PITTSBURGH — Bryan Rust hung around for a few minutes. Jack Johnson did, too. Otherwise, the Pittsburgh Penguins locker room was an empty space with equipment hanging in the stalls after the final regular season morning skate.
A team which has made the postseason for 13 straight years, lifted three Stanley Cups in that time and is full of veteran talent, doesn’t need one more morning skate to tune up for a game against a team which could make tee times weeks ago.
Head coach Mike Sullivan mandated a rest day, either yesterday at practice or this morning. Sullivan does not plan to rest anyone tonight.
“They could pick the day they wanted to skate, yesterday or today, based on their own respective workloads and how they feel,” Sullivan said. “We thought it best our players take responsibility for their own preparation process and we’re trying to give them an opportunity to recover.”
Starting goalie Matt Murray also sat in his locker stall, staring straight ahead as is the customary procedure.