Guerin addresses Penguins' lack of consistency
The term "veteran" often appears before Penguins winger Bill Guerin's name. He owns it, and symbolically alludes to it as a badge of honor. Nearing a 13th NHL season with at least 20 goals, Guerin will play his 1,254th game tonight at Detroit - the site where June 12 he was the second Penguins player to lift the Stanley Cup. The goal for Guerin remains to lift the Cup again this June, but he has stressed to teammates that great opportunities to win a title don't come around all that often. For that reason, Guerin views these final 10 regular-season games as crucial for the Penguins to re-establish their identity heading into the postseason next month.
Q: "Consistency" is a word that has been used a lot by players in your dressing room and that was the case again (Saturday) after (losing to Carolina). What about the message - to play a more consistent brand of hockey - isn't connecting?
A: We know in our heads how to do it. It's a matter of putting that knowledge to use and doing it. We've been a little stubborn at times to get to our game. We feel at some times that simple is not good enough, but simple is what wins for us as talented as we are.
Q: You've played on a lot of good teams, some with great expectations like this one. What can you call upon that reminds you of this club's struggles with consistency?
A: Yeah, I've seen it a lot. Basically, every team can simplify at times. This is a good league with good players, and if you try to do too much you only hurt yourself. If you play your system together, you improve your chances. It's that simple. If we have guys going off on their own pages, it only hurts us. We've got to get guys on the same page.
Q: Doesn't that have to come from the players as individuals?
A: Yeah, absolutely. It goes to the guys in the room as teammates and as individuals. We really have to bear down and get that done. We have to. That's just when we're best. It's easy. We all know that. We just have to do it, not make it complicated. Play together, play right, and we'll be OK.
Q: It seems puzzling to people outside of this room that this club, which had so much success getting to its game under (head coach) Dan Bylsma last season, has struggled so much with that these past few months. Does it seem puzzling to people inside the room?
A: It is puzzling because you're still asking, and I'm still giving you an answer. There are nights when you are going to be off, but it's tough because we have to do better getting to our game. It sounds like the same thing that I'm saying, but that's because it is that simple.
Q: Can the team afford to wait until the playoffs to start doing that?
A: No. There are 10 games left, and we need to use them to start playing like we can. We can't wait for the playoffs to get here ... but we can't just wait for the playoffs, either.Additional Information:
Penguins winger Bill Guerin has scored in only three of his past 18 games. A look at this streaky season to-date:
Span -- Goals
Games 1-19 -- 3
Games 20-51 -- 13
Games 52-69 -- 2