Wednesday's WBS UPDATE 11/28

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Penguins did something a little different today at the Coal Street Rink. They broke the team in half and had two practice sessions.  They worked on some defensive zone breakouts and other shooting drills. Both sessions ended with some 2-on-2 work and were fun to watch.

The first group consisted of the veterans, while rookies and second year players were on the ice for the second session. Zach Sill and Keven Veilleux skated in both sessions. 

I talked to head coach John Hynes after practice about the different look at practice today...

He told me "the guys seem to like it better this way", having it split up and in two sessions. He also said he liked the idea of switching it up at practice to keep everyone going. 

With four days between games this week and five more days off before games next weekend, keeping the players on their toes with something new to break up the normal practice schedule seems like a wise idea to me. And with an 11-3 record in the last 14 games, if isn't broke don't fix it.

Sill practiced in a regular practice jersey again today, signaling his return to the WBS lineup is coming soon. Yesterday he told fans after practice he hopes to be in the lineup Friday night. At the end of the second session trainer Patrick Steidle came onto the ice and along with assistant coach Alain Nasreddine, put Sill to the test.

After several sprints and skating endurance drills, the rest of the rookies who stayed after gave Sill a pat on the back. Sounds to me like he's ready to go. I'll ask head coach John Hynes tomorrow if Sill is in fact ready to go this weekend.

Friday's game against the Syracuse Crunch will be the Pens' 19th game of the regular season. I had to double check on the math but with a 76-game schedule, it ends the first quarter of the season. I've decided to switch from the Monthly Grades like I did last season and give a more comprehensive look at the development of the prospects in the organization by switching to a quarterly grade.

I'll post my analysis and development of the players through the first quarter of the season after the weekend. Never thought I would make it to every game this season, but after 3,590 miles and five different states (excluding PA) I can honestly say I've seen it all. From training camp to preseason to the 1/4 point in the regular season.


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