PITTSBURGH — Day one of training camp is officially in the books for the Penguins. 22 players taking the ice this morning at PPG Paints Arena for their first practice of the shortened 10-day training camp. The guys say this camp has a very different feel to it, however there’s one thing that remains the same. The vets on the team say they’re excited and thrilled to be back on the ice.
“Yeah, it’s just fun,” said Sidney Crosby. “That feeling does never get old. You’re excited, anticipating starting, everyone put the hard work in in the offseason.”
The offseason was filled with uncertainty. and it now features a rapid ramp up. The Penguins have just six more practices until their season opener against the Flyers on January 13th.
“Obviously it’s been a long time since we had a practice all together,” noted Kris Letang. “There was a lot of energy, a lot of excitement, guys were smiling having fun out there.”
The tone of Monday’s practice was fun, mixed with a seriousness. Crosby adding this camp is more serious than normal. The guys know with the shortened season, every game becomes that much more crucial.
“You’re only playing 56 games and I think that’s going to be a big thing,” said netminder Tristan Jarry. “Trying to get on a run as much as you can and try and keep it rolling and try to keep the lows to a minimum.”
The Penguins did have two absences today. Forward Kasperi Kapanen continues to deal with immigration issues. Head Coach Mike Sullivan couldn’t go into specifics, but says they’re working on it. Sullivan added they have to be prepared to adapt and embrace any and all challenges that may come their way this season.
Forward Colton Sceviour was excused from practice Monday, as he and his wife had a baby.
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