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02-02-2013, 04:26 PM
  #101
Darth Vitale
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideline View Post
Lest this thread become all sunshine and rainbows:

Puck support on the breakout is still iffy. I don't even care if the stretch pass is the first thing the d looks for on the breakout. I do care if they have a "check down" 8 foot pass if the stretch isn't there. I think the Pens would be better served with tight puck support from the near side winger, have the far side wing fly the zone, and relying on the centres to read how things are playing out.

Secondary scoring is also a concern. The only goal that Crosby or Malkin didn't factor in on was the absolute gift Kunitz got. Sid and Geno are great, but they miss the scoring from Jordan Staal and Steve Sullivan.

I for one am far from at ease with the way this team plays. Our PP still sucks for one thing...

But overall the pattern seems to be: the emotional energy is there for big rivals (usually NY, NJ, PHI, WSH), and if we get a decent lead, we often close it out. Things open up for us quite a bit when we get a 2-3 goal lead, and that's where Bylsma's system has the most success.

But when we play a mediocre / non-rival team, the same energy is not there and as often results, if the game is close or if we're down... it's tough for us to come back / put teams away with our "get it deep and hope we gain control" style of play. It's too predictable (and also too random in terms of maintaining puck control); teams just sit back and wait for it. The only way it works is when the other team has to play less conservatively to catch up (example: over-pursues on the forecheck, leaving themselves exposed to our long transition passes when we break up their entry or cycle).

The problem is ultimately that teams play us tighter in the playoffs and with more speed and energy, and so what might produce a decent record in the regular season, fails us in the playoffs. If they don't have multiple looks practiced and ready for the playoffs (especially PP), we're 1 and out again IMO.

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