Penguins hold closed door meeting after loss
The Pittsburgh Penguins played a less than inspired game, losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 Wednesday night at Mellon Arena. The Penguins failed to move three points ahead of the New Jersey Devils in the Atlantic division and fell to 3rd in the Eastern Conference.
Disappointment surrounded the Penguins locker room following the game, which included a closed door meeting between the Penguins staff and players immediately after the game.
Head coach Dan Bylsma called out his players readiness and a lack of accountability, leadership from his team who according to Bylsma were not mentally ready at the drop of the puck.
Addressing the Penguins lack of effort, Bylsma said “we’ve addressed it, ” and he indicated that he will continue to do so.
Bylsma is sending a message to his team by scheduling a practice at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow morning. The Penguins do not play again until Saturday afternoon and were originally scheduled to have a day off on Thursday due to the state championships.
Sidney Crosby and Brooks Orpik two of the prominent leaders on the team also expressed disappointment with the Penguins effort.
“Handful of guy’s I’ve never heard of…… outwork us in our building is concerning, ” Orpik said. Orpik who has become very focal of late, appeared most concerned with the Penguins focus and lack of work ethic, referencing the Penguins losing puck battles and getting out battled by a less inferior team.
Sidney Crosby made the same kind of statements, calling the Penguins effort not acceptable and made interesting comment about how everyone in the room needs to agree that the Penguins play was not “acceptable.”
“If everyone accepts that or is OK with the way things went, that’s not good, ” Crosby said.
“I don’t think anybody is. I don’t think anybody believes that we did things right or that we worked hard or that there was effort. I think we can all agree there wasn’t, and we know what we have to do here moving forward.”
The concern around the team has been that everyone is not on the same page which has led to inconsistent play and it’s just been concerning over the past three weeks that there are only a few select players in Orpik, Crosby, Billy Guerin who appear frustrated after these kind of nights.
*The Penguins opened up the game with a prime opportunity to jump out to an early lead after being awarded a 5 minute power play just 2:22 into the game as Matt Lashoff was penalized for boarding Ruslan Fedotenko. The Penguins failed to capitalize and were 0-for-4 on the power play.
*Pittsburgh outshot Tampa Bay 27-17. Marc Andre Fleury made 15 saves in the loss.
*Steven Stamkos showed why he’s one of the few elite goal scorers in the NHL after firing a one-timer past Marc Andre Fleury for a first period power play goal. Stamkos trails Sidney Crosby by one goal for the NHL goal lead.
*The Tampa Bay Lightning won the turnover battle as the Penguins had 11 giveaways compared to the Lightning’s 4. Pittsburgh did not play aggressive and had 0 takeaways.
*Defenseman Kris Letang led the Penguins with 26:46 of ice time. Letang had 2 shots on goal and was a minus-1.
*Billy Guerin looked to jumpstart the Penguins by fighting Lightning tough guy Zenon Konopka in the 2nd period.
*Pittsburgh opened the game with Michael Rupp on Jordan Staal’s wing as the Lightning had Steve Downie in the starting lineup.
*Defenseman Jay McKee appeared in his 800th game. McKee has 11:50 of ice time.
*Evgeni Malkin did not play due to a right foot injury. Malkin has now missed 7 of 8 games. Defenseman Sergei Gonchar was also held out of the lineup in what was believed to be a coaches decision.