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Coach Mike Sullivan insists the Penguins will 'respond the right way'

Jason Mackey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Hockey

Pretty much the last thing you should expect is for Penguins coach Mike Sullivan to go bananas over an October loss, even one as rotten as what transpired at United Center on Thursday night.

Does that mean he won't get irritated? Of course not. Sullivan fumed afterward, and deservedly so. As Sullivan reiterated Friday at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex, "We were all embarrassed, quite honestly. None of us want to go through that experience."

The experience to which Sullivan was referring, of course, was the Penguins' 10-1 beatdown at the hands of a really good Chicago team, the worst loss of Sullivan's tenure here and one he called "disturbing."

A day later, Sullivan sacked practice a few hours before its scheduled start time in favor of a video session, one in which he peppered his players with clips from the Chicago game. No word on whether anyone puked.

After the 60-minute session concluded, Sullivan was upbeat and generally optimistic that his team will be able to turn things around rather quickly.

"We believe in them," Sullivan said. "We know they'll respond the right way. We're not going to overreact to this. We're going to heed the lessons.

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"It starts with an attitude when we come to the rink in the morning. We have to make sure that we come with the right attitude, that we're ready and willing to play the game the right way."

Sullivan offered plenty of thoughtful, strong and well-articulated comments during his 10-minute session with the media. Here are a few takeaways from that:

-- The coaching staff is discussing changes.

Whether they'll include more juggling of lines and defense pairings -- Sullivan got a head start when things went sideways against the Blackhawks -- or bringing Josh Archibald or Chad Ruhwedel into the fold remains unclear.

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