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Insider Only Day 3 Camp Buzz: Bylsma pleased with execution, pace leading into Wednesday’s Black and Gold Scrimmage

Through three days of camp, the Penguins are a healthy group with all of their regulars participating fully.
“All players are healthy through first three days of camp,” head coach Dan Bylsma said.
Bylsma has put his team through a fast pace camp and he has done a very good job of covering all bases from tempo to systems, ect.
“I think they’re in good shape in most cases,” Bylsma said of his players. “Speed and pace is different, so we’ve tried to accomplish that. Thought our guys been excellent at that. Our execution has been very good. Focus that we’ve had and also knowing what’s expected has been excellent. We’ve gotten a lot accomplished.”
Tomorrow’s Black and Gold Scrimmage will give the coaching staff the first time in camp to evaluate some key players in key situations as Bylsma and the Penguins are treating the scrimmage like an actual game.
The Penguins will be divided into two teams that will play three 20-minutes periods. Following regulation, there will be a full five-minute overtime period and a five-player shootout regardless of the score. There will also be full intermissions and television timeouts. Bylsma may also “create” several in-game situations. The game is open to the public and will be televised on Root Sports.
“Treating the evening like a game,” Bylsma said.
The Penguins are planning to bring up around 9 forwards and 3 defensemen from Wilkes Barre to give two full rosters of 12 forwards and 6 defensemen.
“It’s not going to be Pittsburgh vs Wilkes Barre and it’s not just out of the hat,” Bylsma said. “One power play on one team, another power play on another team. It’s not evenly divided, not out of the hat, not like picking out on the playground. “We’ll be playing with 12 forwards on each team and 6 defensemen,” Bylsma said. Goaltenders Marc Andre Fleury and Tomas Vokoun will play the entire game. “Marc will have one team and Tomas will have another team. Goalies will be playing full 60 minutes,” Bylsma said.
From a talent standpoint, the teams figure to be a bit uneven with Crosby, Malkin, Neal and Letang all playing on one team as the third line of Matt Cooke – Brandon Sutter – Tyler Kennedy and fourth line of Tanner Glass – Joe Vitale and Craig Adams figure to highlight the other team.
The scrimmage will give the coaching staff their first real opportunity to evaluate Eric Tangradi as a fit with Evgeni Malkin. “Eric Tangradi and Beau Bennett are on the same team with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal tomorrow,” Bylsma said when asked about who will play with Neal and Malkin. “So you’ll see Eric play there and will probably also see Beau play there as well. “Eric’s not going to play every 5-on-5 shift with them tomorrow but he’s going to start there with Evgeni and James Neal.”
Malkin on difference between KHL & NHL: “One big change is just the bigger ice. I needed couple games to {adapt} because of bigger ice and more skilled guys. There’s not as much shooting, more passing.”
Bylsma on James Neal’s Power Play Role: “It’s not a lot different than what we saw Ryan Whitney at when he was coming down his point position as an outlet for a seam passes from those two guys {Evgeni Malkin & Sidney Crosby} in the past. Kind of what we’re going to see.”
Bylsma on Guerin/1995 shortened season: “Talked to Billy {Guerin}. He’s probably the best person to talk to because his team won Stanley Cup. But it’s also a team that didn’t start very well and just snuck into the eighth seed. “They didn’t start well, were under.500 first segment and got in eighth seed (Devils we’re actually fifth seed) and got into the playoffs.”

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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