mike johnston

there will be no awards this year in protest, also the Penguins hire a coach

What the hell is going on.

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  • the NHLPA picked Sid first as the best person, Sid called out Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux to thank but NOT David Morehouse.  He brought his sister as his date.  Sounded strangely restrained.  Sid and PK were then forced to be near preening showgirls for some reason.
  • then there was some music and the guy who is running the show (whose name we don’t know) tried to joke with Ovechkin
  • SUSAN SARANDON IS PRESENTING THE SELKE TROPHY VIA A PRE-RECORDED TAPE.  This will become a theme.  Celebs who couldn’t show up in person because the actually attending that gig in person could sink their careers permanently.
  • Patrice got manhandled to take a selfie with the Selke
  • stopped paying attention for awhile
  • Matisyahu was awkward as hell
  • Tuukka with the Vezina was great
  • still not really paying attention


The fact that Sidney Crosby sounded Done As Hell with winning the Hart Trophy.  Could anyone have sounded more disinterested, more boilerplate, more bored?  We fully realize that this awards show was total dogshit and that no living creature with dignity wanted to be in that room tonight (you know, deep down inside).  But Sidney Crosby is bored with your individual awards.

The conspiracy theorist in me wants to read this as some kind of emotional indicator of the great Pittsburgh Penguins power struggle of 2014.  But I mean.  We’ve been saying it for years.  Win all the Hart Trophies you want.  Nothing is the Stanley Cup.  And I think Sid knows that his career and his legacy is directly tied to his Stanley Cup wins.  And no one feels that as intensely as Sid.  Just.  Never seen a human being so disillusioned with the most prestigious individual award in his industry.  (Never mind that the Lindsay award is the bigger honor, and the Conn Smythe, when applied appropriately, basically indicates who the Biggest Badass is.)

The Penguins, have, however, finally hired a coaching staff of sorts.

Mike Johnston, head coach and general manager of the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL, has been named the coach of the Penguins.  We at the very least figure that this is the kind of guy who might speak in complete coherent sentences without using platitudes, so we’re intrigued.  Rick Tocchet will reportedly be his assistant.

Based on the information provided to us, this is a recipe for a faster and more aggressive Penguins team.  Just imagining everyone on the bench and behind it with a Robert Bortuzzo troll face.  It’s the only way we’ll sleep at night.

Dave Molinari’s write-up on Johnston’s coaching style is the most words about a coaching style that you’ve read in your entire life.

God, we were about done with the Penguins a few weeks ago, but sports fandom is a disease.  We keep coming back for more.

go Pens

the king is dead, long live the king

Mike Johnston, first of his name???


About Zoë

from Fayette County, living in Boston, chronically fussy. Writing about the Penguins, the CWHL/women's hockey, and hockey/sports media criticism.