A day after holding a closed practice to work on “structure and teaching,” as head coach John Hynes explained, the Penguins held a shorter session today and the atmosphere was surprisingly light.
For a team that lost two games last weekend and faces a home-and-home set against the rival Hershey Bears this Friday and Saturday, the Penguins are remarkably at ease.
Last weekend aside, why shouldn’t they be? A 6-0 start isn’t that distant. Brian Gibbons continues to produce at a steady clip, and two other top scorers - Chris Conner and Harry Zolnierczyk, have been back from Pittsburgh for over a week now and have had plenty of time to re-adjust to things.
Perhaps another reason for the easy-going feel of things was the World Series win by the Boston Red Sox last night. Many of the Penguins are from the New England area and are proud followers of Red Sox Nation, so needless to say they were thrilled.
Bobby Farnham sported a Red Sox cap after practice and head coach John Hynes joked about growing a beard to go along with his shave ahead to look like Boston slugger Mike Napoli.
Still, when the puck drops on Friday there’s no doubt the Penguins will put thoughts of baseball and beards behind them and focus on the Bears.
After practice today, Hynes said Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers will start in net tonight. It’s a move that makes sense, considering Deslauriers allowed just one goal on 19 shots. I expect Peter Mannino to get the nod in Hershey on Saturday.