PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy joined “The Fan Morning Show” Tuesday to talk about their recent struggles and what awaits them when their first round series against the Rangers begins Thursday night.
Lovejoy admitted that the Pens are struggling, but he thinks they’re moving in the right direction.
“We have had a tough month,” Lovejoy said. “That’s no secret. But, we feel that, the last week, while we weren’t getting the results we wanted, we felt we were playing the right style…we showed up. We played the best style of hockey we can, that was a playoff-style game. We need to continue doing that going into this this week.”
Lovejoy is confident that the Pens can knock off the top-seeded Rangers.
“We do feel that we have a team capable of beating this Rangers team,” Lovejoy said. “The thing that they do so well is their speed. They’re able to capitalize on mistakes in the neutral zone, on turnovers to the neutral zone, and they really make teams pay with their team speed. What we’ve focused on – we haven’t necessarily had success with it, but we’ve been playing a smarter game. Our key to beating the Rangers is being smart through the neutral zone and not letting them get 3-on-2s, 4-on-2s, 2-on-1s, because that’s when a team like that can make you pay.”
Lovejoy says Mike Johnston “definitely” has the team right now and praised the Penguins’ head coach.
“Definitely,” Lovejoy said. “I think he’s maybe the smartest coach I’ve ever played for. He is constantly coming up with small little things he thinks will help us win. Obviously, we haven’t had success of late. We all know. Guys have been doing everything they can to get ready, to turn this around, and I think Mike has been a calming influence… I think guys are completely behind Mike.”
The interview can be heard here: