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Penguins Gave Away Missing Ingredient, at Sullivan’s Request | PHN+

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Pittsburgh Penguins Jim Rutherford, Mike Sullivan
Pittsburgh Penguins Jim Rutherford, Mike Sullivan

Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan rebuffed a question from PHN after the Penguins Game 4 loss, which eliminated his team from the NHL postseason. Sullivan declined the existence of a pattern or something which changed within his team, which was once nearly impossible to beat in big games, but now is 1-7 in their last two postseason appearances.

Sullivan declined the notion, but GM Jim Rutherford did not.

Last week, Rutherford steered headlong into the recent postseason foibles and promised changes based on the trend.

“I also have to review what’s happened here at the end of the last two seasons,” Rutherford said. “There’s been a pattern in both seasons.”

Both Rutherford and Sullivan share liability for the Penguins’ newfound heartless playoff performances.

Funny thing, though. As team sources discussed with PHN the recent Penguins personnel strategies and the reasons behind several recent (and controversial) moves, a few long-standing, suspected facts were confirmed.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have failed to push back against the New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens. Despite Sullivan denying a trend and declining to compare team ingredients, there is something missing.

The Penguins had that something but gave it away.

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