Connect with us

Penguins

Penguins Room: Sullivan Knocks Team; Eller Frustrated

Published

on

Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — The Pittsburgh Penguins stockpiled scoring chances and puck possession but scored only one goal. They also gave up as many scoring chances as they earned, and coach Mike Sullivan had no desire to offer praise for the things done well.

Not when so many things were not done well.

Sullivan slammed his team’s desire to trade chances and their motivation in the first period after a 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets at Canada Life Centre Saturday. The loss was the Penguins’ second straight and second one-goal loss in as many nights. The Penguins were flat at the start and yielded a spree of odd-man rushes.

“I don’t think the start was nearly — We didn’t establish the game we wanted to play. We gave up I don’t know how many odd-man rushes in the first period,” said Sullivan. “We were careless with the puck. You know, it’s not a game that’s conducive to winning.”

It felt like the Penguins coach left a lot unsaid, but the tone underscored the lack of positives or optimism from behind the Penguins’ bench. There was a hint of being fed up with a team that still defaults to trading punches rather than responsible hockey. There was an unsaid disgust of repeat mistakes that spotted Winnipeg a treasure trove of odd-man rushes.

Sullivan disavowed the word frustration as “a useless emotion to me,” but there was an intensity in the Penguins coach’s words. The team’s poor start further chaffed the coach.

“We’re coming into a building and playing against a team that we knew was going to play with urgency. They had dropped five games in a row,” said Sullivan. “And those of us who have been in the league long enough understand what that circumstance is like.”

Sullivan called out the lack of secondary help and

 

Lars Eller

Penguins center Lars Eller also had no desire to take positives from the scoring chances earned. Pittsburgh Hockey Now got a few moments with Eller, one-on-one. Despite an invitation to praise the offensive process, Eller shut that down immediately.

His frustration was evident as he shook his head to the negative regarding the positives he might take.

“No. I think defensively, we were giving up odd-man rushes. I don’t know how many, I lost count of how many great chances they got,” Eller told PHN. “It could have been 6-1 easily if (Tristan Jarry) didn’t make a lot of big saves. So I don’t think it was good at all.”

Tristan Jarry

Through all of the frustration, the Penguins allowed only two goals. Jarry was solid in the net. The game-winner was a fluky bounce off the back wall to Nino Neiderrieter. The goal held up for nearly 35 minutes.

Jarry described how the play went down.

“Unlucky. I think if you shot that 100 times, I think it might happen three or four (times),” said Jarry.

30 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

30 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
AW1818
AW1818
11 days ago

Hard to hold a team accountable when you’ve never taken any accountability for their play. Keep cashing those checks, Super Genius. FSG will probably extend him next spring to a lifetime contract

Jon Stowitzky
Jon Stowitzky
11 days ago

Ok dreamers.. have you accepted reality yet? This team isn’t making the post season let alone challenging for a cup. Regardless of what pipe dream this page can dig up.. this team just isn’t good enough anymore. No shame in that, considering how spoiled we’ve become for decades. Reality is hard to accept, but it’s here and now. Time to move on, it just amazes me how so many in the media and fan base can’t accept reality. It’s been one helluva run! The memories and love will last a lifetime for all of us, but so should reality….

Steve
Steve
11 days ago
Reply to  Jon Stowitzky

Yup. It’s been over for awhile now. Great run. But now the Guentzel watch begins. I, for one am looking forward to the next chapter. It’s not going to be pretty for a very long time. But, that’s sports.

Peter
Peter
11 days ago

You’re blaming Sullivan for these players lack of discipline. Rust who had a luck goal has so many chances to score, he should have 50 goals every year playing with Sid and Jake. Malkin should have become a FA etc etc… Sullivan will be coaching after these guys are all retired.

Pete
Pete
11 days ago
Reply to  Peter

And that is the problem. How many years of bad hockey before you get a new coach. He NEVER sits guys to wake them up. Same ole same ole.

Roger
Roger
11 days ago

The Penguins are just done being contenders. It happens to every dynasty team at some point (like Chicago and LA for example), and unfortunately it’s now happened to the Penguins. They’re just going to continue being meh until they accept reality and start rebuilding, which I have a feeling is not gonna happen as long as the core is here. As long as the core is here they’re probably going to keep trying (and failing) to be contenders.

JoJo
JoJo
11 days ago

Why Sullivan is still coaching this team?

john
john
11 days ago
Reply to  JoJo

Because he won back-to-back Stanley cups and right now there’s not a better Coach available!

john
john
11 days ago
Reply to  JoJo

So you blame Sullivan for Jake l making a horrible pass back across the middle you blame Sullivan for putting a team on the ice that’s only scored three goals in the last two games? Crosby Jake Rust Smith Rakell Malkin Letang and Karlkson 3 goals in. 2 games . He can’t put the pick in the net for them

AW1818
AW1818
11 days ago
Reply to  john

If you’re naming 8 proven players that are struggling right now-it’s the coach. And nobody better? What’s the worst than can happen? They’ll miss the playoffs again? Nobody knew who the hell Knoblauch was until last month and that’s going well for Edmonton. Spin the wheel of excuses all you want-Sullivan is washed and has been for years

Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher
11 days ago
Reply to  JoJo

Probably because he’s an excellent coach. The only guy I’d replace him with is in Philly right now.

AW1818
AW1818
11 days ago
Reply to  Mark Fisher

“Excellent coach on his way to 2nd straight postseason miss after not seeing the 2nd round in 6 years.” Is the bar for excellency really that low in Pittsburgh?”

Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher
11 days ago
Reply to  AW1818

Two of those years were because of goalie flameouts in the playoffs. Further, the guys who are expected to put the puck in the net this year – Rust, Rakell, and Smith – aren’t scoring anywhere close to their normal pace. Personally, I would have looked to deal Guentzel over the summer and start the rebuild.

wesman33
wesman33
11 days ago

Eller frustrated, no wonder his line had a terrible game especially him. Good gosh.

Mark
Mark
11 days ago

“And those of us who have been in the league long enough understand what that circumstance is like.” This is the disconnect. The actions of the team, including the top players and team leadership, shows an attitude that things are ok and they will just “turn it on” and turn the clock back ten years. They ARE frustrated, but the blame is scapegoated onto referees and bad luck instead of the play of the team.

David Heyl
David Heyl
11 days ago

The reality is Dubas swung for the fences acquiring 65 & 27, they are both a disaster! Dubas now has to figure how to not only start the rebuild but figure out how to dump these two worthless additions.

MrNails
MrNails
11 days ago
Reply to  David Heyl

I must be the only one who doesn’t join in the Graves hate.

Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher
11 days ago
Reply to  MrNails

You must be because he is terrible.

AW1818
AW1818
11 days ago
Reply to  David Heyl

How about they fire the f-n coach before rehauling the entire roster AGAIN to his specifications? I’d rather have the 3X Norris winner instead of a coach that hasn’t won a thing in 7 years. Unless we plan to add Erik GD Karlsson to the long list of players who play great before and after leaving this clown’s stale, outdated system. Dubas handed him absolutely everything he wanted and he still can’t figure it out

john
john
11 days ago
Reply to  AW1818

You realize there’s only been seven coaches that have won anything in the last seven year? Half of those coaches are not on the same team. So let’s say 7 coaches are better, who you bringing in that’s better?

AW1818
AW1818
11 days ago
Reply to  john

Ahh that tired old argument. “It can get worse!” How? Missing the postseason again? Underperforming, undisciplined hockey again? Get over it. He sucks

Harry
Harry
11 days ago
Reply to  David Heyl

Most of Dubas’ moves have been terrible except for Ned. Dubas is a huge disappointment so far and his unwaivering support for Sullivan and the team is absurd. How about some demand for accountability instead of patting these overpaid, unmotivated athletes on the back and giving the coaches a free pass for failing to get the team to give a 60 minute effort? How are the Flyers 9 points ahead of the Pens with a clearly less talented team? Does Tortorella allow the country club environment in Philly???

Pete
Pete
11 days ago
Reply to  David Heyl

How is 4th on the team in points and a +10 a disaster as a defenseman? Most teams would love to have that. The reality is the D is fine. Look at the goals allowed stats. The problem with the team is offensive scoring. They only have one line that scores. 27th in the league in goals for. 65 is doing more than his part.

JohnR
JohnR
11 days ago

I’ve mentioned this time and again. And while I am sure this is not the entire problem, I think it’s a big part of it: the Pens are too small, as a team. I’m not talking about bringing back enforcers. I’m talking about getting bigger as a team. The Jets had what a guy who is 6‘7“ tall, and a whole bunch of guys that are 6’2” – 6’5”. It looked like a father-son game out there. What are the Pens supposed to do when they’re just getting destroyed physically?

Last edited 11 days ago by johndrogers@hotmail.com
Wasnt
11 days ago

I know Dan hates to call for any firings but if it makes him feel better, Sully isn’t a bad coach but just not right for this team anymore. Sully will get hired by someone else, probably Buffalo or somewhere in the AHL, I hate to say blow it up and start a rebuild before Dubas gives a new coach a try (i.e. Roy in NY) and if he tanks them blow it up. The only problem is it’s probably to late

john
john
11 days ago

It’s real simple the pens score 2 or less they lose. 3 or more they win! When you can’t score you won’t win.

Matthew Caddy
Matthew Caddy
11 days ago

It’s time to blow it up. Sully has to go. Good coach or not, they are clearly not responding to him anymore and doing their own thing out there. We may be stuck with 71, but 87 is still playing at a high level and 58 needs to be back in charge of the PP. Everyone else is expendable including Jake. The Karlsson experiment has failed miserably. Dubas you’re on the clock.

Anson
Anson
11 days ago
Reply to  Matthew Caddy

What games are you watching? The Karlsson experiment failed??? He’s playing nearly zero minutes with Sid and stuck on PP2. He also has a garbage partner. Yet, he has points in 13 of his last 14 games and, with the few minutes he’s had with Sid, he’s set up some beautiful goals. I know it’s easy to blame the new guy. But Tanger gets all of the 5v5 minutes with the top line and best defensive partner. He still has less points and inferior advanced defensive stats. The problem isn’t Karlsson.

wesman33
wesman33
11 days ago
Reply to  Anson

Karlsson was on the number one pp the entire season until 3 or 4 games ago. What games have you been watching. 65 turns the puck over like I’ve never ever seen before. He’s ten times worse than 71 with turnovers and that’s saying something. Erik cares about his stats and he’s is not a team player in my opinion

Wasnt
11 days ago

This was my do or die game. Lots of frustration from us fans but now (for me at least) I’ll still watch the games, read PHN, sit back with a drink in my hand laughing instead of yelling at the PP, wondering if we’ll get a good draft pick and remembering the good old days.