TORONTO — Sometimes it’s not rocket science. Sometimes IKEA furniture doesn’t need 12 pages of instructions in various languages to be immediately understood. And sometimes Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan doesn’t need a granular film study to understand there are changes which could help his team.
Or not help his team.
After 70 regular-season games, months of practice, and years of experience, Sullivan probably knows what tools are in his belt. So too does veteran coach Jacques Martin and relative newbie Mark Recchi.
In other words, we don’t expect to see Juuso Riikola in place of Jack Johnson in Game 4.
“If I were to make any personnel changes, I probably wouldn’t share them with you guys (media),” Sullivan said. “Any time you make changes, there’s an element of risk associated with it. One could argue that there’s an element of risk associated with not making changes, too.”
Since Sullivan was upfront between Game 1 and 2 about not making changes, then sly about inserting Sam Lafferty into the lineup for Game 3, we’re going to assume that means changes are under consideration.
There are, however, three changes Mike Sullivan can reasonably make without risking much but may get a bump of energy, performance, or merely a change in chemistry.