PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Penguins coach Michel Therrien had the platform he wanted to get out his message to NHL officials and wasn’t going to waste it.
When asked if his team gets a boost from the Mellon Arena crowd, Therrien veered for the second time this week into a rant about how the referees were getting better, but still need to make more calls against the Detroit Red Wings for obstruction fouls.
“The last game was a little better, but there’s still place to improve,” said Therrien, whose Penguins trail Detroit 2-1 in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup final. “That’s the truth.
“It’s not something I’m preaching. We base our team on speed. If we’re allowed to use our speed, it’s going to have an effect. When you break down the game, you see there’s a few times they should have been called. The calls are important. You need those calls.”
There was more, and when it was over, the reporter said “I appreciate that answer,” but then asked his question again.
Therrien laughed and said: “I understand your question, but I wanted to make my point too.”
ANIMAL FARM: With a two-day break between Games 3 and 4, the Red Wings went to a country resort well out of town and spent the night away from Pittsburgh.
And what did the Wings’ Tomas Holmstrom do?
“Hang by the pool,” said Holmstrom. “And went around in a golf cart.
“It’s a beautiful area there. They had animals (he mentioned tigers and bears) and three golf courses. It was a beautiful day, out in the sun. I just hung with the guys.”
The Penguins got to spend the day at home. Sidney Crosby said he did “nothing exciting, trust me.
“I laid around. When you get a chance to relax, you’ve got to take it. I just spent a lot of time in bed.”
FOR THE GAME: Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said he would have preferred that his team fly back to Detroit after Game 3 on Wednesday night, but the league wanted his team around to feed the media machine.
The coach and four players met with the media Thursday morning before the team went off to their resort.
“They said it was the best thing for TV, so that’s what we did,” he said. “Our priority is to sell the game and the NHL.
“We’re all in this together – the media, the players and the management. The better job we do and the more attention we draw to the game the better. So this is one of the things we had to do. We just found something else to do while we were doing it.”