PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) Pittsburgh Penguins Head Coach Mike Johnston joined the Cook and Poni Show after practice on Wednesday afternoon.
Johnston spoke with The Fan just minutes before the NHL discipline hearing with Defenseman Robert Bortuzuo for his hit last night that knocked Jaromir Jagr out of the game.READ MORE: PTL Links: Jan. 25, 2022
Johnston said that it was the first time he would ever be part of a hearing like this as a head coach at any level. He is not sure what to expect but he knows that he can’t afford to say too much about it to sway the decision.
“I don’t want to make any comments right now on it,” Johnston said.
Bortuzzo will get a chance to make his case at a hearing that will take place with the NHL today.
“They have a pretty good eyes for what is a good hit and what is not,” Johnston told the guys and he is fine with whatever decision they would make.
Johnston there was a lot going on back and forth between he and Jagr in the game last night.
“Anytime in a game where there is a physical player like Borts out there he is going to finish his checks on guys,” Johnston said. “Some guys are going to like it and some guys are not going to like it.”READ MORE: Pittsburgh Weather: Cold Temperatures On The Way
Johnston likes the way Bortuzzo has been playing saying that he is a big physical guy that can really keep people off balance.
“He is adding things at both sides of the ice which is nice to see,” Johnston said.
The Pens have been hit hard with the injury bug over the past few games but Johnston said he looks at this as an opportunity to see what they have with the depth of the forwards.
“On one hand you say we would like to have Bennett in right now and Kunitz in and Goc but at the same time we are getting to use some of our depth,” Johnston said. “We are going to see if these guys can play and what type of minutes they can play and what roles they can play.”
Listen to the full interview here: