On Friday, the Penguins fell 2-0 to the Canadiens, sending them packing from the 2020 NHL Playoff qualifying round in four games.
Penguins GM Jim Rutherford spoke this afternoon about a variety of topics.
Rutherford opened stating that the team had a good regular season and dealt with adversity, but mentioned that he needs to review what happened at the end of the last two seasons.
The first two games against Montreal we played well and probably deserved to win Game One, but we didn't. And I'm concerned, because when things don't go our way, we tend to fizzle out. Based on that, I'm looking at everything now.— Josh Getzoff (@PensJG) August 11, 2020
Rutherford specifically mentioned that he is concerned that when things don’t go the way of the Penguins, as was the case in Game 1 of the series, things “tend to fizzle out” for the team.
Rutherford spoke about goaltending but did not want to point fingers.
It's going to be difficult to keep both Jarry and Murray. My assessment of our goaltending in the playoffs was our goalies were good. I can't point the fingers at our goalies. The problem was the goalie at the other end was great, and that makes a difference. #Pens— Josh Getzoff (@PensJG) August 11, 2020
Rutherford called out the third pairing of Jack Johnson and Justin Schultz for their play at one point.
Justin Schultz and Jack Johnson could've certainly been better. I know everybody picks on Jack, but I think in that pairing, Justin Schultz had a lot more to give. It wasn't there. #Pens— Josh Getzoff (@PensJG) August 11, 2020
Despite mentioning that changes needing to be made, Rutherford said he does not want to actively pursue breaking up the Penguins core.
Rutherford said there are a number of things that need to change: "Different ideas. Different approach. Younger, determined players. ... Fixing the power play. ... It's so frustrating to watch us go time and time again and not get good scoring chances." #Pens— Wes Crosby (@OtherNHLCrosby) August 11, 2020
When asked directly about Letang and Malkin's future: I plan to move forward with the core. These are good players. I will not be actively trying to trade our core players. #Pens— Josh Getzoff (@PensJG) August 11, 2020
Knowing that Rutherford wants and feels a need to make changes, but does not actively want to mess with the Penguins core, it will be interesting to see what happens for the Penguins this coming offseason.