Penguins Insider: It's time to adapt to Islanders
The Penguins have said all the right things during their series with the Islanders: Keep it simple. Get the puck deep. Be physical.
Doing those things, however, has proven to be challenging.
The Islanders know many of the Penguins' tendencies, namely their proclivity for the “stretch pass,” which usually sees a Penguins defenseman find a winger with a long pass near the boards. The winger, in turn, ideally will make a short pass or “chip” to center Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, who are at their best when skating with speed through the neutral zone.
When it works, scoring chances come easily for the Penguins.
When it doesn't, turnovers are an issue.
“They've done a good job of getting pucks in and making adjustments,” defenseman Paul Martin said. “We like to get out of the zone a certain way. We've had to change certain things. We've been making some decisions that aren't typical of our defense or our team. It's something we've talked about.”
The Islanders have used a 1-3-1 look in this series, and it has effectively clogged the center of the ice. Whether because of stretch passes that simply weren't open or simply attempting to make difficult, cross-ice passes, the Penguins haven't been as effective as usual in this series and have failed to adjust. At times, the Islanders have dared the Penguins to get the puck deep and go to work, but the Penguins have seldom accepted the invitation.
“We know we need to do a better job of that,” left wing Chris Kunitz said.
Teams that give the Penguins the most trouble typically play in the Atlantic Division.
Coach Dan Bylsma's worst record against any team is against the Devils (8-13-1). His teams have also struggled with the Flyers and, at times, the Islanders.
Countering that, unfamiliar teams rarely have success against the Penguins, who went 12-2-3 against the Western Conference last season but just 12-10-2 against the Atlantic Division.
The Penguins hardly believe a wholesale change in their style or system is needed.
“Part of the game,” Martin said, “is reading and reacting.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins GM Rutherford ‘wouldn’t make’ Despres trade today
- Penguins notebook: After reinterpreting rule, draft pick sought for Bylsma’s hiring
- Sabres hire Bylsma as coach; Penguins receive 3rd-round pick
- AHL wing prospect Sheary an intriguing option for Penguins
- AHL goaltender Murray strumming favor with Penguins
- Analysis: Where do the Penguins, Wilkes-Barre club go from here?
- Penguins GM Rutherford: Medical updates upcoming