Again,it's something that's been brought up alot the last few games:Why don't the Pens play this good at the start of games?
Because that's what you get when you...
1) have several the integral roles on your team being filled night in and night out by players who were still playing amateur hockey two or three years ago, and...
2) have the rest of the roles on your team being filled by players who are just flat-out terrible players.
I'm not trying to be a ***, either Stevens, so please don't take it that way. It's just that this is an incredibly young team that knows it has to play a near-perfect game to compete against the Ottawas, Carolinas and Tampa Bays of the NHL.
A lot of times, young players and below-average players will play back on their heels a little too much against teams like that because they're too wary of making a mistake. They play too conservative because they don't want to gamble on making plays and risk getting beat. This is why sometimes you see them come out slow.
In the same respect though, there have been several times this year that the Pens have come out smoking against quality opponents, only to see the opposition weather the storm and get a goal or two once the Pens' adrenaline dies down. And you can see it right away,...some of the players skate around with that "here we go again" look on their faces. I'd be willing to bet we've seen this sort of thing just as much as the team coming out too slow at the start of games.