PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Former Canucks forward, longtime NHLer, and current NBC NHL analyst Anson Carter joined “The Fan Morning Show” to talk about new Penguins head coach Mike Johnston.
Carter told the guys that Johnston, a former associate coach in Vancouver, runs a well-thought out system, but has the ability to modify it when he needs to.
“He likes to go,” Carter said. “He’s an up-tempo style of guy. He wants to always create offense. But at the same time, he’s such a brilliant hockey mind that he’s able to devise different tactics based on what style of team you have. I’m sure with Mike coming into Pittsburgh, he understands that he has the horses up front with Neal and Sid and Geno, but at the same time I think he’ll realize that he has to shore up his defensive responsibilities, because that’s one of the biggest downfalls of that team, in addition to Jim Rutherford having to acquire some more players and really get more depth from their bottom six, because I think that’s where Pittsburgh is really lacking, as well.”
Carter feels that the ability to make adjustments is crucial for the Penguins as they try to reverse their poor playoff fortunes.
“That was one of my biggest criticisms of Coach Bylsma, who I liked as a coach, but I didn’t think he made enough in-game adjustments,” Carter said. “But Mike is certainly that guy, he’s very aware of what’s going on on the ice, and he’s able to made those adjustments.”
Carter doesn’t think that Johnston coming from the junior ranks will impact how players react to him.
“When you get to the National Hockey League level, it doesn’t matter where you’ve coached before, as long as you’ve got ‘head coach’ over your mantle or on the marquee of your door,” Carter said. “Guys are going to respect you. I think the guys in Pittsburgh are professionals. They understand that, yes, this isn’t a guy like Scotty Bowman walking in the door with multiple Stanley Cups. However, he is a head coach. There’s a reason why the organization hired him. Therefore, we’re going to follow his lead.”
The interview can be heard here: