Insider: Why did Pens rearrange defense'
Burning question: Why did coach Michel Therrien open the series by rearranging his defense pairings?
Breakdown: Though Sergei Gonchar and Brooks Orpik remained the top defense tandem, Therrien opted Friday to play Hal Gill with Rob Scuderi and Kris Letang with Ryan Whitney. In the opening round against Ottawa, Whitney partnered with Scuderi and Gill with Letang. The Penguins allowed only five goals in that series and limited the Senators to an average of 28 shots.
PuckSpeak: "We believe we needed to make some adjustments because we are playing the Rangers, and they have really good top two offensive units," Therrien said. "We have to make sure our defensive game is on top because (the Rangers) do not allow a lot of goals or scoring chances."
Looking ahead: Therrien said he was not concerned about the defense pairing alterations because "Scuderi and Gill played together."
Thing is, they had not prior to Game 1 last night. Gill had played mostly with Letang since he was acquired Feb. 26 from Toronto at the NHL trade deadline.
Moving Gill, a veteran, away from Letang, a rookie, seemed curious. So did the pairing of Letang and Whitney, two offensive-minded defensemen. Gill and Scuderi are traditional stay-at-home defensemen.
Of course, Gill's past aggravations of Jaromir Jagr may have played into Therrien's plan, though Jagr seemed unconcerned with the prospect of facing his nemesis.
"This is the playoffs, and it's about seven games, not just one," Jagr said. "I have to make sure I'll be in better condition than him in Game 6 or 7."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Steelers kicker Boswell puts best foot forward
- Occupying playoff spot on Thanksgiving good harbinger for Penguins
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin not grooming successor to RB Williams
- West Virginia football team finds late-season mean streak
- Roundup: Alcoa names post-split leaders for company keeping its name; General Mills sets goal to buy all-cage free eggs by 2025; more
- German financial giant Allianz SE slashes coal investments
- Greensburg still fighting waterlogged Lynch Field, may add drainage
- Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf: ‘Theatrics’ holding up budget
- Pittsburgh man charged with 56 counts after high-speed chase over weekend
- Pitt’s Dixon monitoring minutes early in season
- Black Friday loosens its hold on the holiday season