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
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.
- Cole working to become Penguins’ next Martin on defense
- Penguins see Stars, blanked by Dallas in opening game
- Penguins notebook: Superstitious Sprong begins with confidence
- Penguins are hoping their days of drama are finally behind them
- Trib NHL predictions for 2015-16
- Opening season away from home may be a good thing, Penguins say
- Penguins’ prospects could hinge on health of Letang, Maatta
- With a few older players on roster, Penguins hope to get better with age
- Penguins rally in wake of Dupuis injury
- Fleury’s demeanor helps keep Penguins loose, him playing his best