Mike Sullivan has his work cut out for himself
The Pittsburgh Penguins are a fortunate 4-3-1 after eight games. That’s the good through eight games and that’s about it.
The multiple what I’d call fluke come from behind wins have covered up how bad this team has played for a lot of stretches thus far. With a number of injuries on the blueline, Mike Sullivan could have taken the easy way out after the Penguins lackluster 4-1 loss to the Bruins and chalked it up to injuries.
He was right not to.
We’ve got to play the game the right way,” Mike Sullivan said. “That’s what I think. We’ve got to defend when it’s called upon and not just try to outscore teams. You’ve got to be harder to play against if were going to find success consistently. And we weren’t hard against tonight — Penguins coach Mike Sullivan on the Penguins 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.
And I liked the shot Sullivan took at his team.
“Structure and commitment. That’s what good defense is. That’s how you play a stingy game and Boston has it,” said Sullivan.
I said it the other day. For the Penguins to overachieve this season, boring is going to be better. There’s too many deficiencies in the lineup to just go through the motions and try to rely on talent. There is going to have to be a structured game with puck support in all three phases and a focus on turning defense to offense in transition.
It’s going to be their only hope. Has anyone watched the likes of Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang? Those two aren’t transforming back into the players they were 10 years ago.
Speaking of Malkin, he might not be playing the right way but at least he is saying the right things!
“Boston was faster, they are hungry, they win every battle in the corners,” said Malkin. “We need to fight every shift.”
This team isn’t as talented as they were years ago where they could show up for 10 minutes of play and still put up 4 goals on you. Mike Sullivan isn’t dumb. He knows how they need to play, it’s just a question of whether he’s the one to get it out of them.
Pittsburgh managed just 17 shots on goal in the loss and through forty minutes had a whopping 7 even strength shots (5 vs 5). Sullivan cited the need for simplicity on offense.
“We need an element of simplicity in our offensive game,” said Sullivan.
Over-passing off zone entries has been an issue but another issue I keep coming back to is the personnel. Is this a group wired and built to play a simpler, hard-nosed offensive game?
I don’t think so.
— When Evgeni Malkin talks anymore, it’s best to just look the other way. He always talks about the need to play a certain way, but at some point actions mean more than words.
However, I did like some of the words coming out of room from others in trying to step up with some leadership.
One was Teddy Blueger who is someone that actually tries to play a responsible game.
“They work together with five guys on the ice really well, in sync,” said of the Bruins via @Penguins. It felt like they outworked us today. They won most of the puck battles, one-on-one battles, and got the pucks along the wall. That kinda ended up being the difference, I think That’s something we need more of is trying to be harder to play against. We need to be a little more physical and work together instead of trying to play too much individually.”
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tORTS SURE BENCHES HIS STARS…
Until there is individual accountability with ice time nothing will change. There needs to be a culture of accountability reestablished and not just for players at the mid-bottom of the roster. This includes Geno and Letang. Bench/stratch them.
Well said.. Well said… Put Geno on the third line and reduce his minutes for a couple games. Have Mccann/Jankowski center the second line… Move Letang to the 2nd or 3rd defensive pair and take him off the power play.. That being said once Dumoulin is back, Petterson is back, and Yannick Weber gets here our top 3 pairs are decent if committed to structure. number one pair Dumoulin / Marino number two pair Pettersson Letang number three pair Pierre Oliver Joseph/Yannick Weber (Yannick can skate, is physical and steady) Accountability for sure! Drop geno down and if he starts… Read more »
Like I said already, start benching your superstars!
Want to send a massage, start benching your superstars when they do not show up to play. Seeing a few if them in the press box will send a massage.
They’d never bench them. Moreheist has too much marketing dollars invested in those bums.
The benched Ovie one game for being late to a meeting, lessons can be learned.
The hard part to swallow is Malkin still has the talent when he decides to turn it up… his problem is he doesn’t seem interested anymore.
If his passion is gone, I can not fault him for that, not every player is a lifer, then retire. At times it looks like he is trying to do things he used to with ease and when it does not work he does not hustle back to cover up his mistakes. That seems to going around with some of the other stars too. I wont say who but it rhythms with “She Bang”… lol
100% correct he looks disinterested and unengaged! If he has lost that desire it is ok to admit that and retire..
Same shit, different year
The nhl needs to lock the players out next collective bargaining agreement to get the NFL style buyout. That way you could cut the Russian and send him back to the KHL. It’s total BS that Mario has to pay that bum.