Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Crosby Dealing with Changes He Knew Some Were Likely after Another Early Playoff Exit, but He Didn't Expect So Many

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Crosby Dealing with Changes He Knew Some Were Likely after Another Early Playoff Exit, but He Didn't Expect So Many

Article excerpt

He is not, Sidney Crosby admits, particularly fond of change.

He prefers things to be stable and familiar and predictable.

But he also understands that failure and disappointment have a price. And that sometimes, it can be steep.

While Crosby didn't necessarily anticipate an offseason quite as chaotic as the one the Penguins experienced this summer -- when general manager Ray Shero, coach Dan Bylsma and assistant coaches Tony Granato and Todd Reirden were fired and a number of established players left the organization -- he figured a fifth consecutive playoff loss to a lower-seeded opponent might have major repercussions.

"I knew, obviously, everyone wasn't pleased with the way things happened," Crosby said after an informal workout Wednesday at Consol Energy Center. "At that point, you don't know what's going to happen and you know there are going to be changes, but to what extent, I didn't really even think about it.

"I knew everyone was going to have to answer for it, so to speak. It's just something you have to deal with when you don't win, and the expectation is [high]. It's never a fun time."

Bylsma has been replaced by Mike Johnston, who will be Crosby's fourth coach in the NHL. He broke in under Eddie Olczyk before playing for Michel Therrien and Bylsma.

His relationship with Johnston is in its embryonic stages, but Crosby seems impressed by the way Johnston has approached his first few months on the job, citing the new coach's "calm demeanor" and the way he has tried to connect with his new players in the offseason.

"We've met a couple of times," Crosby said. "I think he just wants to get to know all the guys as much as he can.

"Hockey is all the same language once you get on the ice, but I think he wants to get to know guys personally. It was great by him to do that."

How Johnston will mesh with his personnel, including Crosby, on a professional level remains to be seen. It also is impossible to predict the exact impact newcomers such as defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, forwards Patric Hornqvist, Steve Downie, Blake Comeau and Nick Spaling, and goalie Thomas Greiss will have in the 2014-15 season.

Crosby said he expects all to make meaningful contributions "in their own way," but pointed to Hornqvist as one who might prove to be an especially valuable addition. …

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