Stanley Cup Final: Lucky or not Pens are 3 wins away
In the Stanley Cup Final, it doesn’t matter how you get to four wins.
The Penguins are three wins away from winning the Stanley Cup Final and the Predators are four wins away entering Wednesday’s Game 2.
Pittsburgh might be the luckiest team in the NHL but they don’t put an asterisk next to the Stanley Cup if you’re deemed lucky.
“They won the game. I’d rather be up 1-0,”Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. “Just cuts down our opportunity to win four games.”
To beat the Pittsburgh Penguins you can’t beat yourself and you have to be able to weather any storm for a particular short stretch they’re bound to take over a game.
As great as Nashville was in Game 1, the combination of both above gave Pittsburgh an instance where they won a Stanley Cup Final game with 12 shots. Really 10 true shots when you factor in the empty net goal and the Bonino one handed flutter.
Game 1 was a little overboard in how badly the Penguins were outplayed and obviously not a precedent of how to continue winning, but the Penguins can take advantage of bad goaltending and defensive miscues better than any hockey club and it’s why they’re so hard to beat in a seven game series.
“We hate the score, we hate the result. We will move forward,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said after Game 1 of his hockey club.
The Jake Guentzel game winning goal, Pittsburgh burns Nashville with bad puck management in the neutral zone. That’s what they do.
The Conor Sheary goal, Pittsburgh got Nashville running around defensively off a pinch from Brian Dumoulin and how this play developed is an area the Penguins can keep exposing Nashville. That’s if of course they provide fast enough pressure on the forecheck, an area the Penguins have talked about improving for Game 2.
Tape on Nashville shows from previous playoff games if you get possession against them along the wall, their susceptible to leaving soft lanes open as they often overload to the puck carrier and the weak side forward loves to head up ice at the first sign that the d-man might be gaining possession.
What Penguins must change for Game 2
Despite the game 1 win, Pittsburgh is the club for Game 2 forced to make key adjustments, while Nashville will look to stay the course.
One Penguins source says the Predators closing speed caught the Penguins off-guard that hindered their puck management game in all three zones.
An area the Penguins must rectify is letting Nashville be so aggressive in the net-front area.
They were in Matt Murray’s sight lines all game whether it was during 5 vs 5 play or on the power play.
How Game 1 was called was how a playoff game should be called. The stick penalties were being called but what favored Nashville was the stuff being let in go in front of the net. They made a focus of bumping Matt Murray at every opportunity they had.
On the Sissons power play goal, James Neal clobbers Murray seconds after the puck goes in. Those calls need to be made but until they are, Nashville will keep attacking the front of the net in the manner they did.
In Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, Pittsburgh’s struggles on the breakout for most of the postseason caught up to them despite the win.
“I thought we did a good job with our gaps, ” Laviolette said.
What Nashville did in Game 1 was nothing more than studying film and taking away a key area the Penguins like to attack from.
The Predators were well coached up in taking away the wall on the Penguins breakout all night. In the first period you saw the Penguins stretch their centermen up the middle of the ice and hit for it a couple times on long passes through the neutral zone but Pittsburgh’s ‘D’ rushed things too often with the Predators speed on the forecheck and we’re basically handing the puck to the Predators on the wall.
A lot of eyes tonight will be on how the Penguins adjust to Nashville taking away the wall.
This is a fixable issue for the Penguins and maybe more so than how Nashville out-muscled the Penguins below the dots and created screens all game by getting better position on the Penguins D.
Pittsburgh hasn’t seen a group yet with a combination of speed and size from their forward group than what Nashville has.
“We expect a big push from them,” said Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis said Tuesday of the Penguins. “We’re going to have to be even better. We know that wasn’t their ‘A’ game. We’re going to see a lot better from them. Hopefully we can continue to do the right things and get better.”
— The player under the microscope for Game 2 is without a doubt Phil Kessel
It’s hard to play a worst game than Kessel played in Game 1. He’s getting crushed by the media and he got it from the coaching staff.
The little things is what led to him being benched in Game 1.
Coaches were furious with how he was tracking back and not going into his right lanes on the breakout.[/hide]
This Guentzel guy is pretty good
31 saves on 32 shots for Murray. Good call, Sam!
Nick Bonino: American badass
Sam. Sid has won 2/15 faceoffs. Against a team that has no centers worth a good God damn. Please reconcile. #TheLittleThings
2/10 get your numbers right
You fat Democrat
Does he not care? Maybe he doesn’t know the world championship is over.
Hey mstartari before you go for your hot dog break can you provide us the number of people leaving after the first goal
They don’t serve hot dogs in the Suite French weirdo.
Just ask Americans are weird they get hotdogs everywhere it’s part of your culture. Even 4th of July will be soon replaced with national hot dog day. Since you guys do that hot dog contest on same day
Thanks for the history lesson Frog.
Murray sucks. Dustin called it. Laying on the ice like a broad.
Only dusty called it? Scroll more down.
The Preds had 11 scoring chances on net, and 8 high scoring chances, and have only 1 goal. Great call on Murray, Sam!
Good news guys Npl turned off his TV already
At least we know malkin is consistent in one department
I dont care how or by what gender… just find a way to pop Sams cherry
I don’t care how or by how much…. just find a way to win tonight.
I predict Murray sucks tonight.
No need to predict if he suckss tonight he suckss every night. Just a question how team can bail him out from his misery and give him the W. Pens won game 1 with like 12 shots when was last time they won with fleury like that try none. This shows how lucky that fraud Murray is he gets W from left and right when half the time he doesn’t deserve while fleury carried the team to 3rd round arguably a top conn Smyth guy
I blame Sullivan
Mirror-universe yoda? Go Nashville… amirite? I hope the pens lose
3 wins away from his second Stanley Cup before his rookie season ends. Yea, Murray sucks…
I predict Sam turns off his TV after the 1st period. I’m here at the game Sam, I’ll keep you posted.
Make sure you don’t leave the game halfway because I will be asking you how many fans are still at the arena if the pens are losing. So please try to stay till the end .don’t pull a Npl or a shitstain.
I don’t talk to French weirdos
I love how unhinged these Hollywood elitists are becoming. Hahaha you think they’d realize that they’re only helping the 2020 bid
If I had a nickel for each time I have seem someone cry about the Crosby Ekholm hit calling it an elbow I would have enough money to pay for Sam’s ESL university course he so badly needs
Sounds like he needs a hooker more.
You mean other than his mother.. BOOM! HAA
Penguins are what 13 and 1 or 2 after a loss? Well game one from the way they played looked like a loss, so I’m going with a big win for the Pens tonight. How’s that for prognostication?
I’ve actually used that same logic in my head when thinking about tonight – not sure if i’m trying to trick myself into think that works, or actually believe it, but either/or haha
Not sure that it will be a big win but I absolutely expect the Pens to play great tonight after looking horrible on Monday. One thing this team has done great under Sullivan is adjust/fix flaws and rebound from poor performances.
Looks like no Hagelin based on how he skated this morning.
“It’s hard to play a worst game than Kessel played in Game 1”
Maybe a mad Phil called out by his coaches will light a fire under his ass. It has worked before. What I wanna know is if Hagelin gets the call tonight?
“I Hope they lose” – Sam the virginal bandwagon on how he feels about the Penguins