The ‘E’ word came up a time or two tonight, too, though there were lots of other thoughts to go with that.
“To me it was one of those nights that’s frustrating,” Brent Thompson said.
He also talked about passion along the way, particularly in the second period. The Penguins outshot Bridgeport 11-5 in that period after grabbing a quick lead, where Bridgeport suffered a questionable icing about a minute into the shift, leaving four out of five skaters on for 1:50. On that goal, Bridgeport thought Jake Guentzel’s deflection might’ve come with a high stick. But like Scott Mayfield said, you’ve got to play through those bounces. It didn’t come.
“Two or three again come back to sloppy puck plays,” Thompson said. “It’s important we manage the puck well. I don’t think effort was the issue.”
Mayfield’s turnover to Tom Kostopoulos ended up in the back of the net 1:02 into the game as the puck rolled off his stick.
“It definitely happens,” Mayfield said, “but I’ve played enough games in this league that I can’t be doing that.”
It was 2-0 on a rebound, three Penguins shots in. It’s 2-1, and then Loic Leduc makes a nice play to break up an odd-man rush, but the puck never leaves the zone, 3-1. Leduc gets called for an extra hold on a fight, off the draw: 4-1.
It was already one of those nights. Throw in a penalty shot and a puck that sneaks through at the end of a power play, and it looks even worse in the agate.
“Everyone has to be better,” Thompson said, and repeated it with an intensifier. “Everyone’s got to look in the mirror, ‘what could I have done better.’ We’ll put our nose to the grindstone.”
That’ll be Monday.
Adam Pelech didn’t play the third period, sitting next to Christopher Gibson and opening and closing the door for his defense pals. That seems a clear reaction to the Islanders’, playing the six defensemen they have, apparently losing Travis Hamonic tonight. Thompson declined to comment on Pelech’s sitting, but that seemed pretty clear.
Thompson said he went to Gibson for the second just hoping to give the team a jolt. When it didn’t so much, he went back to Stephon Williams for the third, which reminded me of this crazy one in Worcester, when he pulled Kevin Poulin and said he planned to put Poulin back in for the third period. Plans changed when Anders Nilsson sprained his ankle. (And though, as the blog said, they seemed optimistic that it wasn’t a bad sprain, that was the last Nilsson played that season.)
When Thompson said they had to take the positives out of tonight and move on, he mentioned the incoming defensemen, Patrick Cullity and Leduc, as among those positives. Cullity made a diving play to prevent a goal in the third. Leduc came into tonight with 23 shots in 22 AHL games; he led the team with five tonight.
The Penguins haven’t given up three goals in a game yet this season. Seth Lakso pointed out that they’ve allowed one and only one goal in regulation time in eight games in a row, which is both awesome and freakish.
Joe Whitney finally scored his first goal of the year, in his 10th game with San Antonio. Liked it so much he scored again.
By email tonight, Norfolk announced former New Haven Nighthawks exec Mike Santos as its new team president. The Admirals were sold recently.
And at least Missouri had a night: hat trick for Lukas Lofquist in a 10-3 win over Tulsa. First pro goal for Kyle Schempp. Three assists for Jesse Graham, who came into the day 1-3-4 in eight games. The Mavericks are 3-5-0-1.