NHL standings matter, but Penguins, Sidney Crosby try to stick to their own business
Sidney Crosby went home from practice knowing he had the night off and there was some good hockey on TV, games that will impact the NHL standings and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ place in them.
But he didn’t plan to immerse himself in hockey at the expense of everything else. He does enough of that when his team is playing.
“I’ll probably follow the score,” he said. “But probably won’t sit there and watch the whole game. This time of year, everyone is keeping a close eye on everything.”
Crosby is following coach Mike Sullivan’s directive: control what you can control, and look up at the end to see where you stand.
After playing 14 games in 25 days and winning nine of them, the Penguins (42-24-11, 95 points) moved into a tie for second place in the Metropolitan Division with the New York Islanders, who played Tuesday night in Columbus.
The Penguins, who have won three in a row and have a three-day break without a game, were one point behind the first-place Washington Capitals, who hosted the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.
Home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs goes to the teams that finish first and second in their divisions.
“It’s been really tight all year long,” Crosby said. “The fact that we have a chance (to finish first) is great. We have to continue to play the same way.”
That way has been a single-minded effort to take care of personal business, Sullivan said.
“We can’t worry about what is going to happen down the road,” he said. “All we can control is what we do today, and it’s with an attitude. And, then, we build from there. Let’s just take care of today, and we’ll see where it takes us.
“I know we have quality people. As long as we stay in the moment, the opportunities in front of us are limitless, and that’s exciting from our standpoint.”
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .