- A Pittsburgh Penguins Blog © 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Petr Sykora on Michel Therrien, Jaromir Jagr and More

LetsGoPens recently posted a translated interview with Petr Sykora. Thanks to Empty Netters for the find.

Sykora had a few interesting things to say regarding Penguins' head coach Michel Therrien.

"Sometimes you play almost the whole game, he sends you on the ice all the time. Then another game comes – and boom, you sit on the bench. You are getting cold; then you don’t want to even go on the ice anymore," said Sykora.

"One has to get used to constantly playing with somebody else every shift; being rotated all the time. You simply have to learn to get the most out of every situation when the coach lets you play."

I've never been a fan of Therrien's constant switching lines. It doesn't give players the chance to gel and I think it's disruptive to the game.

I've also always wondered why Sykora, a player that plays very well with Evgeni Malkin, doesn't get many chances on the top line with Malkin and Sidney Crosby. When those three have been on the ice together they have played very well. With the Penguin disastrous power play this season, I'm confused as to why those three players aren't fixtures with the man advantage. It make sense to place your three most productive players together on the power play, especially when it is struggling.

Sykora also mentioned that the mood around the Penguins organization is, unsurprisingly, negative these days.

"Of course the atmosphere is rather tense here. Everybody expected more," said Sykora. "Like everywhere else where the team keeps losing. You come to a practice, and you feel that the atmosphere is bad. The coaches don’t talk to you, they just yell. I hope things will turn."

And, if the Penguins organization needed another reason to put Sykora on that top line, he answered it when asked what keeps him wanting to play for the Penguins. One word: "Malkin."

"I’d like to keep playing with him. So that apparently keeps me here the most," said Sykora. "He is exceptional because he can take a puck, beats an opponent, and he still sees you. He can see you regardless where on the ice you are, even when two players guard him. He can pass to me like nobody ever before. And he is a nice guy who does not vilify you when things go wrong. He is not like some other starts who are constantly pissed off. He is OK all the time, cool, no problem."

In regards to the possibility of Jaromir Jagr returning to the Penguins Sykora said:

"The first day we discussed it a little bit with the guys in the locker room. I don’t even know whether Dzhegr (Jagr) and Mario call or are in contact with each other... I saw Mario maybe just three times since the start of the year. He is rather quiet, comes in to say hello, asks whether everything is OK. But that he would ask for an advice regarding Dzhegr (Jagr) – not a chance."

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