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Insider Only Bylsma Presser: Pens head coach talks Game 7 loss, power play woes

Bylsma Presser Tidbits

— The first question head coach Dan Bylsma was pressed with was about benching Alex Kovalev in the third period and not having Kovalev out at the end of the game on the power play.
Bylsma losing patience with Kovalev was bound to happen but did he pick the wrong time.?
Kovalev had an awful second period but was effective in the first period and the Penguins best player on two first period power plays.
Bylsma pretty much questioned Kovalev’s battle level saying he went with the players who he felt had the best chance to cash in and who had a strong battle level in the third.
Kovalev’s second stint in Pittsburgh is officially over.
— The hot topic after the game was obviously the power play. The power play was 1-for-35 in the series and the most concerning aspect of the power play over the past couple months was that Bylsma and his coaching staff showed no interest in changing the formation.
However, Bylsma claims they did make changes and that they were effective.
“Well I think there are things analyzing you can always talk about doing better or differently, ” Bylsma said. “I think we made several adjustments to our breakout and entry that was very good and helped us establish that.

“We tried to have a presence and movement through and away from the puck and we were successful at that.
“We didn’t cash in on opportunities and at the end of the day, a power play goal would have been a huge factor for us, ” Bylsma said.
“In begining of the game, first period and could have tied it late in the game. We understand that and tried to make some adjustments and we didn’t cash in on those things…. that was obviously a big factor for us that we didn’t get.”
“They played very well around their goaltender and they make it very difficult to try to penetrate that area. I think one of the games we didn’t out chance them was a game we won. But, the game we get 50 plus shots and tonight’s game action around the net, that’s something hard to generate against this team and not a lot of teams have been successful doing that and we were able to do that.
“Again the power play we talked about the importance of that, a power goal tonight would have been a difference for us but a lot of 5-on-5 play we did a pretty good job but weren’t able to cash in. We weren’t timely enough to win hockey games that way. But have to give a lot of credit to Tampa as well. Their power play was good this series, their goaltender came up big at times and was big tonight, their team played hard, good defensively and made it difficult on us and have to give them a lot of credit. Give a lot of credit to their goaltender, coaching staff and what they were able to do.
“We fought through it and did a lot of things but in the end weren’t able to come up with enough goals to win the game.”

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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