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Chipped Ice

December 19, 2015
by Bill West
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An air of uneasiness and puzzlement lingered over the Penguins after their 6-2 loss to Boston on Friday night. For a third consecutive game under coach Mike Sullivan, they played with energy and effectiveness for early stretches only to fade when their opponent seized the momentum.

Might this game against Carolina (12-15-5) alleviate the anguish that built up after losses to Washington (23-6-2) and the Bruins (18-9-4)? On paper, the Hurricanes are vulnerable to the Penguins’ reinvigorated, Sullivan-inspired appreciation for high shot totals. They’re last in the league in save percentage (89.95%) and 27th in goals allowed per game (2.52). But they’re also one of the better possession teams, based on Corsi-For percentage, as they rank fourth at 53.4%, according to Puckalytics.com.

Here’s a better question: Are the Penguins in the right place, mentally, to prevent another downward spiral if they don’t pull away early?

“When you’re going through something like this, it seems like every mistake you make ends up in the back of your net.” – Sidney Crosby, after Friday’s loss.

Mistakes, Sullivan suggested Friday night and again Saturday afternoon, are possibly the product of the Penguins trying to do too much rather than not trying enough.

“I think we’re at a state right now where we’re squeezing a little bit. Emotionally, we’ve got to become more resilient so when we do hit times in the game where things do go our way, we have the ability to respond the right way to it.”

Who must cultivate this resiliency within the team? Sullivan pointed the spotlight in all directions.

“I’m not interested on pointing fingers on where it falls. It falls on all of us. It starts with me. We all have to be resilient. We all have to have some resolve.”

 

 

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December 18, 2015
by Jonathan Bombulie


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A Classic Therrien rant

On the Penguins Roundtable show on Trib Live Radio this afternoon — you can listen to it here — host Ken Laird briefly mentioned a classic Michel Therrien rant from 2005. It came on Jan. 28 after a 4-2 home loss to Hershey. The …

December 18, 2015
by Bill West


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Bruins (rematch) pregame

While you wait for the opening puck drop tonight at Consol Energy Center, you can listen to Ken Laird, Jonathan Bombulie and me discuss a whirlwind first week for new Penguins coach Mike Sullivan. #Pens Roundtable Podcast w@Ken_Laird @BombulieTrib & …

December 17, 2015
by Jonathan Bombulie


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Boston postgame

Take a look at the stats from tonight’s 3-0 Penguins loss to Boston. The Penguins led 34-29 in shots, 69-52 in shot attempts and 32-30 in scoring chances. Boston led 12-7 in high-danger scoring chances and, of course, 3-0 in …

December 16, 2015
by Jonathan Bombulie


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Boston pregame

The sheer number of changes in the Penguins organization in the last few days has been staggering, and the hits kept on coming Wednesday morning in Boston. Nick Bonino was absent from morning skate due to illness. Coach Mike Sullivan …

December 15, 2015
by Jonathan Bombulie


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Washington postgame

Two big topics tonight in a two-week span that hasn’t lacked in big topics for the Penguins — the trade of Rob Scuderi to Chicago for Trevor Daley and the debut of Mike Sullivan behind the bench. Let’s start with Sullivan. Did you …

December 14, 2015
by Jonathan Bombulie


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Washington pregame

The Penguins practiced their power play under new coach Mike Sullivan for the first time today at morning skate. It was just for a few minutes. The impression I get is that Sullivan wants to see what he’s working with before …

December 13, 2015
by Jonathan Bombulie


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What to expect from Mike Sullivan

When Mike Johnston was hired to coach the Penguins, people thought they knew what style of play to expect. His Portland teams in the WHL scored a ton of goals, primarily by using their defensemen as an additional offensive option. Aside …

December 13, 2015
by Bill West


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Sullivan = Laviolette?

Among the many other things Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said in regards to firing Mike Johnston and hiring Mike Sullivan as the head coach on Saturday, he likened the team’s new man in charge to another coach the Pittsburgh …

December 12, 2015
by Bill West


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Penguins vs. Kings postgame

After a four-game trip that took them to the West Coast and Colorado, the Penguins probably wanted something a little less exhausting in their first game back at Consol Energy Center than what transpired in Friday’s 3-2 shootout loss to …

 
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