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Penguins stayed in a hotel at home to prep for Game 7

May 13, 2014, 10:42 AM EDT

Chris Kunitz AP

The Pittsburgh Penguins are trying to win their first Game 7 since 2009. While you’d think having home ice advantage would give the Pens a reason to be comfortable, sometimes you have to do things different to change your focus.

As Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review shares, the Penguins spent the night in a Pittsburgh-area hotel to create a road-like atmosphere to prepare for tonight’s game.

In the series against the New York Rangers, the Penguins are 1-2 at CONSOL Energy Center and they have a 10-11 record all-time in the playoffs at their home arena. Even against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round the Penguins dropped a game at home before ending that series in six games.

Staying in a hotel at home isn’t an uncommon tactic. Many teams have done this in the past during the Stanley Cup Final in order to cut out the distractions of home to focus more on the game. There could be a lot more than playoff survival on the line in Game 7 for Pittsburgh. Finding the best way to prepare can’t hurt.

  1. billiam55 - May 13, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    its true that finding ways to prepare doesnt hurt, but over thinking it can.

    • blomfeld - May 13, 2014 at 12:09 PM


      “four Crosbys make a bunch and so do many more … tra la la la !” :) :) :) :)

  2. stepanup - May 13, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    Hmm, mentally fragile much?

    • bencia823 - May 13, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      people love to latch on to the “mental fragility” argument with Pens, but last night showed it best. After Fighting back against the Rangers, the Penguins were “undisciplined” and “rattled”. After fighting with the Habs, the Bruins were “sending a message”.

      • c9castine - May 13, 2014 at 11:07 AM

        people are way too far up the bruins (and blackhawks) butt to realize the pens are really no different than any other top team.

        everything people want to lambaste the pens for, especially those from boston, the bruins do the same stuff. they got pasted last night and now have to win a game 7 in their building (same scenario). got frustrated, took some game misconduct penalties and lashed out…

        Iginla gets all pissy and starts beating on somebody with the stick, hes a tough guy sending a message. Crosby does it, hes a baby whiner who needs to control his emotions.

        the double standard is laughable.

      • steelcity333 - May 13, 2014 at 11:08 AM

        Finally someone else says it. When Boston or Philadelphia do it, it is “sending a message”. But when the penguins do it “the opponent is in their heads”. Makes no sense.

      • c9castine - May 13, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        pittsburgh and crosby will be/habe been hated ever since he became the leagues marquee player.

        will not change no matter what. when they win, its because they are the spoiled brats of the league and got everything handed to them. when they lose, they are spoiled whiny brats who choke and collapse and suck.

        as the old saying goes, “haters gonna hate”.

      • whammy71 - May 13, 2014 at 11:26 AM

        Ummm…..the difference is the Bruins do this game-in-game out…..year-in-year out. Same with the Filthy Cryers.

        Pens don’t do it – thus it is out of their norm. And to everyone in TV land….it looks like just what the announcers are saying…”undisciplined” and “rattled”.

        Pens aren’t a physical organization….the Bs and Cryers have hung their respective hats on being physical. That is where the difference lies.

      • bakedbees - May 13, 2014 at 7:35 PM

        I believe shammy stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night…

    • hockey412 - May 13, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      I believe the NYR’s rallying point (to break their own mental fragility in the series) was St. Louis losing his mother. Pot = black, kettle?

      • c9castine - May 13, 2014 at 11:23 AM

        they were burnt toast after game 4. give them credit for picking their balls up off the ice, no mater what the reason.

        i think it is interesting though how many rangers fans i have heard trash Marty and the whole trade in general and then when his mom dies they start chanting his name.

        i mean thats nice and all but what a bunch of phonies.

      • stepanup - May 13, 2014 at 11:24 AM

        Or it could’ve been effects from he whole 5 games in 7 days thing. Then getting on a regular schedule again.

        Before you say it, yes, the Rangers should have won game 6.

      • hockey412 - May 13, 2014 at 12:06 PM

        It could have been the fatigue thing. I suppose we’ll see. I’m just it’s today, I can’t take much more.

