Last year, the Penguins won the Stanley Cup based largely on raw speed.
Usually, that would make much of the NHL attempt to emulate. Most pro sports leagues have a significant copycat element.
Not the NHL.
Instead, most of the NHL worked on ways to negate speed.
Look at the playoffs: Every single opponent the Penguins have faced has done its best to turn the game to sludge.
Even Washington did. The Capitals have a ton of firepower. But even the Caps slowed it down against the Penguins.
As a result of 23 playoff games that might as well have been played in a cow pasture, the Penguins are worn down. You can’t play against that indefinitely.
I continue to believe Nashville is the worst team the Penguins have played in the current post-season. But the Predators have the good fortune to play the Penguins last.
The Penguins need legs, and more offensive-zone time. The former are unavailable. The Pens did a bit better last night regarding the latter.
The Penguins are going to have to rally around something, but I’m not sure what that is.
I still believe the Penguins will win. I’m just not sure how.
There’s one thing I do know for certain: The Penguins aren’t rattled.
You don’t accomplish what this team has over the last two seasons and get rattled when you’re tied, two games to two, in the Stanley Cup Final, and still have home-ice advantage.
You may be rattled. The Penguins are not.
Image Courtesy of Getty Images.