Game 7 of the Semi-Conference Final series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers was an exciting and low scoring event. With an outstanding performance by New Yorks’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist in games 5,6,and 7 they advanced past Pittsburgh with 4-3 series win.
I believe many changes for the Pittsburgh Penguins locker room and organization are on the way. The disappointment of coming up short since the Stanley Cup win in 2009 leaves the team with no choice but to remove players from the roster and bring in more leadership and intensity to the Penguins playoff performance. Pittsburgh’s regular season effort is among the top teams in their conference but can’t excel when it counts in the playoffs. When the people that are getting paid to score goals can’t perform at their top level of performance when it counts over several years then maybe it is time for change.
As much as it would affect the season next year something has to be done. Thats all I can really look forward to from a fans perspective. Whatever it takes for the Pittsburgh Penguins to bring the Stanley Cup back to Pittsburgh will have to be done.
In the series loss of the semi-conference final this year goaltending by Marc Andre Fluery was outstanding compared to last few years in the playoffs. With 2 shutouts in a row in the series he had the Penguins sitting at a comfortable 3-1 series lead but they could just not hold onto. The let downs of this years playoffs were the by head coach Dan Bylsma and Captain Sidney Crosby, along with 3rd and 4th line players.
As a coach the ability to adjust certain players that work well together to score goals is very important. Getting a healthy roster at the end of the regular season is a challenge for a head coach to find out who those players are. Dan Bylsma’s adjustments were effective during the regular season therefore the winning record shows even with call-ups from the minors.
Sidney Crosby’s performance did match his of previous years. The goal scorer was only able to score once in this years playoffs. He had a difficult time doing this because of the hits, rough play, and cheap shots after plays. It all played a role in affecting Crosby’s game.
Thats where the 3rd and 4th line players are the biggest let down. There were no goons or big players on this years team to protect the top line goal scorers. Once a team is built so that every line is producing some sort of factor to the game of hockey is when championships are won.
Although expectations for league super stars such as Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby are set as high as winning the Stanley Cup they are unable to perform at the highest level of their game when it comes to the playoffs. It is a team game and all players built around an organization to have the same goal in common and that is to win Stanley Cups.

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