Penguins Should Learn From the Devils – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Penguins Should Learn From the Devils

I hope that the Penguins management team had a close eye on the Flyer-Devils series.  The Devils put on a clinic as to how to win a playoff series.  First and foremost, play hard every shift.  The Penguins most certainly did NOT do that.  Next is play with a strong defensive posture – know what man you are responsible for and pressure him everywhere on the ice.  The Flyer players skated around the ice with ease against the Pens.   Continuous solid goaltending is also vital to playoff success.  Fleury did NOT provide it for the Penguins.

Coaching also plays such a significant role during playoffs.  Matching lines and making tactical adjustments are necessary when playing in a series.  Dan Bylsma and staff’s inability to find a way to stop the Flyers’ power play was inexcusable.  The Devils watched and found a way to do it.  Back to the key word ‘pressure’ – In an interview with Bryce Salvadore after the Devils beat the Flyers four straight he said the following – They watched the Flyers skate freely around the Pens and they were not going to let that happen to them.

Will the Pens be able to win the Stanley Cup again?  With the offensive firepower that they have, the answer should be yes.  Goals are hard to come by in the playoffs.  They do not need as many chances as their opponents to score.  But they do desperately need a revamped power play.  If the Pens were to play like the Devils did versus the Flyers, another championship run can be achieved.

As a side note to the series, it was enjoyable to watch Jagr do nothing versus the Devils.  He looked 40.  It was also enjoyable to see the Flyers lose Game 5 in Philly with ‘The Best Player in the World’ in the press box.  Too bad he lost his composure in Game 4.  The Devils knew NOT to get close to Briere.  He is hands down the best in the league at taking dives and NOT getting penalized for them.

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  1. kenjohnson's Gravatar kenjohnson
    June 8, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    The Devils also did not lose power plays by retaliating the Flyers after the whistle and downright dirty hits (and by now that can’t be much of a surprise to anyone). NJ quietly skated away from the scene of the crime and went on the PP. The Pens turned several PP (admittedly feeble) and turned them into 4 on 4 events. That is called discipline and the Pens didn’t have it.

    I think it is unfair to blame Fleury entirely for his poor play. First, he played way too many games during the season and the addition of Vokoun should take care of that problem (barring injury). Statistically, any team whose netminder plays more than 60 games is going to have trouble. Obviously that is a statistic and not a fact (see Jonathon Quick). And second, some high priced defensive talent often left Fleury alone on a little blue island.

    Lastly, it seemed clear that the Flyers just wanted the puck and the series more.

  2. 55 on point's Gravatar 55 on point
    May 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure they could learn something from New Jersey, but I really hope they are paying attention to the Kings.

  3. Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
    May 15, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Great stuff STH35.

    After watching Philly swamp our Penguins, I thought for sure they were on a fast track to a Stanley Cup. So I truly was amazed at how ordinary the Flyers looked against Jersey. Their power play—which had reduced the Pens’ penalty killers to a pile of rubble—was especially feeble. Half the time they couldn’t even get set up.

    My guess is the Flyers were burned out after an extremely emotional series against the Pens. I think their collective inexperience showed, too, with a little help from the decidedly pedestrian Bryzgalov. But basically, Jersey just got in their faces and manned up as you suggested, something the Pens obviously failed to do.

    It sure doesn’t cast Bylsma and our coaching staff in a very good light, does it? Even if you give them a pass for last year’s Sid- and Geno-less first round loss to Tampa Bay, this marks the second time in three years that they were utterly unable to make meaningful adjustments come playoff time.

    I also have to wonder if there are underlying character/leadership issues with this team that surface under duress. Going back to the six-game losing streak over the holidays, Brooks Orpik said, “We give up a couple of goals, and everybody’s attitude [stinks] afterward. You can see on the ice, our energy starts out great, then they score a couple of goals and instead of getting [angry] and battling back, we just come out flatter and kind of feel sorry for ourselves, hang our heads.”

    Sure seems to fit the way they played against Philly, especially in Game 6 …


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