    • c9castine - May 13, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      to whammy, to stepanup to whoever…

      watch the Crosby.Malkin press conference from yesterday and you tell me if you think anybody is rattled.

      armchair coaches, GMs, now we have a bunch of armchair psychologists in the house.

      • hockey412 - May 13, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        I’ll bet the boys come out with their butts still on fire for this one. Just have to hope Hank isn’t in a trance.

      • broadstreetbeatdown - May 13, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        No intestinal fortitude and a lack of emotional toughness. This team has been soft for a long time, started after winning the cup where they let go of gritty character guys in favor of flashiness. Rattled? yeah I’ll say so and thats putting it mildly.

  3. whiskytango333 - May 13, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    Hail Mary effort from Disco Dan with his job on the line. Too bad real coaching decisions like benching Vitale and scuderi tonight probably won’t happen.


    • c9castine - May 13, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      in favor of who and why do you think theyll be a bigger help?

      • erbaker67 - May 13, 2014 at 11:24 AM

        c9, Id like to see them get Engelland or Despres in. I know Scuds can be great defensively, but I lose my mind when he gets the puck on the point and throws it in the corner when there isnt a defender within 15 feet.

      • c9castine - May 13, 2014 at 11:29 AM

        you answered part of my question.

        engo or despres for defense? or despres for scuds engo for vitale?

        and why do you think theyll be better?

        despres i have zero trust in. hell do the opposite, hell try to make some stupid play at the point and have the puck taken. hes a talent but thats it…he has proven himself incapable of consistently making smart plays. maybe we would get lucky and put him in, and it would be one of his good days. probably not in a game 7

      • miketoasty - May 13, 2014 at 11:29 AM

        In favor of Jacques Martin, well at least that would be my pick.

        I don’t know how beneficial it would be but if the Pens lose tonight it won’t matter, Bylsma will be getting the boot. You can’t live on regular season success alone and with that one cup being now five years ago it’s getting desperate in Pittsburgh with Corsby and Malkin getting to the end of their prime.

        I do think the Pens will pull it out tonight, I don’t know if that saves Bylsma’s job though.

      • c9castine - May 13, 2014 at 11:31 AM

        i cant take people seriously who think that the pens should fire people simply because they havent won a cup in 5 years.

        if you want to come up with reasons, that is reasonable explanations, then ill listen. playing armchair GM with that little amount of insight and analysis and reason is not impressing anybody with a brain.

      • miketoasty - May 13, 2014 at 11:47 AM

        c9 – I’m not saying they should fire Bylsma just because of that solely, look at his success in the Playoffs, look at his roster moves when it counts, look at how his players react in big situations.

        Bylsma doesn’t think that player matchups make a difference yet Crosby is nearly getting decapitated every shift he plays against Staal. I understand that’s a much harder thing to do on the road but at home there is no reason Crosby should be out there against him. He put’s Malkin and Crosby together and yet they don’t play well together. Even Neal with Malkin is looking bad, since Malkin always just works to get the pass to Neal even though Malkin is one of the best shooters in the league. Scuderi has been a pylon in the playoffs yet he doesn’t sit him a single game. This is just one playoff series, yet he does these things every spring.

        Don’t even get me started with how well he dealt with Iginla being on the team, funny how Iginla plays great every season for Calgary, comes here and does nothing, then goes to Boston and plays well again. You think from that alone Bylsma would learn to play players on their correct wing, yet one of our best young wingers (Bennett) still gets played on the wrong wing for half the game with Crosby, then gets demoted to the third line when he doesn’t play well.

        Again, I like Bylsma, and I think the players do too. He really seems to get along with them, but that’s not what we need from our head coach. We need someone with accountability that can actually get the team prepared for a game where we can clinch. Look at the perennial contenders like Boston, Detroit, and Chicago. None of there coaches are considered “Friendly” yet their players always show up when it counts. I think Bylsma would be probably one of the best assistant coach’s out there but I don’t think he fits the role as a head coach.

        Again, just my opinion.

