BOSTON — The road map to a comeback exists.
There are a lot of what ifs, though.
Still, there is a way the Penguins rally in the Eastern Conference final, which they trail, 3-0, with Game 4 at Boston’s TD Garden on Friday.
Win that, obviously. It does not really matter how.
A performance similar to the one from Game 3 – certainly a performance topping it – would get the series back to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Sunday. There, a power play that is 0-for-12 in the series figures to show some sign of life. It has to eventually, right?
It is not inconceivable that the Penguins could win the next two games and force a pressure-packed home Game 6 for the Bruins. Of the nearly 11 full periods of hockey played in this series, the Bruins have owned four. The Penguins have dominated two. The rest have been 50/50.
A clunker from the Bruins would be needed for this Boston squad to become the second Boston squad four years to blow a 3-0 series lead.
However, over the last few years, the Bruins have had a bit of Penguins in them in that they sometimes surprise with how quickly they cooperate with making themselves look bad.
So, basically, were the Penguins to get it to a Game 6 – with a Game 7 the next night – and their superstars-in-silence Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin still due. By then, those Bruins defensemen will be worn and, well…
OK, getting ahead of ourselves, clearly.
This feels like a Big (maybe Bad) night for the franchise.
Coach Dan Bylsma is not treating it like such, however.
= What may be on the line for him: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/4144759-74/bylsma-coach-penguins#axzz2VXQ1BD00
Check out that fact box on the side of the screen. You, as a GM, would ignore all of that?
Dejan Kovacevic’s accompanying column on the topic of what lay ahead for these Penguins, including Bylsma: http://triblive.com/sports/dejankovacevic/dejancolumns/4144756-74/bylsma-coach-really#axzz2VXQ1BD00
= Josh Yohe looks at the carousel of partners for Kris Letang during these playoffs, and why having only three heavy-minutes men on the backend may be catching up with the Penguins: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/4144771-74/letang-minutes-martin#axzz2VXQ1BD00
= The #TribHKY Penguins notes has an update on Brooks Orpik, kind of: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/4144775-74/game-penguins-orpik#axzz2VXQ1BD00
= Bob Cohn with a look at LARGE television ratings in Pittsburgh and Boston, a couple of killer hockey markets: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/4151026-74/game-conference-final#axzz2VXQ1BD00
OK, that is about all for this AM.
Twenty-four hours from now a lot of this may feel different.