As you know, our pal George Von Benko sits down for a series of one-on-one interviews with Penguins’ general manager Ray Shero each season for his radio show. They tend to fall into place as such: pre-season, trade deadline and right before the post season begins.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you have likely listened to many of these past pow wows. Hopefully you have found them as enlightening as I do.
George got together with Ray last week for his annual pre-playoff sit down and got him talking about a variety of things. Here are just some of the topics that the two kicked around when they met during the first intermission of the Penguins/Rangers game last Thursday…
- Overcoming so many injuries throughout the season and still accumulating 100-plus points.
- Depth throughout the line-up, especially on the blue line.
- Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke and other “role players” having career seasons.
- Finding a way to fit captain Sidney Crosby back into the line-up.
- The experimentation that Crosby’s return allowed – five forwards on PP, shuffling lines, etc.
- Kris Letang’s emergence and his importance the team, including his coming out party during the 2009 Stanley Cup Final when he was instrumental in shutting down Marian Hossa.
- How the team planned to shore up its game in the final two games to prepare for Game 1 of the playoffs.
- The playing time of Marc Andre Fleury and how Ray Shero isn’t concerned about it. The Penguins’ gm feels that Fleury could have been used even more this season.
- Fleury’s love of the game, his work ethic, and how he loves to play a ton of hockey.
- Concussions and discussions about them during the GM’s meetings. Removing the trapezoid and/or putting the two-line pass back into the game.
- Hockey equipment, its size and Ray’s thoughts on it.
- Preparing for a tough road to the Stanley Cup no matter who the Penguins have to play.
- How the game is so different during the Playoffs.
- Seeding and if it is actually important.
- The Penguins’ desire for the first overall seed.
- Does the fact that the Flyers (as of this interview) had never lost in the CEC mean anything?
- The Penguins’ respect for the Flyers and their organization.
Overall it was another great chat between George and Ray Shero. There is a bit of background noise, as the interview took place in Shero’s box.
There is a ton of info within, hope that you enjoy it!
***George Von Benko, is a successful author and broadcaster who has been a fixture in the Pittsburgh sports scene for decades. He recently penned the book “Memory Lane” (full description below), is working on two additional books, and hosts “Sportsline” weekly on 590 AM WMBS on Saturday’s from 10:15am EST to 12:00pm EST. George also does a ton of work covering the Pittsburgh Pirates and you can follow along with stories and interviews over at pirates.scout.com/.
Memory Lane by George Von Benko
Through the years Western Pennsylvania athletes have always ranked among the nation’s elite and most productive. George Von Benko has been a first hand observer for close to 50 years and his Memory Lane recounts the accomplishments and honors they have earned. It includes baseball Major Leaguers, collegiate football and basketball All Americans, NFL and NBA stars, olympians, legendary coaches on both the scholastic and collegiate scene and national figures like Sandy Stephens, Ernie Davis, Johnny Lujack and Vivian Stringer.