Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan has long talked about his team finding its identity and playing with swagger. The terms may have been used or been coaching tropes, but over the past 10 days, the Pittsburgh Penguins are finally finding that identity.
The confidence begets more. The sharp play out of their own zone is transforming the Penguins’ sloppy play of the first six weeks. The Penguins now look like a playoff team.
After Washington beat Philadelphia on Monday night, the Penguins tenuously remain in a playoff spot, which is much better than where they were two weeks ago.
The turnaround begins with one piece, which opens the game; the Penguins are playing with speed out of their own zone, which allows them to play on the rush, which allows them to create or get to the net, but above all it allows them to play with the puck.