IN THE ROOM (AFTER THE GAME)
A quick glance at my game story off the Penguins’ 7-4 loss to the Flyers on Thursday will tell you all you need to know about why I needed to stay in the club’s dressing room to give G MARC-ANDRE FLEURY a chance to comment. Clearly, the “gamer” is hard on Fleury, who has come too far as an elite NHL goalie not to have an 11-save performance such as his from Thursday stick out like anything but a giant wart. However, in my business, it’s the right thing to do to exhaust every possible deadline-minute to give a guy in-question a chance to offer his two cents.
Fleury, as is always the case, was first-class about talking, even though his body language suggested it was the last thing he wanted to do.
While waiting on Fleury, myself and another reporter noticed a closed-door, players-only meeting that lasted about 12 minutes. RW BILL GUERIN was the first to emerge from the meeting, which he and C SIDNEY CROSBY appeared to call.
In Saturday’s Tribune-Review, I will offer an analysis — yes, another analysis — as to what really is wrong with the defending Stanley Cup champions.
ON THE BEAT ROAD: MIKE YEO
Shared an elevator ride with AC MIKE YEO between the first and second periods, and I can report that he is in good spirits after a scary week. Yeo was hospitalized in South Florida from Sunday through Tuesday for an undisclosed medical condition.
I can confirm that medical condition is not heart-related. Also, Yeo is optimistic of returning to behind the bench on the Penguins’ upcoming road trip.
I trust all Penguins fans will join me in wishing Yeo a speedy recovery. He takes a lot of heat around town for the club’s struggling power play; but I can say with confidence from being around him daily the last three seasons that few men are as tireless at their duties as Yeo. (Also, it’s probably not his fault that PP/QB SERGEI GONCHAR has experienced two injury-plagued seasons, and that this year only Crosby is a real threat to score on the advantage. Yes, kiddies, sometimes the players are responsible for that which drives you nuts.)
Regarding the work Yeo (and other NHL coaches) put in, consider this from HC DAN BYLSMA:
“You have to evaluate what the situation is, and I know my family members called me and talked about some other coaches… the lifestyle, the grind so to speak. Certainly you consider that. Certainly we try to keep that perspective as a staff when it comes time to take some time off to go watch a kid’s hockey game; we try to not watch videos non-stop, because we can do that if we choose.”
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— BY ROB ROSSI (firstname.lastname@example.org)