The Pittsburgh Penguins roared back from a two-goal deficit in the third period last night to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets and take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven first round series. The team says their third period play was due entirely to checking social media at the end of the second period.
“We were just hanging out in the locker room, not really caring at all as we often do,” said team captain Sidney Crosby. “But then Beau Bennett was scrolling through Twitter on his phone and he said people were saying really bad stuff about us. That we were losers and that we didn’t care. Many even contained profanity. It was then we vowed to turn things around.”
Head coach Dan Bylsma asked his players to see if anything negative was being said about him on Twitter and, sure enough, there was.
“One guy said that I should be fired,” he said. “Lose my job! I have a wife and kids! I thought that was rather harsh. But, boy, did it ever make my hunker down and get coaching.”
Defenseman Rob Scuderi said he was proud of how his team responded to the criticism on social media.
“A lot of players might look at that stuff and say: ‘PenzNut66 thinks I’m a ‘shitty embarrassment for a hockey player. I hope he dies’ and give up. But we didn’t give up,” said Scuderi. “We responded. Although I’m not going to say that PenzNut66’s words didn’t sting. I don’t we’ve ever even met, yet he has such negative feelings towards me. It’s a bit unsettling.”
The team said they will now make it a policy to check social media during games more often.
“I’m signing up for Twitter today and I will look at it during games,” said Bylsma. “A lot of people on there have coaching tips. It’s a great source of knowledge.”
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