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Sullivan Short, Not Sweet in Postgame Comments

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Mike Sullivan Pittsburgh Penguins

Normally, you can count on Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan to offer some lengthy, hockey-drenched, thoughtful answers to reporters’ questions following a game.

Not Thursday.

Sullivan was in no mood. Or at least a less than pleasant mood after the Penguins gave up three goals in the first period and got shut out by the San Jose Sharks 4-0 at PPG Paints Arena.

In particular, Sullivan didn’t want any part of addressing what happened with 4:36 left in regulation, when there were a series of scrums in front of the benches, resulting in two 10-minute misconducts and a fighting major penalty to each club. Sullivan also got ejected from the game at that point.

He gave a booming “No” twice when asked if he had any comment on that series of events.

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Sullivan only answered a few other questions. Here are his responses:

On falling behind 3-0: “We just didn’t have a good start. We give up two (power-play) goals right away. We take a penalty a minute into the game and it snowballed from there. We gave them three fairly easy goals. It’s hard to overcome that.”

On his team perhaps lacking a shooter’s mentality and overpassing despite an emphasis on shooting: “I think the message is getting through. I think we’re trying to shoot.”

(PHN note: A lot of fans, as well as reporters and broadcasters, might disagree.)

On taking Phil Kessel and Patric Hornqvist off the top power-play unit in favor of Jake Guentzel and Justin Schultz at the start of the third period, and whether those changes might stick: “I don’t know. I haven’t had a chance to digest the game at this point. We’ll talk as a group of coaches. We’ll talk tomorrow and make decisions.”

On his team being resilient: “It’s essential to have success in this league. It’s hard to win. You’re going to have nights where it goes your way, and you’re going to have nights like tonight.”

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Shelly is the newest columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Zane Gearhart

    February 21, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    Heres hoping the PP1 changes stick

  2. Skippy

    February 21, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    This team has nothing. No push back. Call it what it is and dont let the old GM further damage this team. It’s ok not to be a Cup contender every year,

  3. John

    February 21, 2019 at 11:43 pm

    The Sharks that’s what a Cup contender looks like. Sharks 4 PENS 0. I would entertain offers for Kessel and or Letang. I’d think about trading Letang at his highest value. You know he’s going to take stupid penalties in the playoffs and give up some goals. Nearing 32, a leopard isn’t going to change its spots. Plus some contract relief. Pens could have traded for Kane 2 or 3 different times but did not. He would look great in a PGH uniform. I think Kessel is great. He just collected 800 career points but often disappears at times. GMJR has shuffled the deck 3 or 4 times this year. I would think PGH 2019 Cup chances at 20%.

    • Urmomsluver (@urmomsluver)

      February 22, 2019 at 1:56 am

      Trade Letang? The best defensman the Penguins have ever known? Are you out of your mind or just no hockey knowledge? Kessel I can possibly agree with, but who is going to take a cheeseburger and hotdog eating forward that is expensive and lazy and is on a downslide. Cmon man get serious.

  4. Victor Lopez

    February 22, 2019 at 12:24 am

    My say : lived in pittsburgh in 1992 and 1993 (when Jagr was with the Team- personally met him as he was always at the chauncey’s nightclub / station square during weekends . The Penguins were magically with the combo of mario + jagr (just like Mj and Scottie)…..move the tape forward : Sidney winning the cup lately ( the secret was Marc Fluery)…after he left for the Knights…all down hill…my suggestion ( hope Mario reads this Blog) : bring “JAGR” back ( the magic) and trade big for Fluery or Johnathan Quick ….penguins need a GOALIE !!!! In hockey its not about scoring ( its about GIVING up GOALS and trying to catch up)…..I live in California now …but was @ this Pittsburgh/sharks game tonight….horrible experience…Mario offer a contract to JAGR !!!

  5. Victor Lopez

    February 22, 2019 at 12:29 am

    My say : lived in pittsburgh in 1992 and 1993 (when Jagr was with the Team- personally met him as he was always at the chauncey’s nightclub / station square during weekends . The Penguins were magically with the combo of mario + jagr (just like Mj and Scottie)…..move the tape forward : Sidney winning the cup lately ( the secret was Marc Fluery)…after he left for the Knights…all down hill…my suggestion ( hope Mario reads this Blog) : bring “JAGR” back ( the magic) and trade big for Fluery or Johnathan Quick ….penguins need a GOALIE !!!!….was @ the Sharks game tonight ( as i was visiting pittsburgh) from california….Mario : Offer “JAGR” a contract and see the MAGIC RETURN Back ( his presence will provide NEW MOTIVATION.

  6. Matt Luda

    February 22, 2019 at 1:31 am

    Feel bad for Sully. He deserves a team that plays with focus and effort on a regular basis. Haven’t see that for two seasons now. Can’t squeeze blood out of turnips.

  7. Keith Thomas

    February 22, 2019 at 9:14 am

    This team is way too complacent and I think some players are way too “secure in their positions and status on the roster of the Pittsburgh Penguins. More than anything, they lack consistency and drive as they play one good game followed by games where there is almost an attitude of indifference and a mail-it-in attitude. There is also a significant problem with on-ice execution and commitment to fundamental hockey principles. Is it any wonder that Sullivan is in a surly mood in post game press conferences. Game after game MS has attempted to get players to execute essential principles that appear to go completely ignored and disregarded. Much of it is with seasoned veterans! All teams have an expiration date. As much as I hate to say it, I believe that this team is in great need of an overhaul. Moving one or two central pieces may be what is necessary to bring new passion and commitment to what MS has been preaching since he arrived. It is a sad thing to see a team this much high end talent that is so apathetic and pathetically executes simple hockey fundamentals.

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