Bylsma agrees with Carcillo suspension
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma believes the NHL did the right thing in suspending Flyers left wing Daniel Carcillo for Game 2. Near the end of Game 1 on Wednesday, Carcillo cracked Penguins center Max Talbot in the back of the head on a faceoff. "(The NHL) dealt with it the way they said they would," Bylsma said Friday, referring to the league's warning, before the playoffs, that it would not tolerate "message sending" near the end of games. "They followed through on their word."
With Carcillo out, Flyers defenseman Luca Sbisa played on the fourth line last night. Sbisa is listed as a defenseman but also skated as a forward during 39 regular-season games with the Flyers. At 19, Sbisa became the second-youngest Flyer to appear in the playoffs. Former Flyers center Dainius Zubrus played in the postseason at 18. Philadelphia coach John Stevens said he spoke to Sbisa on Thursday, describing him as "excited but not nervous. He's a big guy with a really good skill set, strong on the puck and can get in on the forecheck," Stevens said.
JA few regrets
A popular discussion during the 2008 playoffs involved perceived less-than-customary minutes for Penguins star centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Bylsma coached only his 27th NHL game last night and admitted before it "there were games when I said, 'Man, I should have got that player more ice time or less ice time - but there's not a certain number for any player." Situations, Bylsma said, would dictate ice time for his stars. Crosby and Malkin each played less than 17 minutes in the Penguins' 4-1 victory in Game 1.
JBlame the man
Stevens was fined $10,000 by the league on Thursday for Carcillo's actions in Game 1, but his good-natured response yesterday morning provided the best off-the-cuff quote of the series so far: "First of all I had to call my son this morning. My son, John, who turned 15 today - I told him I had to take all his gifts back because I couldn't afford them anymore. He was a little upset."
JQuick on the draw
The Penguins still aren't the best faceoff team in the league. But they aren't the worst anymore, either. They improved from last in the NHL (46.1 percent) last season to 19th (49.1 percent) this season and won 64 percent of the draws in Game 1. "I think it's just experience and practice," said Crosby, who won 51.2 percent of his draws last season and 51.3 percent this season. "We've worked on it and gotten better. We know puck possession is important, and you keep the puck by winning faceoffs."
As expected, enforcer right wing Eric Godard was among the Penguins' scratches for Game 2. Joining him were defenseman Philippe Boucher and right wing Miroslav Satan. Carcillo and left wing Riley Cote did not play for Philadelphia.
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