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02-02-2013, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Chancellor Vitale View Post
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.
But, but, but, we won today, and Sid going god mode (like Geno before at times or Flower standing on his head to steal one at times) really should do nothing to make you wonder if we're talking about a real or false sense of security here.

As I said, I told RRP before the NYI game let's see at the 15 game mark. I even voted it after. 7 games to go. We'll see if it's a roller coaster or a series of improvements . . . personally, I'm voting that certain players will go god mode enough to create the usual false sense of security for the playoffs. Eh, we'll see. I feel better about where the Pens are, but not good.

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