PITTSBURGH — Call this a confirmation of the changing game. Simple, hungry and dedicated beats talent. The New York Islanders are again set to end a Pittsburgh Penguins dynasty with the relentless, gritty play which the Penguins could not, or would not match.
One of our favorite hockey people began chirping in our ear later in the first period. Their observations were as accurate as the results of the play were prohibitive to the Penguins.
In the final six weeks of the regular season, the Penguins excelled at low play. They pounded pucks below the dots and ground defensemen in the process. In Game 3, the Penguins did not get low nearly often enough. They peeled back and took the space at the top of the zone. It created offensive zone time but they were not pressuring the New York defensemen as hard as they needed to do.