Kasperi Kapanen admitted the Pittsburgh Penguins lack confidence. Rickard Rakell admitted his team lacked pushback against the Edmonton Oilers and frustration grew when things didn’t go their way in the Oilers 5-1 win at PPG Paints Arena.
Connor McDavid had four points and Edmonton outclassed the former Stanley Cup champions.
Head coach Mike Sullivan admitted a few more things, too.
“I don’t think that was a very good performance from us and we didn’t have any pushback in the third. It was just a poor game from us today,” Kapanen said.
Look, the Penguins have plenty of talent and potential, still. One glance at the Penguins roster and lineup should give any opponent pause. Instead, they’re playing like Tom Savini creations in a George Romero flick.
They lack wins against playoff teams since the calendar turned from midseason to serious, 60-minute efforts, goals, and confidence.
There’s no fight. No pushback. And Sullivan noticed.
The Penguins don’t lack for mistakes and inexplicable system lapses.
As part of an expansive answer, Sullivan dropped this bit of hopefulness.
“We’ve got a lot of experience inside that locker room. We got to draw on that experience right now more than ever…”
However, that was part of Sullivan’s eyebrow-raising answer to a simple question: Did the team’s lack of confidence lead to the third period surrender? I churched up the language for the coach, but his answer opened the door to a lot more questions, large and small. And the answers to those questions are not good.