ShareThis Page

Penguins inch toward regular-season opener

| Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, 8:30 p.m.
Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma speaks Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz during the first day of training camp at South Point Jan. 13, 2013. Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review

So much for training camp.

After three days of workouts — two of which were particularly rigorous — the Penguins unofficially have ended their training camp.

A scrimmage Wednesday night, an off day Thursday and a routine practice Friday are all that separate the Penguins from the beginning of the regular season Saturday at Philadelphia.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma is satisfied with the work his team turned in during the past few days, and he seemed especially pleased with the fast pace in which the Penguins have operated during a couple of three-hour practices.

“I thought our guys were excellent at that,” Bylsma said.

“I thought the execution at that pace, which a lot of times in training camp goes by the wayside, was very good. We've gotten a lot accomplished.”

Conditioning wasn't expected to be a problem for most of the Penguins, who have either been skating in Europe, the AHL or during informal workouts at Southpointe. Bylsma confirmed that his team is generally in excellent condition.

This training camp has been geared around timing drills and special teams work. Conditioning isn't an issue.

Captain Sidney Crosby applauded the job Bylsma and his staff did during the past two lengthy practices.

“It was good,” he said. “Just a lot of information, refreshing of systems, all the little details that become more habit once you're in the season. Just lots of refreshing. I think it's gone really well.”

Bylsma put players through two sessions during Monday and Tuesday's workouts, which were well attended by fans at Consol Energy Center.

The first session was geared largely toward puck retrieval, breakout and transition drills.

Although there was nothing perfect about the majority of the drills, the coach was pleased with what he witnessed.

Special teams — notably the new power play, which features right wing James Neal playing the left point — dominated the second session during both days of practice.

A shootout competition punctuated each day, much to the pleasure of the fans and goaltenders.

In particular, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said the informal workouts at Southpointe weren't beneficial for goaltenders looking to refine their angles and overall sharpness.

“I'm starting to feel better,” Fleury said.

With the season only three days away, the crash-course camp is all but over.

“We did get a lot out of these last few days,” defenseman Ben Lovejoy said. “Dan told us it wasn't training camp. These were long practices. It was on us to be in shape, and we did a lot of learning over the past few days. It was a really good thing. I think we all played with a purpose.”

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or via Twitter at @joshyohe_trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.