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Gap control in neutral zone, impressive in game 1
Practice makes perfect?
In the Penguins two practices on Monday and Tuesday this week, interim head coach Dan Bylsma showed a strong emphasis on his defensemen having tight gap control in the neutral zone to limit the Flylers attack.
The extra worked paid off as the Penguins were aggressive in the neutral zone and were always on the attack.
The Flyers had little
breathing room and the Penguins had 7 takeways on the night.
Defenseman Hal Gill was very aggressive stepping up intercepting passes. Gill led the Penguins with 2 takeaways and both of them happened by Gill stepping up in the neutral zone and getting his long-reach on pucks.
The biggest difference in the Penguins new system under Bylsma is how much more aggressive they are in the neutral zone.
The days of waiting for the opposition to come to them are long-gone and the Penguins played their system to perfection in game 1.
Through one game — the Penguins have the upper-hand and the Flyers have to get back to the drawling board and make the needed adjustments or it is going to be a quick series.