Saturday, January 28, 2012

Post-Skills Competition: Letang (1/28/12) Kris Letang talks to reporters after the the 2012 All-Star Skills competition. 1/28/2012

Letang All Star 2012 in Ottawa January 2012

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (above) and left winger James Neal helped Team Alfredsson beat Team Chara, 21-12, in the NHL’s skills competition at ScotiaBank Place in Ottawa.

Letang, playing for a team drafted by Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, defeated Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell in the backwards portion of the fastest skater competition with a time of 14.031. Campbell’s time was 14.826.

Letang and Neal also helped Team Alfredsson claim the first half of the skills replay competition with a time of 2:28. Team Chara – drafted by Boston Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara – had a time of 2:45.

In the shootout competition. Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, playing for Team Chara, scored on New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist in the first round but was denied by Lundqvist in the second.

Letang scored on Detroit Red wings goaltender Jimmy Howard in the first round but was stopped by Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas in the second. Neal was denied by Thomas in the first round.

The All-Star game is will be played Sunday, 4 p.m.

Skater Time
1. Kris Letang (Backwards) 14.301

Thursday, January 26, 2012

NHL 2012 All Star Draft Predictions

This is from talking about the 2012 All Star Draft. PREDICTIONS


Kris Letang (D)

Another round, another steal of a pick. Sure, he missed two months with a concussion, but he's shown no ill effects since returning to the lineup last week. If not for the injury, he'd be in the mix for the Norris Trophy. As a consolation prize, he gets to tell his grandkids 50 years from now that he once played on the greatest team ever assembled and won a hockey game by 40 goals.

Letang's return has been a welcome one for streaking Penguins

ST. LOUIS — Penguins coach Dan Bylsma had planned to restrict defenseman Kris Letang's ice time when the All-Star returned after a seven-week absence with a concussion.

Then, Bylsma and center Sidney Crosby watched Letang skate under the supervision of strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar.

"We both were shaking our heads about how easy it looks for (Letang) and how well he can skate," Bylsma said.

Letang doesn't necessarily make the game look easy, but he has made his return look routine. And Bylsma hasn't hesitated to use him.

"I knew he was in good condition and skating really well, so it's not real surprising," Bylsma said. "But it is surprising that he maybe hasn't missed too much of a beat with the significant number of games he did miss."

When Letang returned last week against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, the Penguins had won three in a row. They probably wouldn't be riding a seven-game winning streak now if not for Letang.

He has scored twice and made one of the defensive plays of the season: catching Montreal's Tomas Plekanec from behind on a breakaway. That he recently missed 21 games is almost forgotten.

"I'm impressed but not surprised," defenseman Zbynek Michalek said. "He's in great shape. He's probably the best athlete on our team, and he really worked hard to get back."

Letang's conditioning always has been impressive. Like former Penguins defenseman Sergei Zubov, Letang never looks tired, but his ability to play without evidence of rust has particularly impressed teammates.

"He's played better than we expected," defense partner Brooks Orpik said. "He's just such a talented kid."

Letang won't get a week off like most of his teammates since he was selected to play in Sunday's All-Star Game in Ottawa. Missing two months didn't diminish the fact that he has emerged as a star.

His return has been especially beneficial considering Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek are playing below expectations. Bylsma has relied heavily upon the pairing of Letang and Orpik, as evidenced by Letang's average of 26 minutes per game since he returned.

"We're used to playing together, and we're comfortable right now," Orpik said. "He keeps himself in really good shape. ... He's been really good."

Letang has taken a more modest approach to his play. He's cognizant of his role in St. Louis' Patrik Berglund being awarded (and converting) a penalty shot in Tuesday's victory and that he's 0 for 2 in shootout attempts since returning.

"I need to get better everywhere," he said.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Letang 2012 All Star

found out this morning he had to cancel his plans for the All-Star break, but he’s OK with that.

