What Penguins coach Mike Johnston learned from lunch with Sidney Crosby

Anne-Marie Sorvin / USA Today Sports

The Pittsburgh Penguins will have a new voice behind the bench next season after hiring Mike Johnston as the team's new head coach.

In an interview with Josh Yohe of the Tribune-Review, Johnston spoke about his initial meeting with superstar Sidney Crosby, and the criticism of the captain after another disappointing playoff result:

Whenever you're a new coach, you want to get to know the person before anything else. I know him a little bit because we're from the same place, but I wanted to know more. I wanted to know what he does in the summer, who he trains with, what he's up to. His program is so regimented, and he works so hard in the summer. I loved hearing about it. 

We talked about lots of things. We talked about what it was like for him to become a star at such a young age. That was interesting to me. I didn't get into the playoffs. I didn't ask him what went wrong. I watched those games as a spectator, and I will watch them again on tape soon. I'll develop my own impressions.

The new bench boss is also set to travel to Moscow to meet with Evgeni Malkin, saying "I want to get to know him. I think it's a good thing for a player who he gets to meet his new coach on his home turf." 

Johnston added the following in regards to pressure on the organization to realize its dynastic potential:

I've never been one to focus on pressure. Pressure, for me, comes when I don't feel like I'm doing a good job — just like a player. Trust me, I will put more pressure on myself than anyone else ever will. No offense, but I don't really read the papers much. I trust my staff and the people I'm close with. You have to be true to yourself, true to your instincts. Just be who you are. That's what I'll do. I'm very excited about this.

The full interview can be read here.

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What Penguins coach Mike Johnston learned from lunch with Sidney Crosby
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