The Penguins seem easy to play against.
At forward, the Pens lack grit. Beyond Chris Kunitz, Craig Adams and Tanner Glass, who else gets greasy? Sidney Crosby has exceptional grit for a star, but it’s hardly a specialty. Pascal Dupuis and Joe Vitale are mostly about speed. Brandon Sutter doesn’t have sufficient physical strength.
That’s not enough grit. Certainly not enough to win a playoff series against a team like Boston.
The Penguins seem easy to coach against, too.
The opposition gets every matchup. Crosby lugs Zdeno Chara around all night, or Dion Phaneuf, or St. Louis’ first line, or whoever. Crosby can do it. It would be better if he didn’t have to. He would be even more productive if he didn’t have to.
Penguins Coach Dan Bylsma doesn’t believe in matchups. He needs to. It has to be in a coach’s repertoire. The best coaches in history have sought favorable matchups. Bylsma is an excellent coach, but he doesn’t get to reinvent the job description.
The Penguins seem like a good regular-season team, no better. Intensity comes and goes. It’s a vanilla team. It’s a vanilla dressing room. No tension. Too much fun, not enough work.
Sometimes a get-along gang needs somebody blunt to act as catalyst. Bill Guerin did that. Jarome Iginla didn’t.
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