That’s because the NHL announced today that the Penguins defenseman has been added to the roster for the 2012 NHL All-Star Game, which will be played this coming Sunday, Jan. 29, at 4 p.m. at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.

Letang, 24, will be making his second-consecutive All-Star appearance after making his debut last season in Carolina after being voted into the game by the fans.

“It was an honor to be named on the All-Star Team. I guess I was surprised,” Letang said. “To be honest, to represent my team at the All-Star Game and to be a part of all those guys and future Hall-of-Famers like (Nicklas) Lidstrom and (Zdeno) Chara is always an honor. It’s going to be a great weekend.”

Letang has shined bright since returning to Pittsburgh’s lineup last week, as he’s scored twice and added two assists in his three games back since missing 21 straight with a broken nose and a concussion.

In addition, his work ethic paired with his magnificent skating ability has allowed him an expedited transition back into his usual role – highlighted by the fact that he’s led the team in minutes-played each of those three games.

“I feel pretty good,” Letang said. “I was more comfortable in the second and third games I played. Getting back into it, it wasn’t about how my body was going to react. It was more getting back into the systems and getting used to it again. I think the coach and everybody put me in a good situation to succeed.”

Overall, Letang has totaled five goals, 18 assists, 23 points and a plus-9 rating in 25 games. His 18 assists rank third on the team while his 23 points place fifth.

He joins center Evgeni Malkin on the All-Star roster, giving the Penguins at least two All-Star representatives for the fourth straight season.

Last year, Letang attended the festivities with goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. The two players were selected onto different teams at the fantasy draft (Letang to Team Staal; Fleury to Team Lidstrom) and had a blast facing off with each other in both the SuperSkills Competition and the game itself.

“Everything was pretty cool,” Letang said of his first experience. “It was well-organized. The skills competition is fun because you can relax and watch all the guys go. The game was my first time, so I enjoyed it a lot.”

With the way Malkin has been dominating games lately, Letang hopes that they’ll be teammates this time around.

“Hopefully I will have the chance to play with him, but it’s a draft so you never know,” Letang said. “But the way he’s playing right now, it would be great to have him on my side and make sure he doesn’t make me look like a fool on the ice.”

That may be true. But if Letang keeps up his own level of play, it may be Malkin who won’t want to go against him.


Letang Honored to be Named an All-Star


Thursday, January 19, 2012

1/19/2012 - Kris Letang Pregame Interview with Dan Potash

Game Day: Kris Letang (1/19/12)

Letang Will Play Tonight vs. NYR

Kris Letang is back.

Head coach Dan Bylsma confirmed that the Penguins defenseman will return to the lineup Thursday against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden after missing the last 21 games with a broken nose and concussion sustained Nov. 26 vs. Montreal.
“Excitement,” Letang said when asked how he feels about returning after such a
lengthy absence. “When you’ve been out of the lineup for a long time like this, you just want to get back out there with your teammates and be part of the team.”

While Bylsma will be monitoring Letang’s minutes, he said the plan is to utilize him both in a top-four role and on the power play.

“It certainly is a situation where you’re not looking to get him too many minutes, but I still think he’s going to be used in a top-four role against their good players and on the power play,” Bylsma said. “So he’s going to play a fair amount of minutes in tonight’s game.”

That’s fine with Letang, who’s been pushing himself hard ever since he was cleared to skate in order to do just that.

“I stayed home during the trip because I was conditioning, practicing everyday, working out everyday,” said Letang, who averaged a team-leading 26:10 minutes per game before his injury. “I felt pretty good out there.”

Since returning to practice with the team on Tuesday, Letang has mostly been skating with usual defense partner Brooks Orpik – who cautioned that it will take some time for Letang to regain top form.

“He’s got to get his timing back. You can’t just expect him to get back to where he was when he got hurt,” Orpik said. “But I know he worked hard to get back and he did a lot of conditioning to try to get as close as he can back to normal. The six guys that have been playing have been playing really well, but any time you get a guy like him back – he’s a tough guy to replace.”

