The Pittsburgh Penguins have dropped four straight games and Mike Johnston has seen enough.
Following the Penguins 3-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils Monday, the Penguins rookie head coach called out his team.
“We need a response,” Johnston said per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We need to squeeze more out of each individual. We probably got a good response from half of our group. We didn’t get a good response from the rest of them. We need to squeeze more out of guys. There’s more to give. We needed more guys pulling on the rope. We didn’t have enough.”
Pittsburgh opened the scoring on captain Sidney Crosby’s 11th of the season; however, it was all New Jersey after that.
Travis Zajac and Jaromir Jagr gave the Devils a 2-1 lead after two periods. Adam Henrique’s 10th of the season at 5:32 of the third stood to be the insurance marker.
Due to injury and illness the Penguins had eight players in their lineup Monday, who started the season in the American Hockey League. Despite dressing a young roster, Johnston expects more.
“When a guy comes up, the first two games, they’re on Cloud 9, playing with energy and adrenaline,” said Johnston. “But now, they’ve got to play heavy minutes against top guys. Some guys are responding well, and some guys aren’t.”
The Penguins will look to snap the skid Wednesday night when the Carolina Hurricanes visit Pittsburgh. The two teams have split the first two meetings this season with Carolina winning 4-2 in Pittsburgh on Nov. 28 and the Penguins edging the Canes 3-2 on Nov. 29 in Carolina.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Auston Matthews, who might be one of the top picks in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, is an inspiration both for those who think there’s a long-term future for hockey in Arizona and young players in the market as they have living proof that you can develop into a great hockey player while living in Arizona. (New York Times)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $18,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Tuesday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Capitals goalie coach Mitch Korn is willing to go to extreme lengths to avoid being wasteful:
Puck Daddy ran down its Top 10 saves of 2014. (Puck Daddy)
Travis Zajac is hoping that new New Jersey Devils co-coach Adam Oates can help him bounce back from a season-long slump. The 29-year-old center took a step in the right direction last night with a goal and an assist against Pittsburgh. (The Bergen Record)
Here are the highlights from Boston’s 5-2 victory over Detroit:
The Edmonton Oilers got plenty of support from fans during their skills competition despite the gloomy state of the team. (Edmonton Sun)
The ECHL Kalamazoo Wings will be wearing these fancy jerseys on New Years Eve:
Perhaps Devils GM Lou Lamoriello decided to give the team multiple quasi-head coaches because he’s worried about one of them spending time in the Devils’ sickbay.
New Jersey is unfortunately one of the hardest hit teams by the mumps outbreak. Forward Patrik Elias became the third Devils’ player to be diagnosed with the mumps on Friday after Travis Zajac and Adam Larsson. Today it was revealed that Michael Ryder has the disease as well, per the Bergen Record.
The illness has also spread to the Devils’ affiliate, the AHL Albany Devils, as 37-year-old goaltender Scott Clemmensen is battling the mumps.
The Devils will get back Dainius Zubrus (leg) and Jacob Josefson (groin) tonight though. Along with the anticipated recall of Tim Sestito, New Jersey will have 11 healthy forwards for their game against the New York Rangers.