Earlier this week there was some question behind what Michel Therrien meant when he said, "It's Sid's team" during a press conference. The question of course was later disproved by a clarification that MT in fact stated through a thick, mumbling French accent, "We'll see next game." For most Pens fans this posed as a relief, knowing that Coach Therrien had not given up on his team (yet).
And so that brings us to the press conference following the Lightning game. Maybe there is some unresolved tension in the locker room. Perhaps there is an absence of camaraderie. Why do I think this? See for yourself after the jump.
Troubling remarks, eh?
"We don't have the right attitude. They like to complain about each other on the bench, on the ice, and they better wake up. They better wake up - pretty quick."
Ouch. Nothing that can possibly be misconstrued there. Accent or not, that is clear as day.
Can't say he's not telling it like it is in terms of waking up, but what of this complaining nonsense?
I hate to say it, but I can't help but think it's fueled by Sid's whining. Does this make me less a fan to say this? No, not at all. I think it makes me more of one in fact because I'm not allowing black and gold glasses to dictate my allegations.
Perhaps recent evidence has led me to this conclusion.
Remember when the overtime goal was under review during the Buffalo game? As headset to headset talks progresses, Sid thought it fitting to skate over to the bench and explain where the puck went off his stick. He even showed the ref in what I can only imagine was accentuated with comments like, "It hit here. Right here. Right here, yeah."
The goal judge gave Sid a, "Who do you think you are" glance and more or less told him, "We got this one, thanks."
Stay on the bench, stay with your teammates and wait for the War Room to make the call. Last I checked you and every other player on the ice has no power whatsoever in providing a final call on a questionable play.
With that said, do you think other players on the bench were saying things like, "Here he goes again?" Maybe little comments like, "Oh, now it'll be a goal,"
In the past Michel Therrien has used the media to spark the team. It's a strategy used by many coaches (see also: Lindy Ruff, Buffalo) and it often leads to immediate results. So if Therrien is saying players are complaining about one another, maybe they really aren't in the long run. Maybe he's just trying to make them think there are complaints int he locker room. But as far as coaching strategies go, I don't think insinuating that there is talk behind players' backs is the best of ways to motivate a team, so I'm going to rule that out.
This could very well be the turning point of the season if Pittsburgh is willing to accept it. Or in Michel Therrien's words, "Wake up."