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Insider Only Post-Game Reactions: Johnston on Farnham being a presence, Bennett, & key breakout options

POST-GAME REACTIONS
1. Winger Bobby Farnham was strong on the forecheck and provided a physical presence and edge on the ice tonight. Farnham has a lot of agitator qualities about him and he was in the Red Wings face all night. Farnham led all Penguins forwards with 4 hits in just 11 shifts and drew a penalty. He caught the eye of his head coach tonight.
“I thought Farnham had a lot of energy on the forecheck,” Johnston said. “Created some loose pucks.”
Farnham had 7 goals and 14 points in 64 games last season for Wilkes Barre to go with 166 penalty minutes. He had 274 penalty minutes in 12-13.
Farnham never worked his way up to the NHL club last season despite a slew of injuries but it won’t be a surprise if he’s more valued by this coaching staff. A typical Rick Tocchet type player.

2. Beau Bennett was most dangerous Penguins offensive player in the lineup tonight with a goal in the first period and just barely missed netting his second of the night with a great opportunity in the slot in the third period.
“Beau carried the puck, had poise with the puck,” Johnston said of Bennett.

3. The Penguins ability to break the puck up and gain the zone with possession is critical for Johnston’s system to work. A key is having options in the middle of the ice.
“I thought our retrieval was pretty good in our zone,” Johnston said.

On the two key elements on the breakout, Johnston said the defensemen have two options.
“First, one they {defenseman} have a wide option when breaking out behind the net or a short reverse option,” Johnston said. — “Most importantly center in middle of the ice and backside D activating to give {us} options through the middle {of ice}. We have to try to use the middle of the ice,” Johnston said. — “Two people in center of ice for us, center and back side D.”
Johnston believes teams primarily look to take away the boards which is why he puts such a strong focus on having two primary options in the middle of the ice, center and weak side activating defenseman.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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