As you've seen in the news Dan Bylsma visited Malkin in the smog covered Moscow and met with Pittsburgh support crew, the Russian Pens fan club. One hard core Russian fan even brought the hockey cards of Bylsma himself with his autographs. The Penguins site made a reference to a Russian blog on sport-express.ru:
All photos are courtesy of the Russian website (http://blog.sport-express.ru/community/sehockey/post132103367/), where a text story from Bylsma’s visit accompanies the pictures.Turned out the blog is run by Oleg Fedorov, who is Caps, Ovechkin and Moscow Dynamo fan and he was at that meeting. Here what he said in his blog:
They were supposed to beat me up and bury in a nearby cemetery... Nay! Offered me the food and drink, and even talked about my passion for Ovie. With humor and without any jibes.There are quite a few typos in the post about Bylsma and it is a collection of posts from several people who attended the meeting. I think I was able to identify one guy's post and here it is:
Triphon, the organizer:
Even Oleg Fedorov showed how he loves hockey in a global sense of the word. He knew that this event was not just for the Pittsburgh fans, but for hockey fans in general. And that's why he was with us. Moreover, he didn't try to camouflage as a Pens fan, but openly stated that he roots for Dynamo and Ovechkin personally )) Nobody ejected him or accused of bias. I hope this dispelled a bit a common myth about the inadequacy of Pens fans.
...Of course we could not avoid the talk about Washington. According to Bylsma, it is hard to play against them not because they execute some tactical masterpieces. It is namely because of the mental reasons. Most of the league is really afraid to play against Ovechkin [or one-on-one against him, not clear -tj] and that is true for most of the Pittsburgh players. But exactly the same problem exists when other teams play against Crosby and Malkin.
When asked why people in Canada like Ovechkin more than Crosby, Dan did not answer with his own words, but quoted Canadian fans: "Crosby is ours, we love him, and we criticize him. And Ovechkin, we simply enjoy him."
There were questions about power play, at that Bylsma said simply something which in Russian translation would sound like "Do not piss! I'll take care of it!" By the way, we reminded the coach that his team's Captain had his birthday yesterday. Either they don't care to remember it or something else, but he was not embarrassed, and immediately text to Crosby his congratulations. At that time it was 7 am in Canada. We all laughed that it's not too early, he is working out already ))
A bit later he received a text from general manager about to his vision of the roster for next season. The information was in the category of VERY SECRET, so we'll not disclose the details )) [Oleg will :-) -tj] The main thing is that we saw the part of the communication between the coach and team management, and they are never on vacation 100%.