (maintenance day), Letang (migraines) and Williams (still unable to get on the ice).

"Kris Letang had migraines so he wasn't on the ice.

"Brooks Orpik had sympathy pains for his partner (laughs). Just a maintenance day for Brooks.

"Jason Williams still not able to get on the ice with his situation right now."




10:11 AM:
Here is the full list of practice group 1 and their linemates:
Sullivan-Malkin-Neal (Crosby)
Craig-Jeffrey-N.Johnson
Cooke-Letestu-Dupuis

Michalek-Martin
Picard-Morrow

Fleury
Munroe



10:03 AM:
The Pens are on the ice for practice. Sidney Crosby, Steve Sullivan Dustin Jeffrey skating with the team now in the first practice group.



9:45 AM:
The Pens are coming off of back-to-back victories over Detroit (3-2) and Chicago (4-1). Pittsburgh defeated the Blackhawks Thursday night with a four-goal third period. The team was led by its top line of Jordan Staal (2G), Tyler Kennedy (1G-2A) and Nick Johnson (2A).

Pittsburgh made several roster moves recently with the re-assignments of 16 players. The first 13 were re-assigned Thursday afternoon, with 3 more being trimmed Friday morning. The Pens now have 39 players remaining on their training camp roster (22 forwards; 13 defensemen; 4 goaltenders).

The remaining 39 players will be split into two squads with each practicing Friday at Southpointe. The first group hits the ice at 10:00 am with the second group going at 11:30 am.

Even though the Pens are at Southpointe, that doesn't mean there won't be some action at CONSOL Energy Center. Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters are in town, and will be playing at the Pens home this evening. I've never seen them play live before and I'm uber excited about this.

We'll open the day with one of my favorite Foo Fighters songs and regular heard at Pens warmups at CONSOL Energy Center, "Everlong." This song appeared on their second album The Colour and the Shape, which shed the grunge sound of their debut album and went with a more clear heavy rock sound.

Anyways, enjoy.


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