Adjusting to the speed and timing of the game is always a concern with players returning from injuries. But with players like Letang who are returning from concussions, getting reacclimated with the physicality of the sport is also pertinent.

But Letang was aware of that, and the 24-year-old prepared accordingly during his rehabilitation period so that he will have no hesitation in dishing or receiving hits.

“Obviously I want to be careful, but my game is to go all out,” he said. “I’m physical, I’m up in the play. I’m trying to bring a different aspect to the game. I was expecting to think about what was going to happen when I got back, so I really worked on the mental side of the game and making sure that when I step in, I’m not afraid to get hit.”

Overall, the guys are just pumped to have the All-Star defenseman back in the lineup.

“Everybody on our team is excited because he’s a great player and we miss him,” defenseman Zbynek Michalek said. “It’s going to be a big boost for everybody and a big help. We are looking forward to having him back in the lineup for sure.”

The Pittsburgh Penguins Official website

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Link with Letang interview and other links about Kris from the Pens website

Transcript of Letang interview with the media today at practice 1-17-12

On what he’s gone through:
It’s honestly been a rough time not doing anything and sitting at home watching my teammates play. It’s kind of boring, but I saw some doctors, saw some people that helped me a lot and got back on track and start practicing.

On the symptoms he had:
Dizziness, nausea, headaches. My entourage said I was irritable, but I think it was more from the fact that I was not playing hockey.

On his understanding of concussions:
It’s a frustrating injury. You can’t do really do anything about it except rest and try to learn from other players that went through it. It’s a big thing. Our game is faster and guys are stronger. So we need to be a little bit more aware on the ice and guys need to be more careful out there.

On feeling better:
It feels great just to be back on the ice. And today, the first time with my teammates, it felt really good.

On returning this week:
Obviously we don’t want to rush it. I had a lot of discussions with the GM and the coaches. We’re going to make a decision when I’m going to be ready. Obviously I didn’t have the chance to practice a lot with my teammates. Tonight might be too soon, but we’ll see how the week goes.

On if he’d like to get in before the All-Star break:
I want to play as quick as I can play. Obviously the sooner the better. I want to get ready for this week.

On if he felt like a kid out there today:
Honestly, I’ve been up since 7. Usually I wake up around 8 or 9. I was really excited to go to the rink today and have the chance to practice with the guys.

On if he talked to Sidney Crosby during his recovery:
We spend a lot of time together. We’re watching games together. We talked about it, but like every concussion, it’s different for everybody. We were just talking about who he’s got as a reference to go see and who I saw for my concussion. We had small chats.

On if he saw Ted Carrick:
No. I saw somebody back home for a week. I brought him here for another week later just to make sure I’m ready for this week.

On if he went through setbacks:
It’s really tough. With my concussion, I went through a month with a lot of symptoms and not being able to get out of bed. It was rough times. But as I was getting better and starting to get treated by differentpeople, it just went better and better. When I got symptom-free, that’s the first time I tried to exercise.

On if he worries about hesitation:
No, I don’t think so. Obviously I want to be careful, but my game is to go all out. I’m physical, I’m up in the play. I’m trying to bring a different aspect to the game. I was expecting to think about what was going to happen when I got back, so I really worked on the mental side of the game and making sure that when I step in, I’m not afraid to get hit.

On returning to play in Montreal:
You can ask our trainer Chris Stewart, I’m somebody kind of rough with injuries. I don’t really pay attention to (them). But the first thing I noticed was my nose was not in place, so we took care of that. After that, it was just a question of being able to function. I was pretty pumped to get back out there. I was excited. The adrenaline was still pumping in my veins. I didn’t feel anything that night. It was the day after when I woke up in the morning that I didn’t feel that great. I saw some doctors and it was the day in New York I started throwing up.