      • c9castine - May 13, 2014 at 12:00 PM

        yeah sorry i think your opinion is crap. there are certainly criticisms to be dished out for Dan but none of those are it.

        players not showing up in big moments? what does that have to do with coaching? you say he doesnt make the right roster moves…hes made EVERY roster move especially in the past. marc staal who cares about marc staal people are making WAY too big a deal about him. hes been toasted several times this series. he threw one cross check to the head on accident and people act like he is tying him to a post and beating him.

        iginlas production spiked when he came to the penguins. he had 11 pts in 13 games in the regular season after only 22 in 33 games with calgary. then he scored 12 pts in 15 games in the playoffs which to me is better production than his current 6 pts in 11 games played.

        if one more person talks about Iginla and how he was handled my head is going to explode. ridiculously irrelevant.

        basically all i got out of your post was than Dan should be unfriendly, and use different bottom line players than he is. Seriously? thats what you think the problem is?

      • miketoasty - May 13, 2014 at 1:21 PM

        c9 – Obviously Dan doesn’t actually control the players, but when there is a big game and nobody is showing up it is his job to either make them accountable so they show up next game or just get them going any way possible. Be that benching them a shift, period, game, yelling at them, praising them. I don’t know, I’m not a coach, but he needs to find a way to get production out of his players in big games, 2 goals through two elimination games (Both could be considered lucky) is not getting it done. Great coaches make their players better, Dan doesn’t seem like he wants to be in that role.

        He’s made every roster move? The Crosby and Malkin lines have been the same for as long as I can remember, other than Bylsma basically throwing crap at the wall for Crosby’s right wing and seeing what sticks ever since Dupuis was injured. Why not put the Neal – Malkin – Kunitz line back together that was unstoppable a couple years back and try Jokinen with Crosby? He doesn’t mix and match, he doesn’t want to upset any of the players by taking away their wingers or putting them with a different center.

        I’m not saying I care specifically about Staal, his antics are garbage but that’s not the point, I’m saying it would be nice every once and a while (Not resulting from an icing) that Bylsma would try to get Crosby out against the second or third D pairing and see what happens. If you think that Crosby can do just as much damage against Staal and Girardi as he would against Diaz and Klein you are hugely mistaken.

        Yet, just watching last night I saw more heart from Iginla in one shift than he showed through however many months he spent here. Iginla is actually completely relevant though, it relates to Bennett’s current situation perfectly. Wingers are assigned right or left winger status because that’s what they grew up playing and are good at, you can’t just force someone to switch wings and expect them to be just as good as they were on the other wing. Which is exactly what Bylsma is trying to do with Bennett and what he did with Iginla. Same goes for lineman in football, a star caliber left tackle may be completely garbage at right tackle.

        Iginla was also a -4 and had 16 penalty minutes in the playoffs, half of his goals coming from the PP and 5 of his twelve points coming also from the PP. So 5 on 5 he had 2 goals and 5 assists through 15 games played. For a perennial 30 goal scorer I would expect a lot more than that, but maybe I ask too much?

        What you take from my posts will obviously differ from person to person but I do that I make my points pretty clear but just in case; my point is that Bylsma needs to care about lines, needs to care about players positions, needs to care about match ups, and needs to care about accountability. None of which he currently does. But hey, if you want mediocrity then it sounds like Bylsma is your coach.

    • erbaker67 - May 13, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      I do agree that Scuds has been terrible, Vitale I think has been one of the best forwards. Hes great defensively and is one of the few forwards actually hitting on the forecheck.

      • erbaker67 - May 13, 2014 at 11:33 AM

        The reason I say Engo on D, is atleast he will make the defender think twice on the forecheck. I think he is a solid defenseman. I also think Despres is good, especially when I saw him against the Rangers earlier in the season. Just my opinion. I think Scuds has been the weakest link on defense to be honest. Again, I know Im not a coach or think I know it all, and if I did, I would try to be a coach but thats how I feel watching these games. I dont think you take Vitale in as he brings speed and forechecks great, as well as faceoffs and D zone coverage.

      • c9castine - May 13, 2014 at 12:09 PM

        im willing to try engo on defense. at this point his defensive abilities match scuderi and jesus, he has scored a few goals this year. and like you said, punishing people on the boards is not something we have done much of this series.

        i say take vitale out for Glass. glass has less speed, but neither one of them is going to score anyway. might as well put somebody in there whose main mission is to hit people. vitale sometimes through big checks, sometimes hell just skate right past the guy though….

