Penguins notebook: Farnham relishes making opening-night roster |

Penguins notebook: Farnham relishes making opening-night roster

Jonathan Bombulie

The Penguins had an audience Sunday morning as runners were invited to watch practice after completing the Pittsburgh Penguins 6.6K Run and Family Walk.

As players took the ice, a cheer erupted when winger Bobby Farnham walked out of the locker room. He had arrived as an NHL player, soaking in the adulation of an adoring public.

OK, that’s not true. Fans cheered when Farnham walked out because he was behind captain Sidney Crosby, but the underlying point still remains. Farnham is an NHL player, a member of the opening-night roster after surviving Saturday’s last round of cuts.

“You’re looking at your phone from 9 to 12, hoping you don’t get a call,” Farnham said. “It was nice to stick around and be a part of this.”

Sprong has sprung for opening night

When coach Mike Johnston told Daniel Sprong he made the roster, he half-expected a yell or a fist pump or maybe a Whip/Nae Nae — whatever 18-year-old kids do when they’re happy about something. He didn’t get it.

“He was calm, controlled,” Johnston said. “He didn’t jump out of his seat.”

It was a fitting reaction because Sprong largely has taken a workmanlike approach to his bid for an NHL roster spot since he was drafted in the second round in June.

“I knew the roster was going to be very hard to make,” Sprong said. “I was thinking about going back to junior for sure and just trying to get as much experience here as I can. But the second I started playing more games, I felt more and more comfortable, and I thought I could really play here this year if I got an opportunity. I’m happy I did.”

A request to guard against injury

Framed by a discussion of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin being used on the penalty kill, Johnston said he would like more of his players to wear skate guards to protect their feet while blocking shots.

“It is an individual preference now. It’s not something we’ve legislated. But we’re going to try to push more players in that direction,” Johnston said.

Throwing support behind the Pirates

During his post-practice meeting with reporters, Johnston seemed glad hockey doesn’t have a system that requires teams to play one game for their playoff lives like the Pirates will Wednesday.

“I’m not going to give Clint (Hurdle) any advice, that’s for sure,” Johnston said. “All our support’s here in Pittsburgh this week as they head into that battle.”

Jonathan Bombulie is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter at @BombulieTrib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.