#WBSPens Tuesday Practice Update

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
While the Penguins were practicing at Coal Street today, the league released the potential 2nd round series for both scenarios that could await the Pens in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Penguins will begin the 2nd round this Friday and play back-to-back games after what will be an eight day layoff.

If it's Syracuse, then both teams will be in the same boat as the Crunch haven't played since last Thursday either. If it's Providence, the Bruins will be coming off an emotional Game Five win on Wednesday and certainly have some momentum coming into the second round. I spoke to a few of the guys about that today.

"I think it's too early in the playoffs for people to be tired," Chad Kolarik said of a possible match up with Providence. "During the year, we've played more than five games in 14 days so I think they'll be alright and I think we'll be alright."

"We've had long layovers during the season and a long week of practices and then you play on Friday and Saturday, so I don't think we're worried about it and I don't think it's going to be a factor," Kolarik added. "It's playoffs, if you're not going to be up for a second round series you probably shouldn't be playing hockey."

Riley Holzapfel took a different approach to the same question.

"Whoever we get, we have to be ready no matter what," Holzapfel said. "There's no preference. Either team will be fine and we'll be ready when the time comes."

An interesting note on the top line of Holzapfel, Kolarik and Trevor Smith is that all three have played in Syracuse at one point or another in their respective careers. Especially in Holzapfel's case, playing in Syracuse after being traded from St. John's opened a lot of doors for him as he eventually landed a contract with Pittsburgh this past summer.

I also spoke to Chris Collins about the layoff and how that will affect him going forward.

"You want days off," Collins said. "Eight days is a long time for sure but tomorrow night we're going to practice in the evening and I think you just have to keep that mindset. We're going to come in rested and ready to go."

Regardless of the opponent, the Penguins will open the series with two road games this Friday (5/10) and Saturday (5/11), before returning home for at least two home games on the following Wednesday (5/15) and Friday (5/17).

If the Penguins play Syracuse, the series will shift to Syracuse for Game 5 Saturday (5/18). If it's Providence, Game 5 is in Wilkes-Barre on the same day. The complete game-by-game series breakdown for both scenarios as well as some practice notes after the jump. 

Here's the two possible scenarios for the Penguins in the second round. The days of the games are the same for both series. The only difference is in the format.

If it's Providence, the series will be in the 2-3-2 format where the Penguins will get three straight home games and be on the road for Games Six and Seven. If it's Syracuse, it will be in the more traditional 2-2-1-1-1 format.

Eastern Conference Semifinal – Series “I” (best-of-7)
1-Providence Bruins [BOS] vs. 5-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins [PIT]

Game 1 – Fri., May 10 – W-B/Scranton at Providence, 7:05
Game 2 – Sat., May 11 – W-B/Scranton at Providence, 7:05
Game 3 – Wed., May 15 – Providence at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Game 4 – Fri., May 17 – Providence at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sat., May 18 – Providence at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 6 – Mon., May 20 – W-B/Scranton at Providence, 7:05
*Game 7 – Wed., May 22 – W-B/Scranton at Providence, 7:05
   *if necessary... All times Eastern 

Eastern Conference Semifinal – Series “J” (best-of-7)
3-Syracuse Crunch [TB] vs. 5-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins [PIT]
Game 1 – Fri., May 10 – W-B/Scranton at Syracuse, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., May 11 – W-B/Scranton at Syracuse, 7:00
Game 3 – Wed., May 15 – Syracuse at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Game 4 – Fri., May 17 – Syracuse at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sat., May 18 – W-B/Scranton at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 6 – Mon., May 20 – Syracuse at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 7 – Wed., May 22 – W-B/Scranton at Syracuse, 7:00
   *if necessary... All times Eastern

It was a typical John Hynes practice this morning, with an up-tempo hour skate with some five-on-five play and normal everyday drills. The lines looked a little different today and they are listed below. Steve MacIntyre isn't a defenseman per say, but to even the number of defenseman he has been playing alongside Cody Wild in practice.




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