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Penguins Report: 3/10/12

Saturday, 03.10.2012 / 9:07 AM / Penguins Report
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Penguins Report: 3\/10\/12





1:29 PM:
Crosby spoke with the media following Saturday's practice...

On if he is playing (Sunday):
No, not (Sunday). The good thing is we’ve got some good chunks of practices here next week. We’ll see how that goes and hopefully it’s soon.

On if he might come back on Thursday:
That’s soon, so we’ll see.

On why he decided not to play on Sunday:
I said the soonest (I could return) was Sunday and everyone jumps to Sunday. I never said that. I said that would be the soonest going based on our practices, but we had one cancelled and had a couple of morning skates. This is something you don’t want to mess around with. You’ve got to make sure that (you’re ready), especially at this time of year, it’s even more physical than ever. You’ve got to make sure everything’s well adjusted, make sure that you’ve done the right things to prepare and that’s basically what it comes down to. 

On if he’s pleased with the progress he’s made:
Yeah. A good amount of contact is the biggest test right now, so hopefully in the next few days with the practices we have I can really get a good idea of where I’m at and go from there. I’ve been really happy with the way I’ve felt leading up to this point.

On confirming there are no setbacks:
Yes.

On if he misses the contact aspect of the game:
Probably giving it, not taking it. I don’t think it’s something you really ever think about, but once you’re involved in contact and it becomes an everyday thing you just kind of get used to it. But when it’s gone, you realize how different the game is. You just get used to making plays and doing things while getting contact. Having gone through this process you realize there is an adjustment there, even more so with the injury that I have. You’ve got to make sure everything is right. It’s something that you just have to get used to, but it’s something you can use to your advantage too, to gain body position. I’m not a heavy hitter, but I think in traffic in the corners you can use your body to create good positions and stuff like that. I think that’s basically how you have to use it. But no, I don’t miss getting hit.

On what it would be like to make a return Thursday in such a meaningful game:
Any game at this point is going to be exciting, to be honest with you. If anything, a bigger game like that you’re focused even more on making sure you are that much more ready. This isn’t the time to kind of just go out there and feel your way around. These are important games and I’ve got to make sure I’m ready and responsible out there. But that being said it always takes time, but I want to make sure I’m in and alert.

On who he would feel most comfortable with for linemates:
Everyone’s playing really well at this point. It really doesn’t matter to me. I just want to be back out there with them.

On if the success of the team allows him to ease his way back:
Yeah, I think you always feel like you’re in a rush when you’ve missed this much time, to be honest with you, no matter what the case. It’s really nice that we’re winning, obviously that’s most important. I think there’s always a tendency to have high expectations. I’ve always had high expectations of myself so I want to get in there as soon as I’m ready. I don’t think this is something where you just miss games to miss games, That’s not the case at all. When you’ve been off this long it’s whenever you can get in, you just want to get back. 

On how he has felt since contact:
I still think I need to get to another level as far as the extent of the physicality out there. But there has been nothing that has been really alarming or anything like that. I think I’ve been happy, but like I said, those high expectations of making sure I’m ready to play the way I need to and test it and well test it is most important. Hopefully I’ll get that in here in the next few days. 

On if he made his decision not to play Sunday this morning:
Yeah, we talked about it this morning and just based on practice and our schedule here, it wasn’t looking like we were going to get a ton of contact in. I kind of knew that leading up to this point and then with the practice off and stuff this week. It’s tough this time of year. It’s always like that when you have this many games. It’s nice that we have this opening in our schedule coming up this week.

On Tuesday possibly being a longer day of practice:
You never know, I don’t know how the practices are going to go. This time of year it’s always iffy depending on how the coach feels and what we need. But I think just having those days, period, we’ll be able to get some intense practices.

On if he has to tell his teammates to hit him:
Yeah, you’ve got to pick your opponent. There are a couple of guys that I’ve been skating with a lot. The first couple times you really have to egg them on a bit. I think once they see that you’re initiating a bit and that you really want to engage in that physical stuff, I think they get a little more comfortable and it becomes more normal. As much as you do it in practice it’s never going to be a game. That being said, you want to really make sure you can do as much as you can in practice.

More details on Crosby here.



--Brittany Goncar



1:15 PM:
Deryk Engelland spoke with the media following a lengthy practice.

On how he feels:
It felt pretty good today. I wanted to push it a little harder then I did yesterday. no problems yet. We’ll see how it feels tonight and (Sunday) morning.
 
On getting back to practice being a good step:
Yeah, definitely. The strength got a lot better over the last 4-5 days, so I’ve just got to try and battle out there and push it to full motion and stuff and see how it feels.
 
On if Sunday is unlikely for him to play:
Yeah. I’m definitely still day-to-day. I don’t know. That three days off could be huge. It could heal completely. It’s all how it feels tonight and (Sunday).
 
On his exertion level in practice:
That was the longest practice I’ve had in a long time, I think an hour and a half out there. It was good, a good skate out there with (Kris Letang). We push each other out there.



--Michelle Crechiolo



1:11 PM:
Pens coach Dan Bylsma had a few injury updates...

"Both Kris Letang and Deryk Engelland practiced with the team, which was a good sign for Kris, and Deryk is probably day-to-day at this point in time," Bylsma said. "We know Sidney Crosby is not going to be playing (Sunday). He Is doing well this week. He will continue to practice with us and go forward from here. (Martin is) still just ill."



--Michelle Crechiolo



1:00 PM:
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby told the media Saturday afternoon at Southpointe that he will not play in the team’s 12:30 p.m. matinee contest Sunday against the Boston Bruins at CONSOL Energy Center.

“No, I’m not playing,” Crosby said. “The good thing is that we have a good chunk of practices next week so we’ll see how that goes. Hopefully, it’s soon.”

Crosby, who was cleared for full contact practice on Tuesday, was asked about possibly playing next Thursday in New York against the Rangers, who are four-points ahead of Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference standings.

“That’s soon, so we’ll see,” he responded.


Full story here.


(Getty Images)

--Sam Kasan



11:51 AM:
Pens pics...


Adams can skate without look #Multitasking (left); Crosby races to the finish line (right)


Teaching time (left); As usual, Pens fans pack into Southpointe for practice (right)


Apple cider break (left); Letang skates with the team (right)


The Pens Wear Their White at practice (left); #MVP (right)

--Sam Kasan



11:46 AM:
A couple quick practice observations:

Engelland was working with the first PK unit. He had some intense battles in front of the net with Kunitz. Engelland has missed the last three games with a lower-body injury. It's an encouraging sign to see his battle level at practice.

Letang worked with the second PP unit. He ran the point with Crosby. Kennedy, Staal and Cooke were up front.

--Sam Kasan



11:20 AM:
Pens' lines from practice...

Sullivan-Staal-Dupuis
Kunitz-Malkin-Neal
Cooke-Vitale-Kennedy
Asham-Adams-Park
Tangradi-Crosby-Jeffrey

Orpik-Michalek
Strait-Lovejoy
Despres-Niskanen
Letang-Engelland

--Michelle Crechiolo



11:15 AM:
Pens are on the ice for practice. The only players missing are defenseman Paul Martin (illness) and goalie Brent Johnson (undisclosed). The team only had one ice time so injured blueliners Deryk Engelland (lower body) and Kris Letang (symptoms) are skating with the team.

--Sam Kasan



10:10 AM:
The Pens defeated the Panthers, 2-1 in a shootout, to record their eighth consecutive win. The team held its usual Student Rush for the contest. However, this rush was anything but usual. Students were encouraged to dress up for the occasion to show their Pens pride. Some interesting costumes were worn. PensTV has the high (and low) lights for you.




--Sam Kasan



10:00 AM:
Good morning from Southpointe! Today the Pens will hit the ice for an 11 a.m. practice. Pittsburgh will be riding its eight-game winning streak into a Sunday afternoon showdown against the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins at CONSOL Energy Center.

The game was chosen as NBC's "Game of the Week" and will be played at 12:30 p.m. (and don't forget that you'll lose an hour as the clocks "spring ahead" so plan accordingly).

---

Time to jump start the day with some music. Today we'll open with "Satellite" by Guster. The band is from Boston, so it seems like a fitting way to get ready to play the Bruins. Plus, the song is brilliant and metaphoric.

Anyways, enjoy.



--Sam Kasan
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