Assistant coach Gary Agnew gives his three impressions from the bench of the Penguins’ 2-0 loss against the Boston Bruins.
1. I thought (Thomas) Greiss played a great game and gave us a chance. It was 1-0 throughout the game. Whether a power play of off the rush, he held us in and gave us a chance to get back into the game. Obviously we didn’t. He made some great saves and moved the puck well, and was really solid in there, which we needed him to be.
2. The loss of (Sidney) Crosby to start the game and (Evgeni) Malkin in the game hurt the power play and our offensive firepower.
3. Conversely, the work ethic was there all night. We did generate chances. We had some great opportunities, particularly early in the second period. We hit the post. Rask made a great save on a breakaway. We had another great chance in the third period with (Chris) Kunitz driving to the net. We’ll take it and run and get ready for the next game in 24 hours.
Sam Kasan gives his three impressions from the press box.
1. Opening Fiasco
There was a lot of confusion among media when captain Sidney Crosby did not come out of the locker room for the start of game even though he’d taken warmups and was listed on the team’s official game roster. Pittsburgh opened the game down one man. Then 90 seconds into the first period center Evgeni Malkin went down with an injury and had to leave the game. Luckily, Malkin returned a few minutes later to finish the period but didn’t return for the final 40 minutes of the game. While official word on Crosby was that after warmups he wasn’t feeling well. Since the team already submitted the lineup card, they followed procedure of Rule 7.1 to switch Crosby out and add Adams. The referees approved the move. But was it a wild and discombobulated period.
2. Stepping In
With two centers out of the lineup, the Pens needed to get creative with their line combinations. Nick Spaling and Daniel Winnik showed their versatility by moving from wing to center in Crosby’s vacancy between David Perron and Patric Hornqvist. The trio was the best line for the team, creating chances and wreaking havoc. Perron hit a post and all three had glorious chances, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Meanwhile, Adams had to play the game without the benefit of a warmup or his pre-game routine.
3. Post-Whistle Disturbances
The Pens’ net-front presence has been impeccable the last few weeks. But you know they’re really getting under the opponents’ skin when there are multiple post-whistle scrums. Perron and Hornqvist were public enemies No. 1 and No. 2. On every cover, they gave an extra love tap to Tuukka Rask for good measure, drawing the ire of the Bruins. They certainly made their presence known and it wasn’t well received by Boston.CROSBY AND MALKIN UPDATES:
Head coach Mike Johnston gave an update on both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin following the game.
"With Sid, I was walking out to the bench for the start of the game and I was told Sid was seeing the doctors, wasn't feeling well after warmup," Johnston said. "I said well, let me know by the time the anthem is over if there is a chance he's going to play, because if there is a situation where may not be able to play, they're going to keep him out for the game, I wanted to try and make a lineup change. So that's why we went ahead and did what we did.
"With Geno, I saw the hit in the game and then he tried to come back after that and just couldn't come back."
When Johnston was asked to clarify whether Crosby was dealing with an injury or an illness, he replied, "It's just he wasn't feeling well. That's the best way to describe it. So I would say it's not an injury, he didn't get himself injured in the warmup. He just wasn't feeling well. He went to see the doctors. I thought he was great at our meeting, seemed to be fine, but somewhere between then and the end of warmup when he came into the dressing room, he went in to see the trainers and they said to go see the doctor. From there, a decision was made that hey, we're just going to keep him out."
Johnston did not rule out either player for Sunday's game against Detroit at 12:30 p.m., which is a change from the original 7:30 p.m. start time.
"With these things, it's so quick after the game," he said. "For me, once it happened right away, I briefly saw our guys and that's it. They're both in the trainers' room, so we'll get a better evaluation shortly as to whether we think they might be able to play tomorrow or not."