PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Coming off the teams 3-0 victory over the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, Penguins Head Coach Mike Johnston joined the Starkey and Mueller Show to talk about installing his new system and what he has seen from his team.

“We’re trying to put it together in pieces so that the guys are clear on exactly what needs to be done,” Johnston said. “And then we’ll add to that as we go along, but it’s a work in progress.”

In light of the win against the L.A. Kings on Thursday, Johnston was happy with the aggression the team showed.

Johnston commented on Evgeni Malkin’s altercation with Kings forward Justin Williams.

“When he was in a situation where there’s a physical battle, he responded in the right way,” Johnston said. “He responded with emotion but he also took action.”

Johnston also discussed the play of Marc-Andre Fluery Thursday night.  The Pens goalie registered his 30th career shutout.

“He just seems to be in a real rhythm. When he’s on his game like [Thursday] night, you’re going to have to have a good shot to score on him,” Johnston said.

One bump in the road Johnston has had to deal with is the large leads his team has blown at times this year.  Johnston told Starkey and Mueller what his plan is over the course of the season to prevent it from happening again.

“You have to look at what did we do and what didn’t we do and start to correct them,” he said.

Off the ice, Johnston has had to deal with the somber news that defenseman Olli Maatta will be undergoing surgery to remove a tumor on his thyroid.  Johnston talked about what it has been like watching the young defenseman continue to play while dealing with this.

“It’s just great to see how he’s kept that positive attitude,” Johnson said. “I’m sure it’s going to be very helpful during the healing process over the next few weeks.”

Maatta will play with the Penguins at their next home game at Consol Energy Center on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. before taking medical leave for thyroid surgery.

Click the link below to hear the full interview:


(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

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