Now that Pittsburgh has had a few days to let the result of Sunday’s game sink in, it’s time to look back and ask, “What went wrong?”
What went wrong was, well, everything. At the end of the day, Pittsburgh didn’t show up and play the way they did during the season. This series will be known as the “should have” series – they should have won, but they didn’t.
Imagine for a moment that Pittsburgh scored first in the overtime in Game 1. How would the series have been affected? If the next two games would have gone the same way, the series would be 2-1 Philadelphia.
In the first game of the series, for the most part, the Penguins played well enough to win. In games 2 and 3, however, they did not. They deserved the losses handed to them at the hand of the Flyers.
The next two games were won by Pittsburgh. Now going with the hypothetical situation, the score would be 3-2 Pittsburgh in the series.
This series would have gone to seven games, not six. Of course, in Game 1, there was a blown call from the referees – even the NHL acknowledged it. But that call did not lose the Penguins the game or the series.
Even if the team made it to Game 7, if they played the way they did in games 2, 3 or 6, it just wouldn’t happen. In the last game of Pittsburgh’s season, they looked good on one shift – the shift where Evgeni Malkin scored.
Before that shift happened, Dan Bylsma called his troops together and rallied. The only problem was, that play only lasted one shift.
The Penguins need to look at what they did wrong, and how to fix it for next year. The team may look different for next season, but Bylsma has shown he can make a team rattled with injuries win. A team with new faces shouldn’t be a problem for him.
– as published in The Penn 4-27-2012
Nobody wants to see this again.