Penguin's Paparazzi - Poni,Flower Power,Shero: Practice Tidbits 3/5/10


I have been attending some of the Penguins open practices for a couple of years now, and I always take a ton of photos & have great stories to tell about the players with inside info.... My boyfriend and I lovingly call ourselves "Hockey Nerds" and we love to surround ourselves with as much Pittsburgh Penguins as we possibly can…So I decided to start sharing all the great stories with the people who REALLY care, my fellow die hard Pens fans that surf the net daily... I look forward to posting more stories in the future!

3/5/10 - Penguins Practice: My notes & thoughts:

Hot from their WIN in MSG against the Rangers last night, the Pens practiced today...It was as Blysma call is a "light practice" that was only about half an hour ... 

The BIG News

*Alexei Ponikarovsky #23 (has been called "Poni Express") made his debut to his new Penguin fans in practice this morning at the Iceoplex... Delayed slightly from a work Visa issue... He was third out on the ice today, and is hard to miss at 6'4" 229 lbs... Former member of Toronto Maple Leafs and recently traded to the Penguins...And in my opinion, could be Ken doll's doppelgänger :) The ladies are sure to love him :) He is a huge presence on the ice, and has a hell of a power shot. I can't wait to see him in this weekend's games, because he seems to be a great addition to the team. 

*Penguins General Manager Ray Shero was in the building today. I assume he was there to welcome Alexi. In the 15 or so times I have been to watch practice, I have never once seen him there. So I am guessing the Poni Express is a big deal to the franchise...

*Penguins other new player attained before the NHL Trade Deadline was defenseman Jordan Leopold #4 from the Calgary Flames. He's no string bean either, @ 6'1" & 200lbs. He seems to be quite confident as well, after practice when a fan said "Welcome to Pittsburgh! You are an awesome addition to the team!" Leopold replied with a chuckle "I AM awesome!" It seems like he has a fun personality, I think will mesh well with the rest of the Pens...

*Billy Guerin #13 did not practice today with the team. This is more than likely due to the back spasms that kept him out of the game last night...

*Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Brooks Orpik did not practice today either, I assume they were doing media interviews... Although I spotted Sid signing some autographs for fans after practice, and Geno before practice throwing pucks towards the goal from off the ice... I wondered if he had some superstition about scoring goals in practice, so he had to chuck some rubber between the pipes before he could begin his rewarded free time...

*Marc-Andre Fleury #29 must have broken his neck guard today, because it dangled from his goalie mask... I also noticed that Flower is still wearing his rubber finger brace. I wonder if the fractured left ring finger is still giving him issues... Also, considering Fleury was pulled from last nights game against the Rangers and was visibly upset, he was his normal smiley self, horsing around with other players and was super nice to us, signing an 8x10 photo of himself with the Stanley Cup... Flower has got to be one of the friendliest guys out there. He'll look you in the eye and have a conversation, he THANKS YOU for supporting them and is always gracious, and he makes every fan feel important and appreciated individually. In the 2 years I have been going to practices, I have seen him stay for almost an hour signing autographs for people. So for the critics doubting his mental state after the Olympics and one bad game, let me assure you he is is normal happy go lucky self... He is Mr.Bounceback... and you can tell he is focused on the future, not his mistakes. I personally get physically upset for Marc-Andre when he "let some soft one's in"... I feel for him more because he is such a genuinely nice guy.

And last, but most comical…

*Jokester Matt Cooke #24 made us all laugh today when he was chipping pucks at the glass of Jay's (bar &grill overlooking practice ice), aiming at 2 unsuspecting female diners... Hilarity ensues when the patrons nearly spill their drinks as they jolt in reaction to the puck slamming off the glass right by their heads... Best part is, Cooke is a pro at skating off all nonchalant to the other side of the rink, acting innocent until a few minutes later when he recreates the lady's reaction in the corner for other chuckling players…

BONUS - * I did get to have a little quality time with Kris Letang #58 today! He took the time to take a photo with me after practice, he even got out of his cute little BMW to pose with me! It was a fantastic day to wear my #58 jersey! The players have all been so nice to us! Today we lucked out with autographs from Marc-Andre Fleury, Matt Cooke, Max Talbot, Jay McKee, Brent Johnson, Pascal Dupuis, Jordan Leopold, Alex Goligoski & Sidney Crosby !!! So grateful my Pens are so kind to their fans!!

 Love it! Look forward to more inside Penguins practice tidbits!

The content expressed in fanposts does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff here at FanPosts are opinions expressed by fans of various teams throughout the league but may be more Pittsburgh-centric for obvious reasons.

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