Connect with us


Penguins Room: Crosby Pushes Back, but the Coach at a Loss



Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby

The captain and the head coach spoke Wednesday after yet another soulless loss. The Pittsburgh Penguins have lost three in a row and have varied from dispirited to lethargic with periods of manic comeback attempts that were not enough.

The Florida Panthers were the latest to turn the knife, handily beating the Penguins 5-2 at PPG Paints Arena. The Penguins trailed 4-0 midway through the second period.

As Penguins defenseman Kris Letang noted after the game, the team “flatlined.”

We took it a step further in the Penguins postgame analysis. In early December, President of hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas said he wanted the team’s play to determine his path. The clear message the team is sending, whether intentional or not, is that they are done.

Read more: Kingerski: Penguins Sending Message, They’re Done.

Sidney Crosby

However, not everyone shares that belief. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby pushed back on the idea the season was slipping away, or there was doubt in the locker room.

Boos echoed from all corners of PPG Paints Arena Wednesday following a string of unsuccessful attempts to establish zone time on each of the first two power plays. Crosby noticed.

”I don’t know where the boos are coming from,” said Crosby. “The first power-play, however far that is into the game, I’m not sure where that’s coming from. I think that we got a lot of belief in here, and we like to think we work pretty hard. So right now, yeah, it’s not coming from in here.”


Mike Sullivan

The Penguins’ coach was uncharacteristically at a loss for words. He lacked the fire and indignation he showed in Winnipeg. He lacked the disappointment from Minnesota.

He candidly admitted he didn’t know what to say or think after the latest loss.

“This one’s a tough one for me to assess coming off the bench. Usually, I’ve got a pretty good feel for how the game was played,” Sullivan said. “It wasn’t like we were under siege or anything? We just gave up some untimely goals. You know, I thought the power plays had some opportunities to get going early in the game. We didn’t execute.”

No, those power plays didn’t execute. Or even get shots. The hockey gods added insult when the Penguins did appear to score a power-play goal in the second period, only to have it revoked due to high-sticking the puck.

While Crosby was more defiant, Sullivan was deflated. Perhaps the pauses and body language were more important than the words on Wednesday.