The Pittsburgh Penguins know they need to handle their interactions with the on-ice officials a bit better, especially going into the playoffs. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
“They think we’re always all over the referees,”, said Penguins defenseman Kris Letang. “We need to get better at that. Even better than what we did this year. We have to control what we can control and not worry about those things.”
Coach Mike Johnston said he has, at times this year, seen his team react in ways he doesn’t like.
In his estimation it is the coaching staff and designated team leaders that should speak with officials. But no one else.
“The other players shouldn’t be dealing with officials at all. So it’s mainly [through] the leadership group and the coaches how you deal with the officials. It has an impact as you move forward, for sure. The referees talk to each other. You don’t want to have the reputation of being the team that complains, that whines, that does those types of things. I don’t believe that we have, but I’ve seen some signs during the course of the year that I don’t like and we have to address them as they come up.”
Letang was asked whether he feels the referees think of the Penguins as complainers.
“Yeah, yeah. Oh definitely. For years. And we’re not afraid of saying it. We’ve been all over the referees, yelling and complaining,” said Letang. “I think we’ve made strides this year but I think it’s not perfect yet and for sure the referee thinks the same thing. At the end of the day, I don’t think it should matter in a game.”
Coach Mike Johnston acknowledged that their interactions with the on-ice officials need to improve.
“You want to make sure that you’re dealing with [the referees and linesmen] in the right way. There’s a way to deal with them and a way not to deal with them and [Sunday] was the wrong way for sure.”
Read the full story via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette