It’s the simplest of things. Get 25 guys who are really good at hockey, make them like each other, the coach, and embrace the situation. Add Sidney Crosby, and the Pittsburgh Penguins should sip champagne for a decade, right? The best-laid plans rarely come to fruition, but occasionally from the hottest fires emerges the toughest steel.
The Penguins have persevered through a tough season, in which the adversity extended well beyond the compressed schedule and a training camp that wasn’t as long as a quarantine period.
Everyone had that adversity, and not everyone was ready for it. Teams, such as the Penguins with an influx of new faces, struggled.
But the Penguins figured that out.
Evgeni Malkin was flat-footed and out of shape after being locked down in Russia.