TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW


Tonight, the Penguins host New Jersey for a second straight game. 

Tuesday’s third period against the Devils will be a tough act to follow. Six goals conceded in 20 minutes. But the Penguins still won, 7-6. 

If you bet the Penguins -1.5 on the puck line, that sucks. Otherwise, it was a fun watch. 

Forget about how bad goaltender Tristan Jarry played that period. 

Worry more about how the Penguins as a team have played defensively lately. 

The Penguins have not been as buttoned-up. Being buttoned-up and systemic is how they’ve prospered despite their torrent of injuries. 

Bring buttoned-up and systemic is what wins in the playoffs. 

The Penguins are no longer talented enough to win based mostly on talent. 

So, don’t allow any goals in the first period tonight. Definitely don’t allow six. 

Get buttoned-up again. 

The Penguins, BTW, were the first team in NHL history to win when they got outscored by five goals in the third period.

Before Tuesday, NHL teams were 0-270-0 in the regular season and 0-9 during the playoffs when they were outscored by five or more in the third period. 

That's both disturbing and impressive.