The Penguins needed Gorges and Gill in the penalty box at the same time, a fresh sheet of ice, and a 5 on 4 man advantage to score a goal against Halak. Fortunately it was all that they needed to win their fourth straight playoff game in Canada and take a 2-1 series lead over the Canadiens.
Montreal played their best hockey of the series in the first period and they could still only manage seven shots on goal. Over the final 40 minutes they were only able to total eleven more. A couple of those shots in the third period were good scoring opportunities, but Fleury was equal to the task.
The Penguins now have the formula for success in this series. There a a few things that need to be done strategically. The operative word is patience. The key quote from Bylsma is again a dandy — “We are not trying to score on every shift.” If that doesn’t preach patience in a single sentence, I’m not sure what does.
The win in Game Three becomes Coach Bylsma’s 22nd playoff win in his career. The record for second year coaches is held by Randy Carlyle at 25. Bylsma has a very good chance of breaking that record. If he does, it will be a mark that will be very hard to surpass.
I have to admit that I did like Michel Therrien as a coach. I do believe that his demands for good defensive habits and a solid work ethic is still a factor in the success of this team. His negativity at times is what did him in.
I’m not sure Bylsma would know how to be negative. In fact, his positive attitude and calm demeanor are a big reason for the Penguins’ success. Bylsma’s philosophies are very much drawn from the styles of Bob Johnson and Herb Brooks. Could there be two better men to emulate?
Here’s saying that Bylsma and the Penguins do make it to the Conference Finals. That will leave Bylsma one win away from Randy Carlyle’s record. That’s the view from E-11.
Note — I wonder what the record is for uncalled sticks in the face in a playoff series. The Canadiens have to be close to breaking it.
Note — I believe the Pens will solve Halak and have another big goal output in this series. Crosby can only be held off of the scoresheet for so long. When he breaks loose, it is going to be in a big way.