Penguins Coach Mike Sullivan isn’t big on matchups.
But, in the playoff series against Washington, Sullivan needs to use D Kris Letang against Washington LW Alex Ovechkin as often as possible.
On that right side of the Penguins defense, Justin Schultz isn’t strong enough to handle Ovechkin. Neither is Chad Ruhwedel. Ruhwedel would be physically overwhelmed by Ovechkin.
Letang has the skating, skill, strength and aggression to compete against Ovechkin. Letang can keep up with Ovechkin in every sense.
Letang simplifies his game vs. Ovechkin. Letang concentrates more on just playing defense, and that often leads to Letang playing better hockey.
It’s the only matchup in this series that matters. Letang can handle Ovechkin.