Penguins Report: Halloween Edition
Monday, 10.31.2011 / 10:30 AM ET / Penguins Report
By Michelle Crechiolo
- Maintenance days for players, Staal skates before practice (1:55 PM).
- Crosby will not play vs. San Jose or LA (1:07 PM).
- Eighteen Pens on the ice for practice (11:18 AM).
- Pens discuss Halloween (4:15 PM).
- Fleury the Frog -- it's not easy being green (12:45 PM).
- Pens' pet calendar shoot, so presh (5:11 PM).
- The pinnacle of Pens-themed pumpkins (6:55 PM).
- More Pens-themed pumpkins (6:48 PM).
- Crosby chats with the media (1:57 PM).
- Bylsma on TK, Geno, Mac and practice (3:00 PM).
- Pens pics (11:49 AM).
- Monster Mash/Purple People Eater (3:05 PM).
- "It's close to midnight, something evil's lurking in the dark..." (10:30 AM).
And the grand finale for the Pens-themed pumpkins...these absolutely phenomenal masterpieces by @Xtine1158:
In honor of Halloween, I wanted to post pictures of some of the fantastic Pens-themed pumpkins our awesome fans created. I figured it would be a pretty fitting way to end today's Halloween-themed Penguins Report, so I asked and you guys answered. Without further ado...
@stat19 (left); @SaraPalczewski (right)
@n_pearce (left); @pcanterbury (right)
@versa_girl (left); @Mackenzie8729 (right)
@Heidi_Marie_ (left); and OK I know the photo on the right isn't a pumpkin but how freakin' cute is that little guy dressed as Iceburgh?! Thanks to @chuck15pens for the pic!
Not only is it the greatest day ever with it being Halloween, but a few of the Pens made some new precious furry friends at the photo shoot for the annual pet calendar. More players and animals will be photographed tomorrow, so tune in then for the full photo gallery!
Malkin with two adorable little puppies - they loved him!
James Neal enamored with the puppies Malkin was photographed with
They had a little trouble getting the dog to sit still - note the Beggin' Strips on the ledge (left); Paulie Martin with a beautiful four-legged friend (right)
And PensTV was actually on hand to capture all the action...Check it out below!
SOUNDS HEARD AROUND THE LOCKER ROOM – HALLOWEEN EDITION:
There comes a time in life when you have to hang up your pillowcase or plastic pumpkin bucket and retire permanently from trick-or-treating.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun on Halloween. It’s a holiday that everyone can embrace in some way, and it’s one that the Penguins all have fun with in their own way – whether it’s dressing up, taking their kids door-to-door or eating candy (just don’t tell strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar).
“It just feels like you’re a kid still,” goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said following Monday’s practice. “You’re going out and eating some candy and everybody just dresses up. Then you get some of the more of the serious guys that end up looking foolish. I think it’s just a good laugh.”
The affable netminder got some chuckles two years ago when he hit the ice wearing a Kermit the Frog mask over his goalie helmet, but he said the best costume he ever wore was Catwoman.
Fleury confirmed that he did indeed say Catwoman, adding with a grin, “I think that was my best one. The best comments I got were for Catwoman.”
Defensemen Ben Lovejoy said while he’s not the most creative when it comes to dressing up, but did like his costume last year.
“I was pretty happy with my costume last year, I went as Russell Brand,” he said. “But it gets colder out here in Pittsburgh. I was trying to wear some tight clothing. It was a fun costume idea, but I left a bit chilly.”
Forward Craig Adams still enjoys Halloween, but the part he’s really looking forward to is taking his son Rhys – the star of HBO's "24/7" – and daughter Francesca out trick-or-treating tonight.
Rhys is going to dress as Iron Man while Francesca will be Minnie Mouse – which Adams says they were both “very particular” about.
“I think you forget what a big day Halloween is for kids,” he said. “We have fun now as grownups and stuff, but to know that you get to dress up and get free candy – you forget what a big deal that is and how exciting that is. That’s the best part.”
A PEEK AT PENGUINS PLAYERS' HALLOWEEN COSTUMES:
Evgeni Malkin (courtesy of @malkin71_); Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy as Lloyd and Harry from Dumb & Dumber (courtesy of @tk1448)
Alright guys, it's waaay past time for some more Halloween videos. This is one I learned back in fifth grade music class...we did a whole school recital for it. It's one that the entire family can enjoy – Bobby "Boris" Pickett's the "Monster Mash." Love it!!!
And the song that goes with the "Monster Mash" like peanut butter goes with jelly? Sheb Wooley's "Purple People Eater." At least, in my opinion!
Here's the rest of coachspeak with Dan Bylsma...
On Tyler Kennedy’s concussion:
Some of the various forms of a concussion, he’s had. He has to be symptom free before he moves forward with that. Those symptoms are different each day. Sometimes they’re not there all day. It’s different for everyday and every player sometimes.
On balancing Malkin’s play:
Sometimes, it’s not a word I like to use in hockey with hockey players, but patience is appropriate at times. Sometimes Evgeni wants to take over a game. That can’t always happen. You have to allow other people on your team to play defense or do certain things. You also have to respect the opponent as well. That’s part of the challenge, whether it’s D-zone coverage or coming back with the puck, being patient, being responsible, being in the right spots and then waiting for the appropriate time to go the opposite way or have the puck on your stick. That’s really part of the challenge for ‘Geno.’ Starting last year he’s been better at and understanding more is not being perfect all the time.
On how the game’s evolution affects Steve MacIntyre:
We are talking about the physicality of the game and where we’re at, I think the league has changed this year a little bit. You can be physical. You can get hits. That is happening. It is happening on the ice. We’ve all had to adjust to that a little bit in some regards. You’ve seen less confrontations on the ice, maybe because of that. It’s not just Steve. It’s Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz on the forecheck. Matt Cooke on the forecheck. They’ve had to adjust, relearn and approach situations differently. ‘Mac’ is one of those.
