PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis joined “The Fan Morning Show” on Thursday to react to the team’s eventful offseason and the hiring of new head coach Mike Johnston.
Dupuis told the guys that the Pens won’t show Johnston any less respect because of the fact that his most recent job was as a juniors coach.
“You have to respect the staff’s decisions to bring Mike Johnston into that position,” Dupuis said. “As a player, all you can do is trust the system and know that this guy has been winning.”
Dupuis agrees with Johnston’s emphasis on preparing the team for the postseason, but says that you can’t lose sight of what it takes to get there.
“At the end of the day, you’re winning games to get ready to go far in the playoffs – to find your game, to know what each other can do, to trust each other, to find that trust,” Dupuis said. “That’s the main goal, yes, but we’re not going to throw games just to throw games, because each two points are huge at the end of the season when we’re talking about rankings. But, if it’s played the right way, and if everybody pulls their own weight, I think the season, yes, prepares you for the playoffs.”
As for Sidney Crosby’s struggles in the playoffs during Dupuis’ absence, he said that teams put extra focus on Crosby, which limited his ability to perform.
“The playoffs – they’re tight games,” Dupuis said. “And when you’re the best player in the game, I think you have two, three, four, five guys that keep an eye on you every time you’re on the ice. So, the playoffs are hard to perform [in].”
When asked if he thinks there was anything wrong with Crosby, such as an injury or a personal issue, Dupuis told the guys that he didn’t notice one.
“That’s what I saw, anyway,” Dupuis said.
The interview can be heard here: