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Insider Only Friday’s Practice Report

The Penguins went through about a 40 minute workout this morning at the Iceoplex complex. The Rangers will be practicing at Southpointe at 12:30 p.m. this afternoon. The Rangers come to town on a one game losing streak after losing Thursday night to the Atlanta Thrashers 5-4 in a shootout.
Everyone was accounted for in today’s practice which was sort of like a morning skate.
Interim coach Dan Bylsma continues to show a strong emphasis on special teams.
The Penguins top two power play units were

1st unit
Kunitz – Crosby – Malkin
Letang – Gonchar
2nd unit
Guerin – Staal – Sykora
Boucher – Eaton
Other Practice News and Notes
There has been a concern with Jordan Staal and Evgeni Malkin on face-offs. For the second straight day Bylsma was working those two exclusively on draws. The team isn’t that concerned with Malkin but with Staal being the teams primary third line center and shutdown center, the organization would like to see some improvement.
Sidney Crosby is the one player of the big three who has taking the most strides in the faceoff department.
Bill Guerin’s family was in town today. Guerin is a family guy and left the ice early where his two kids were sitting there waiting for him as he came off. Guerin has talked about the importance of bringing his family to Pittsburgh for the next couple weeks. They were stapped to his hip in the locker room following practice.
I spoke to Guerin a few days ago and he is really enjoying his time in Pittsburgh. He has talked about playing for two more years and the vibe I get is he wants a two year contract this off-season at a fair price for both sides. Doesn’t want to move around anymore.
Returning to Boston continues to be speculated which is near his hometown.We’ll see how it plays out after the season.
The Lines in practice were the same as Wednesday
Kunitz – Crosby – Guerin
Cooke – Malkin – Sykora
Fedotenko – Staal – Kennedy
Dupuis – Talbot – Godard/Adams
* Philippe Boucher worked with the second power play in Tuesday’s practice and did the same today. For the second straight time I thought he looked very tentative and his reaction time is not up to par. Bylsma has been watching him very closely in practice. All signs pointed towards Boucher returning to the lineup against the Rangers.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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