The Penguins had their last media session of the season.
Brian Dumoulin missed the last two weeks of the regular season and wasn’t great in the playoffs, though he still did play 21 minutes a game in a first pair role. Turns out there was a good reason he wasn’t all that comfortable on the ice - he had a major knee injury.
Brian Dumoulin was playing with a torn PCL and trying to get used to playing with a knee brace in the playoffs.— Shelly Anderson (@_ShellyAnderson) April 18, 2019
Jake Guentzel was pretty quiet in the playoffs too, only scoring one goal in the four games after a 40-goal regular season. Also had a significant injury. Jared McCann (missed Game 2) had a bum shoulder.
Dumoulin (PCL), Guentzel (ribs) and McCann (shoulder) all played with significant injuries in playoffs #Pens -SK— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) April 18, 2019
Phil Kessel, like us all was disappointed with how things turned out and pointed out that things could have been different but now the team needs to regroup.
Kessel: “People look at it and we got swept. It wasn’t good enough. But winning and losing in hockey is close. If we win the overtime (in Game1) who knows how the series goes.” -SK— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) April 18, 2019
The NHL’s oldest player Matt Cullen wouldn’t confirm retirement is imminent, but it seems that is the way he’s leaning. Then again, for many years he always seems to favor not coming back and always comes back, so we’ll see. Either way, probably time for the Pens to move forward for 2019-20 without Cullen in a playing role.
Cullen, who hasn't made a retirement decision: "I couldn't ask for a better group of guys or a better organization to be around for me and my family... It's a young man's game, a fast game, if you can skate. It's so fun to watch. I love where the game's at right now."— Angie (@acarducci) April 18, 2019
Bryan Rust acknowledged he wasn’t 100% from a high ankle sprain but remained fairly defiant, calling the team’s post-season more self-inflicted than last year and adding:
Rust on the idea that this Penguins era is over: I think they were saying the same things five years ago— Jonathan Bombulie (@BombulieTrib) April 18, 2019
Zach Aston-Reese sounds ready to improve, after he too was way too quiet and unnoticeable after returning from an injury.
Zach Aston-Reese says he's looking to add "a hop in my step" this summer and that's a lesson he took from facing the Islanders.— Angie (@acarducci) April 18, 2019
Speaking of too quiet, Patric Hornqvist barely scored this season after suffering two concussions, yet the winger was not blaming his health and instead just a slump.
Hornqvist: “I didn’t play well and had a slump for a long time. It’s hard to get out of those ... I learned a lot from this season. Didn’t have the result for the team or myself. Regroup and go.” -SK— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) April 18, 2019
Patric Hornqvist on if he’s worried that his numbers dropped off dramatically after his concussion:— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) April 18, 2019
“No, I’m not. I just didn’t play well.”
Said he feels no different after concussion.
Erik Gudbranson acknowledged what was pretty obvious, getting out of Vancouver and a fresh start with a better team ended up helping him and his confidence immensely.
Gudbranson: Trade to Penguins gave him confidence, encouraged him to simplify his game— Jonathan Bombulie (@BombulieTrib) April 18, 2019
Sidney Crosby will not be going to Slovakia next month for the IIHF World Championships.
Crosby said he isn’t going to Worlds and make the most of the rest. “As you got older there are things that nag you. I’m trying to take care of those.” -SK— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) April 18, 2019
Sidney Crosby on what the Penguins can take from this season. pic.twitter.com/SmazU35SmM— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) April 18, 2019
Crosby: It's disappointing; it's been a while since we've had this much time to digest. Going to be a long summer to look back and think about this one but, at some point, you have to move on and think about the next one. So that's what I'm going to do.— Angie (@acarducci) April 18, 2019
And while you would never expect Sidney Crosby to say anything critical of his front office, it’s clear he knows management needs to make changes to this team to improve it.
Crosby on roster changes: I wouldn't say I'm braced for anything. I understand that when you lose, changes are made. That's always a possibility. As players you have to evaluate your own game and figure out what you can do better, and it's up to management to evaluate [the rest].— Angie (@acarducci) April 18, 2019
Coach Mike Sullivan and GM Jim Rutherford are expected to speak in an hour or so.