Sidney Crosby: I still believe in this Penguins group — but expect changes, too
The Pittsburgh Penguins captain spoke Thursday about an hour before the coach and general manager did on the day of the final gathering of the 2018-19 edition of the team.
Ultimately, as powerful as Sidney Crosby is within the organization, he won’t be making the decisions on where the Penguins go from here. But Crosby did say he still believes in the team as presently constructed.
“I do,” Crosby said from the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex locker room. “It’s always easy to point fingers and look at reasons why you lost. That’s kind of the nature when you lose, but it’s a pretty fine line. That’s what I’ve learned over the years and you know, even in this series we just played. It’s pretty small the difference between winning and losing.
“You’ve got to find a way to overcome that and be on the winning side of it, but I definitely have confidence in the group of guys we have.”
Swept in the first round of the playoffs by the New York Islanders, the Penguins have lost two of three playoff series since claiming the Stanley Cup in consecutive summers 2016 and 2017. The Penguins averaged 107 ½ points during those two regular seasons; they’ve tallied exactly 100 during each of the past two.
Still, as the core ages and those two most recent Cups move farther back in the proverbial rearview mirror, many expect fundamental changes to the composition of the roster.
“I understand that’s part of it,” Crosby said. “When you lose there’s changes made. There has been a lot of change as far as the roster is concerned. That’s just been the way it is regardless of when you lose in the first round or you win in the finals, there’s always change.
“You get used to that but I don’t know to what extent, but that’s always a possibility especially when you get swept in the first round.”
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .