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Insider Only Wednesday’s Practice update

No shakeup on the lines in Dan Bylsma’s first practice today which began around 11:35 a.m.
Don’t look for the Penguins to name a permanent coach in Wilkes Barre/Scranton this season. They are expected to leave the position open possibly for Bylsma or Mike Yeo after the season.
The Lines in practice were
Dupuis – Crosby – Fedotenko
Satan – Malkin – Sykora
Cooke – Staal – Kennedy
Thomas/Minard – Talbot – Godard
Any notion that Bylsma was going to move Minard up to one of the top three lines won’t be the case for tomorrow when the Penguins host the Montreal Canadiens. Minard skating with the fourth line again actually caught some people by surprise today.
Bylsma who was a coach for the Islanders when Miroslav Satan scored 35 goals in the 2005-2006 season, has indicated if Satan is in the lineup, he will be on one of the top two lines. Bylsma’s primary goal seems to be jumpstarting Satan’s game. Good Luck —
For more news on today’s practice and drills that were ran read more

Implementing System
To describe today’s practice, I would describe it as a up-tempo practice which is a word we have been hearing alot since Bylsma was named head coach.
The coaching staff met with the players from about 10:50 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. to likely draw up the system they will be implementing and such. Practice was to begin at 11:00 a.m. Even though Fitzgerald was not around yesterday, there should have been a meeting with the staff and players yesterday to go over the system and other things.
Bylsma ran a lot of flow drills. The players were moving their feet at all times.
Aggressive Forecheck
Bylsma has implemented a very aggressive forecheck. It looks like they are going to run primarily a 2-1-2 but will also use different formations
The Staal – Kennedy – Cooke line was very effective today. An agressive forecheck should play to Cooke’s and Kennedy’s strength.
Fleury works on Rebound Control
Goaltending coach Gilles Meloche worked extensively with Marc Andre Fleury on him being more aggressive on shots from the point and kicking out rebounds to the boards not the slot.
Worked on an interesting drill on the breakout where the winger on the side boards receives the puck, takes a few steps and when the defenseman pinches, forward flips the puck off the boards.
Uptempo Breakout
As soon as the winger on the boards receives the puck, the center breaks to the neutral zone trying to create an odd-man rush for when the puck is flipped off the boards passed the defenseman. Kind of risky if the play is broken up as the Penguins would have a forward out in the neutral zone but Byslma wants to be agressive. Those are differences were going to see in a more uptempo system
Bylsma was very pleased with the puck movement on the power play during the Islanders game but wants Unit 1 to continue to throw pucks to the net.
Highlight of the day
Highlight of the day was Evgeni Malkin coming down the right side on a two-on-1 and blistering a slap shot past Marc Andre Fleury glove side.
Overall grade of Today’s Practice (B+)
Had a training camp atmoshphere with a lot of intensity. Bylsma was communicating with the players giving instructions throughout the workout and bringing some players to the side.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

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

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