On how this week’s practices will be operated:
We’ve looked at this week particularly, next week as well, where we get some time to work on some detail and habit in our game that we don’t have. When you ask what we need to do better, there are a lot of areas where I think we can be a lot better even though we’ve had success on the scoreboard and have 18 points in the month of October. There are a lot of details and areas where we need to get better at. Some of those details you’ll see in our next two practices. Some are systematically and others as small as net-front presence or stick-on-puck drill where we need to get better. Today was not one of those days. Today was speed and pace, getting up and down the ice, conditioning and work. The next two days in particular will be detail orientated, a lot of areas where we think we need better habits in our game.
One-eyed one-horned flying purple people eater: Sam Kasan
Sidney Crosby talks to the media…
I think I’m getting more comfortable. The more I can get in game situations the better, but I feel like each time we’ve done that it’s gotten easier and easier. It’s a good sign.
On having any symptoms:
No. It’s been good. Same old story. We haven’t had a ton of time to practice. The next little while there will be some opportunities of days in a row with contact and game-situations.
On ruling out playing against San Jose and Los Angeles:
Yes (it’s ruled out).
On using the practices for contact:
Timing is a bit better now with the practices we’ll get in here shortly. It’s still a big test. I don’t want to get too far ahead. I just want to make sure I make the most of that time.
On how much contact he’s had:
Three hits (laughs). Not much, not a ton. The next few days I’ll hopefully get more. I’ve gotten practices in, but not consistently. If it was one day that’s about it, not really consistently.
On if he can just go out and hit:
Sometimes you’re fighting for pucks, battling corners, get hit when you don’t expect it, all of that is much different than being prepared in a one-on-one battle.
On if he sets a return date in his head:
It’s not just an automatic thing. To go through hitting is a big step. I just want to make sure I get through that. It’s the most important thing, however long that takes. I just want to make sure it goes well and give myself the best chance to handle it.
On basing readiness to play on practice:
That’s as good as it’s going to get without playing a game. You can only get to a certain point in practice. I feel like I’m in good shape. It’s not game shape. You can’t get that until you play. Practice-wise I’m in as good of shape as I’ll get in.
Was a graveyard smash: Sam Kasan
Head coach Dan Bylsma said there were no updates on injured players. He added that it was maintenance days for the guys that didn't skate, and that Jordan Staal skated on the ice earlier in the day before the team's practice.
"I don't have any updates today," he said. "Today was a maintenance day for some players. That's pretty much what I got for you.
"Jordan did skate today before practice. He's still day-to-day. I would say it still seems like he probably will be fine going forward. But we'll see how that works out later in the week."
Pens captain Sidney Crosby confirmed with the media that he will not be playing on the team's West Coast trip against San Jose and Los Angeles.
I was so bummed that none of the players came on the ice wearing any costumes like Marc-Andre Fleury did two years ago at Mellon Arena...sigh. I was so keeping an eye out for something like that to happen. Remember this? It's not easy being green...
P.S. Note director of communications Jen Bullano and hockey operations assistant Erik Heasley helping Flower fasten that mask around his helmet. They're all over it!
Pics of the guys at practice...sorry these are going to be regular old captions today. SK wouldn't make a guest appearance in my blog. Oh well.
Today is the last day of Dustin Jeffrey's Mustache Boy reign...who will be next?! (left); While you might think it's Deryk Engelland, he's actually rockin' the 'stache for Movember (right)
Real Orpik is at practice while Cardboard Orpik is resting
Neal and Crosby making their grand entrance (left); Sullivan and Bylsma chatted it up for a while (right)
Addsy corrals a loose puck (left); Neal makes his second appearance in this batch of pics with Vitale making his first (right)
Super Duper flying around (left); Martin double fisting hockey sticks (right)
The Pens are on the ice for their practice. Eighteen Pens are getting in some work:
Forwards Jeffrey, Vitale, MacIntyre, Park, Letestu, Crosby, Neal, Asham, Adams, Dupuis and Sullivan; defensemen Engelland, Martin, Niskanen, Lovejoy and Orpik; and goalies Johnson and Fleury.
Hello everyone! We've just arrived at the Iceoplex at Southpointe for the Penguins' 11 a.m. skate. They're going to be able to get a solid three days of practice in before taking on San Jose Thursday and Los Angeles on Saturday in sunny California.
But before we turn our attention to hockey, we have some pressing matters to attend to as today is October 31, All Hallows Eve, or – as the kids say – Halloween, which is my absolute favorite holiday. It's the one day of the year where it's okay to gorge yourself on as much candy as you want (Reese's are my favorite), you can have an absolute blast getting super creative and dressing up as anything your heart desires and watch scary movie marathons (question of the century: why won't Michael Myers ever die?!). Visiting haunted houses, going on haunted hayrides and manuvering haunted maizes is awesome as well – except I will never be in the front or back of a line going through a haunted house. No way. Plus, there's the whole pumpkin-carving aspect which is so much fun – tweet us at @PensInsideScoop and send us pictures of Pens-themed pumpkins! I've got a trick up my sleeve for those.
I absolutely have to start today's edition of the Penguins Report with the most legendary Halloween song ever – Michael Jackson's "Thriller." Billboard said it's the most-downloaded Halloween-themed hit of all-time, with digital sales to date of 2.8 million according to Nielsen SoundScan. The dance number with the grotesque zombies is my favorite – I can't get enough...I always fast forward to that part when I watch the video. I knew the routine once upon a time, but not any more. Hopefully it gets you in the Halloween spirit...Enjoy! (And stay tuned for more spooky Halloween-themed songs throughout the day!)