    • kastout11 - May 13, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      It seems as though they are desperate. If you cannot get up for a game 7 or you allow distractions to distract you, then you have bigger problems then winning this series. I expect to see both teams bring their “A” game tonight. Unfortunately, I think the Penguins “A” game is better than the Rangers.

    • kastout11 - May 13, 2014 at 11:39 AM

      It is not Bylsma’s fault that some of the penguins stars lack heart (ie. Malkin/Neal/Letang). I think Sutter has been their best and most consistent player so far in the playoffs. He plays a lot like his dad and uncles.

      • c9castine - May 13, 2014 at 12:12 PM

        woah woah woah…

        those guys lack heart? give me a f’in break.

        you just said a guy who had a stroke a few months ago lacks heart. maybe a properly working one – but its huge.

        malkin has been a beast and is one of the league leaders in points.

        neal is a chump. there i said it.

  4. penguins87and71 - May 13, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    The difference is Boston has won 1 Stanley Cup in 4 years, the Penguins haven’t won any in 5! The Penguins blew a 3-1 series lead, and the Bruins didn’t. The Bruins game is to play physical, and annoy the other team, that’s not the Penguins game.

    • steelcity333 - May 13, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      The Penguins and Bruins pretty much have the same history in the playoffs over the last 5 years. 2 Finals, 1 Cup, and 1 collaspe. Boston up 3-0 to philly and Pens up 3-1 to Tampa.

      • c9castine - May 13, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        ive said this like a million times nobody cares steelcity.

        they are way too obsessed with the storylines and the hate.

    • c9castine - May 13, 2014 at 12:14 PM

      you took a small sample size and then shrunk it down.

      real analytical.

  5. Andee - May 13, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Didn’t they just get yoked up on the road at the Garden? Sleep in your own bed and stop trying to out think the room.

  6. muckleflugga - May 13, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    click brunk brunk brunk click click brrrrring brrrrring brrrrring click

    eeeeyaaaawn hlo …?

    waddup dude

    chris …?

    yeeeeeeah, who else … what ya think

    todally kewl, even the rubber sheets are better … mickey and donald covers like sooo neat, you …?

    no, i love ’em … no squeaking, no burning latex or untimely deflation ha haa chuckle

    ssssh you idiot, no one knows about trixie trix chuckle chuckle … bloody russians, they do it right ha haa ha … hey ya wanna go catch a tub …

    righteous … what do you think of the campaign so far

    you read my mind, no you guessed …? i made it part way into chapter two of the necromancer’s handbook and i’m like todally thinking of trying dread over this dead-ass specialist wizard crap

    nooo you idiot, i’m talking about tonight’s game

    that’s tonight …?

    yessss, gawd are you in a fog or what … what did mario say the other night

    mario … the other night …? oooooh yeah mario … something about if like i can maybe get it together so he can go press the bets … waddabout thaaaat cologne is that like a french thing hootchiecapesto

    ha haaa take the breathe away or what … ya ya hey, let’s swing by genos and brookses room, see if they wanna play some ball hockey too, join us in the tub afterward … remember to knock this time ha haaaa ha chuckle …?

    shhhh they swore us to secrecy bytch … see you in five … wait make that fifteen

    done deal … well not quite apparently ha ha haaa

    click bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  7. 7mantel - May 13, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Are they staying at a motel 6, so why does this make the news ?

    • broadstreetbeatdown - May 13, 2014 at 3:49 PM

      Their trying to show how razor sharp their focus is. They are like leopards stalking their prey from the hotel balcony. Steely eyed killers waiting for the moment to pounce and finish off their quarry.

      Actually its cause their a bunch of mental midgets who are used to post season collapses. I don’t like their team but the truth is, this was their series to lose. The Pens took their foot off the gas and then the Rags got in their heads and started breakdancing.

  8. bleedrangerblue - May 13, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    I’m trying to think of one penguin I could actually tolerate. With philly I could actually respect Vorachek. With Pitt I have more respect for the turd my chihuahua just launched…

  9. bleedrangerblue - May 13, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    Post game interview: Sid you guys played a hard fought series against a Rangers team that was simply better. Why do you think you lost the series? Well I’m not sure but I did stay at a holiday inn express

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