No, Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry did not address the reported chirp he threw out at Boston’s Brad Marchand earlier this month that led to Marchand losing his cool and taking actions against Jarry that earned the Bruins’ bad boy a six-game suspension.
Jarry spoke with reporters after practice Saturday at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. While he did have an interesting answer about already playing in a career-high 40 games this season (more on that in a bit), he did not confirm or explain what he apparently said to Marchand. It should be noted that he was not asked directly about it.
That chirp, in case you somehow missed it, was, “How about that f—— save?”
That is what Marchand reported that Jarry said to set him off, according to a lengthy report in a ruling from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in upholding the length of the suspension.
Marchand, late in that game, punched Jarry in the side of the head after play had stopped and, while being escorted off the ice by an official, twisted loose enough to jab Jarry in the head with his stick blade.
Once Jarry’s reported chirp became public, it went fairly viral. There are even T-shirts being printed and sold with the phrase.
Jarry isn’t known for being very outspoken or animated in public, so hearing of such a chirp is all the more interesting.
In his short session with reporters Saturday, Jarry did offer a comprehensive thought about his workload this season. He has appeared in 40 games, a new career high, and it will be 41 if he starts Sunday when the Carolina Hurricanes visit PPG Paints Arena.
While there has been some concern that Jarry could be burned out for the playoffs at this pace — “We’re very conscious of managing his workload,” coach Sullivan said — he welcomes the workload.
“It’s exciting to play all those games, and I’m excited to be a part of them,” he said. “I think that’s the way I take it – the excitement of getting back in the net and being able to showcase myself in another game.
“I think it’s something that I’ve worked for, and it’s something that I want to have success doing, so I think that it’s fun when I get in the net, and every night there’s something to show.”
Admitting that he relishes the chance to showcase himself is about as forthcoming as Jarry usually gets in talking about himself in public.
But we now have evidence he can get as animated verbally as anyone else on the ice.
Short Penguins practice
Even after being forced into a day away from practice Friday because the team got snowed in following a 4-1 loss Thursday at Toronto and flew home Friday, the practice Saturday was essentially just a full-participation “morning skate” before the Penguins host the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon.
The game against Carolina is a showdown for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Each team has 70 points, although the Hurricanes have three games in hand.
Thanks to COVID-19 changes in scheduling, the Penguins have not faced Carolina since March 8, 2020, a 6-2 Hurricanes win in Pittsburgh, or as Sullivan termed it, “an eternity.” It was the teams’ final game before the pandemic shut down the NHL that season.
“A lot has changed, but I’ll tell you what hasn’t changed – the Carolina Hurricanes are a really good hockey team,” Sullivan said.
The Penguins had won four straight before a letdown sort of game Thursday at Toronto, something that might be attributed to an emotional hangover after the stirring celebrations of Sidney Crosby’s 500th career goal the game before.
If the Penguins are intent on continuing to shuffle their lines – they recently revamped the middle two lines – they did not reveal it during practice. The combos were the same as they were for the game Thursday in Toronto:
Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust
Danton Heinen-Evgeni Malkin-Jeff Carter
Brock McGinn-Evan Rodrigues-Kasperi Kapanen
Zach Aston-Reese—Brian Boyle-Dominik Simon
Brian Dumoulin-Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson-John Marino
Mike Matheson-Chad Ruhwedel