Letang is BACK!!!!!!!!!! 1-17-12

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang returned to practice with his teammates on Tuesday for the first time in nearly two months.

“It feels great just to be back on the ice,” said Letang, who has missed the last 20 games with a concussion and a broken nose sustained Nov. 26 vs. Montreal. “And today being the first time with my teammates, it felt really good.”

While Letang felt fine on the ice this morning, he said that he will see how the week goes and talk with Penguins general manager Ray Shero and the coaching staff before they determine a return date.

Letang admitted he’d like to play as quickly as possible, saying “the sooner the better. I want to get ready for this week.”

The Pens host Carolina tonight, travel to New York to face the Rangers Thursday before returning to Pittsburgh for a tilt against Montreal on Friday.

But with that being said, Letang also knows he can’t rush a return to game action, especially with how long he’s been out.

“Obviously we don’t want to rush it. I had a lot of discussions with (Shero) and the coaches,” Letang said. ‘We’re going to make a decision when I’m going to be ready. … We’ll see how the week goes.”

It’s been a long road to recovery for the talented young blueliner, who started experiencing symptoms such as dizziness, nausea and headaches the morning after absorbing a high hit from Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty. Letang, 24, had symptoms for about a month afterward before he started feeling better.

With my concussion, I went through a month with a lot of symptoms and not being able to get out of bed,” he said. “It was rough times. But as I was getting better and starting to get treated by different people, it just went better and better. When I got symptom-free, that’s the first time I tried to exercise.”

Letang took the next step in his recovery by joining his teammates at practice today. And he couldn’t conceal his excitement at being back around the guys and being able to skate.

“Honestly, I’ve been up since 7 (a.m.),” he said. “Usually I wake up around 8 or 9. I was really excited to go to the rink today and have the chance to practice with the guys.

Letang Returns to Practice 1-17-12

Another article just saying Kris will be coming back soon

Defenseman Letang close to returning with Penguins

Defenseman Kris Letang could be back in the Penguins' lineup sooner than expected.

General manager Ray Shero confirmed Monday that Letang has been cleared for contact and game action.

Letang will not play Tuesday night when the Penguins host Carolina, but he could be back within the next week. He will skate with the Penguins during their morning skate Monday.

"Once he feels ready," Shero said, "he'll play. He's been cleared for practice. Kris is doing really well."

The defenseman has not played since absorbing a hit from Montreal's Max Pacioretty on Nov. 26. Letang, whose nose was broken by the hit, returned in that game and scored the game-winner in overtime. He was diagnosed with a concussion a week later.

Pacioretty was suspended three games for violating Rule 48, which prohibits direct contact to a player's head.

"We're all looking forward to having him back," Shero said. "He's grown into one of the really good, young defensemen in our game. We have missed him very much."

Letang had 19 points in 22 games before being injured.

Although the Penguins have almost a week off during the all-star break later this month, Shero said the team will not force Letang to wait until after the break, even though it would give him a few more days to prepare for his return.

"The break isn't that long anyway," Shero said. "He's cleared to play, so we're going to have him out there when he feels like he can go, whenever that is.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Letang coming back soon YAY

Letang set to return to Penguins

Penguins general manager Ray Shero said today that defenseman Kris Letang not only will join the team Tuesday for a game-day skate but also is medically cleared for contact and games after recovering from a concussion.

Letang will not play Tuesday night when the Penguins face Carolina at Consol Energy Center, but it could be soon.

Letang has been out since he got leveled by Montreal's Max Pacioretty in a Nov. 26 game. Letang, who also got a broken nose, returned to score the winning goal in overtime that night before his concussion was diagnosed.


Thank you PensInsideScoop on twitter for this great update on Kris!!!!!!!

