Jesse wrote:I'm part HH and part Snapshot.
On one hand, this team has proven this year that they can get into the game mentally and win games in a convincing fashion. They've also proved they can turn the puck over and completely abandon the front of the net.
But the fact that they've proved they can come back from virtually any deficit and win games in multiple ways is a big plus for me. You never want to advise a team to go down 4-1 in the first period against a rival on a regular basis, but that was a picture perfect performance from the Penguins in the final 40 minutes, especially in how they bled time off the clock in a very boring fashion and held the lead down the stretch of that game.
Hockey builds on itself game by game. I think that this win could really be a coagulating type of performance for the Penguins. Let's see how they do in Toronto on Saturday, that could be a big indicator of whether or not they've learned anything.
On the Fleury front, he's the cog that I'm least concerned about. Bad night last night. But beyond that, he's been stellar for the Penguins when he's been in net this season. The biggest thing for me is what kind of potential shot in the arm this could be for our backup.
I do, however, think HH is right to a point. I am not ready to wave the white flag on this season by any means, especially considering Shero's ability to drastically change the makeup of this team out of nowhere, but there are key focus and defensive issues that have haunted this team. If the Penguins solve them, they might be as unbeatable as Chicago down the stretch.
I'm glad they're recognizing this problem sooner than later, unlike last year. By the time the playoffs rolled around, their defensive prowess was gone and there wasn't time to fix it. Hopefully, Shero can maybe tweak the lineup here and there and Bylsma can settle down the team down and commit to some more defense. There's a certain truth in what Milbury said about Sid and Malkin, the crackhead comment, in that when both are in the lineup they have two lines that are balls-to-the-wall offense. It'll be interesting to see if/how Bylsma finds that balance with both stars in the lineup.