Steve Downie can be a controversial player, but that doesn’t seem to be the case within the Penguins’ locker room. Since joining the team on a one-year contract, he has a minus-one rating and 15 penalty minutes in four games, with 13 of those minutes coming on Saturday.
He put the Penguins in a position where they had to kill penalties on his behalf in that game against the New York Islanders, but he’s also stood up for his teammates like he said he would and that’s a trade-off Pittsburgh seems happy to make.
“‘Downs’ is an energy player,” Penguins coach Mike Johnston told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I think his discipline has been outstanding. Sometimes you get a borderline call that goes against you. I think ‘Downs’ has been great. His discipline has been spot on.
“If he gets the odd penalty because he’s being physical, we’ll kill those ones off.”
He’s got along with his teammates too, or as Brandon Sutter put it, Downie is “absolutely awesome” and “the classic case of the guy who you really don’t like playing against,” but love when he’s playing with you.
Although he doesn’t have a point yet this season, Downie has also traditionally been able to chip in a bit offensively. However, he was limited to just 64 contests over the previous two campaigns due to a variety of injuries.