The way Mike Sullivan operates as head coach of the Penguins, at least for the short-term with the Penguins battling for a playoff spot, is with his eye only on getting points. As those close to the situation say, he doesn’t give a damn about the politics.
He could care less that Ian Cole was just given a three year contract this past summer and is sitting in the press box with a $2.1 million cap hit, or that management is disappointed, some say furious, with his handling of Sergei Plotnikov in putting Plotnikov in exile by coming to the decision early into his coaching tenure that Plotnikov was not an NHL caliber player and would not be part of his lineup under any circumstances.
“Sully is in complete control of lineup decisions,” as one team source said.
Sullivan has dictated who comes up and who plays on a game-by-game basis, getting his way with every decision, the latest being the Penguins callup of Matt Murray to dress today vs the Buffalo Sabres.
However, here’s where things get interesting.
Sources say Sullivan is pushing [hide] hard for Matthew Murray to stay with the NHL club for the rest of the regular season, getting around six starts, but it’s a decision management is not on board with, at least not yet.
As of this evening no firm decision has been and it’s one reason why the Penguins did not place Jeff Zatkoff on waivers today.
Sullivan has won every lineup battle to this point, we’ll see where this one goes. Some among the management group are going to be a bit more contentious in keeping Murray up with the big club.
SULLIVAN ON COLE
Ian Cole played for the first time in 12 games, playing 13:48, including 1:36 on the PK.
“I thought Ian was solid,” Sullivan said. “He kept his game simple. I think he’s good on the penalty kill. He’s a good shot blocker. He was solid down low. I thought he brought a lot to the table for us.”[/hide]