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