Dan Bylsma: “Talking about Sidney Crosby hasn’t been a good thing. I’m not sure if I would be talking too loud.”April 11, 2012 – 7:45 am by Steven Cuce
One of the most anticipated playoff matchups of the NHL postseason is the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers. The two teams were separated by just five points in the regular season and a brawl ensued between these opponents on April 1st.
The Penguins believe they are hitting their stride with a healthier Sidney Crosby. Dan Bylsma was taken to task by Peter Laviolette for the brawl that occurred in the the last regular season game and the Penguins head coach clearly isn’t fazed by it.
This is going to be some physical series between the four and five seed of the Eastern Conference. Expect this one to go the distance with several altercations along the way.
Dan Bylsma joined 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh with Vinnie & Cook to discuss the Philadelphia Flyers trying to get into the heads of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Peter Laviolette calling him gutless in reaction to the fight between the Flyers and Penguins at the end of the regular season, his expectations for the first round series against the Flyers, and Sidney Crosby’s rest being a factor in this playoff series.
You hear other coaches try to get inside your guys heads maybe even into your head. How do you keep that from becoming an issue in your dressing room?
“Well I think we talk a little bit about the importance and the keys to this series and what we think is important that we know are going to be factors in the series. Frankly the extra people who are talking maybe aim at trying to get us riled up, maybe aimed at our players or our team and that’ll be a focus on the ice and I don’t think what they say on a radio show is going to affect that emotional control of what we are doing on the ice. In terms of talking about our players I would think that having experience talking about Sidney Crosby hasn’t been a good thing in the past for the opposition. I am not sure if I would be talking too loud if I was trying to get him off his game.”
How tough was it to be called gutless by Peter Laviolette of the Philadelphia Flyers?
“Well again what happens on the ice as players and in this case coaches…I don’t think I want my mom hearing anything I said out there in that situation, but that happens on the ice and again whatever the extracurricular stuff, whatever the emotions are that get expressed post-game, it happens on the ice. We know it happens on the ice and we know the person who is going to talk at the end is going to be the team that moves on and that team is going to win 4 games and that’s how it is going to be played out.”
What do you expect going into this series against the Flyers?
“Well I think you continue to let that play out when we play as a team and when we play the Flyers. I think you expect to see the post-whistle kind of stuff. I know it’s a real focus for the referees and try to make sure the game is played whistle to whistle. We want the game to be played whistle to whistle, but I do think in every series there is a grind down factor. There’s a physical factor. There’s a team that gains control as the series goes on. That might happen in game one. It might happen as the series goes on. It might happen in game one. It might happen as the series goes on and maybe it’s the team that’s up in the series. It’s what happens on the ice and the physicality and the physical play. It’s also through where you play. That’s kind of one of the ways we want to play this series through. We want it to be a grind down factor on the opposition and that’s something we are looking to do and establish right from game one and have it play out throughout the series.”
Does Sidney Crosby being more rested this season become a factor for him?
“That an interesting way to look at it in terms of him being a rested guy. I don’t think it’s going to be a real factor in how it plays out. I know that we are playing a seven game series and the team that wins four moves on and I don’t think that rest factor is going to play out in this series. I think luckily for Sid and our team he was able to come back and play 14 games here at the end of the season and I think those were a good number of games to play to get some timing back and get back playing and to get back in all of those situations and we’ve seen him work to get better in a lot of areas and that comes through playing games and being in those situations. Something he hadn’t been for a long time, so it’s great to get him to play 14 games and I think he is real focused on and real excited about playing in the playoffs and getting in their in game one going forward from there.”