Penguins GM Shero tells @MarkMaddenX he anticipates Letang to practice with the team Tuesday

Source: Twitter PensInsideScoop Sam

Old screencap I found online. I did not take it just found it. ENJOY !!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Update on Kris

PensInsideScoop Pens Inside Scoop
#Pens coach Bylsma: Letang skating at home through pretty rigorous workouts on ice. Hope to see him in pract soon -Sam

Source: Twitter

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kris is Skating

Letang skating again


Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, who is recovering from a concussion, is again going through an on-ice workout with conditioning coach Mike Kadar.

If anything, Letang appears to be skating even harder than he did Monday, and he obviously did not suffer a setback after that session or he would not be back on the ice today.

There's no word on whether Letang will participate in the Penguins' game-day skate in about an hour. He did not take part in their practice Monday.

Kris Update thanks to twitter

Penguins D Kris Letang is skating hard in puck-handling drills. Doesn't mean he's on verge of playing, but certainly a positive sign.

Thanks to twitter and Dave Molinari a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Blog Article about Kris Letang from PensBlog


"The Importance of Kris Letang"

Kris Letang was injured during the Pittsburgh Penguins game in Montreal on November 26, 2011. He went on to score the winning goal that night, but he hasn't played a hockey game since. After all of the games were played on November 26, the Penguins were leading the Eastern Conference and the entire NHL in points with 32. They had a 14-6-4 record overall and 6-3-1 record in their last ten.

Since that game they've been 7-8-0. On November 26, the Pens had scored 77 goals and allowed 59. Since then they've scored 45 goals and allowed 44. That's an an average of 3.208 goals for and 2.458 goals against in the 24 games prior to Letang's injury. The team has scored an average of 3 goals and allowed an average of 2.933 goals in the 15 games since Letang's injury.

Obviously there are other factors at play here as well. Letang isn't the only Pittsburgh Penguin to suffer an injury during the stretch mentioned above, but the differences in how the team has performed with Letang and while missing Letang for an extended amount of time is worth noting.

Kris Letang has three goals and 16 assists in 22 games this season. He was suspended for two games earlier in the year. The Penguins won those two games while he was suspended, but perhaps having him out for an extended period of time is starting to hurt the team. Letang played an average of 26.10 per game before he was injured. That's still leading the team. Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik and Zbynek Michalek are second through fourth on the team in terms of average ice time. The fact that Michalek has missed an extended amount of time as well just makes this whole situation worse for the Penguins. Add in the Martin injury and you can see why the Penguins are having trouble right now.

In the stretch between November 27 and December 22 where both Letang and Michalek were out of the line up, the Penguins had a 5-6 record. Clearly the injuries to the blue line are hurting the team.

Letang skated Friday for the first time since the game in Montreal, but it's not known when he will return to practice. The severity of the injury makes you wonder why he was allowed to return to the Montreal game at all. According to Dejan Kovacevic of the Trib, "Letang was sent to the NHL's new 'quiet room' in Montreal, then cleared to return to the same game."

It looks like the Penguins followed league protocol that night, but that didn't prevent Letang from being on the shelf for a long period of time. As Kovacevic says, it "doesn't take a medical degree to see these methods aren't enough."

Letang played in all 82 games for the Penguins last year and the team made the playoffs despite injuries to several other players. Now, with Letang out, can the team do the same?

Kris is practice on the ice again YAY :)

Letang back on the ice with Mike Kadar for the second time in two days. -DP

Root Sports Twitter account

Kris is practicing on the ice again YAY :)

Letang back on the ice with Mike Kadar for the second time in two days. -DP

Root Sports Twitter account

Friday, January 6, 2012

Update on Kris 1-6-12

Letang skated this morning, a good sign in his recovery.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Latest update on Kris from Pens twitter

Kris Letang (concussion) did not start training in the gym yet. Still a long road in front of him.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Thanks to Twitter this is the lastest update on Kris

PensInsideScoop Pens Inside Scoop
#Pens coach Bylsma: Crosby still w symptoms. Doing light exercises. Letang feeling better. Park and Martin may pract tom -Sam


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