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Penguins Grades: 4th Line Goals! What to Make of the Blowout Win (+)



Pittsburgh Penguins game, Kris Letang, Sidney Crosby

SAN JOSE — Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan put a pair of his older veterans in the press box in favor of younger and faster players. The Penguins scored, scored, and scored a few more against the hapless San Jose Sharks. By the middle of the second period, the game was well-decided as the Penguins led 7-1 on their way to a 10-2 win.

But it was not as perfect, especially for the first 30 minutes. The Penguins didn’t dominate until the Sharks collapsed later in the second period, though PHN finds itself on the other side of the fence as Sullivan, who said the opposite.

“I just thought, especially in the first half of the game before it got opened up a little bit, we played a conscientious game. We knew they were a team that plays the game with a lot of aggression. And one of the challenges was going to be to beat them, beat their aggression,” said Sullivan. “We had to win the walls … if we could win the walls, we’d get some opportunities, get some looks. And I thought I thought our guys did a good job in that area of being ready for them to handle their pressure. I thought we made pretty good decisions with the puck and playing behind them when we didn’t have any sort of space to create in front of them. And I thought we did a good job just with the decisions that we made with the puck between the blue lines.”

It’s your choice in the Penguins analysis to focus on the scoreboard or the focus on the process.

It’s also your choice to believe if the Penguins embarrassed a cupcake opponent despite some mistakes they need to clean up, or after a few weeks of frustration, they finally made someone pay. Get Dave Molinari’s Penguins game recap.

Getting into the nuts and bolts, the scoreboard belied the competitiveness (for the first 30 or so minutes), and the Penguins’ problems remain ever-present and a table feast for opponents, even the Sharks. Yet, something the Penguins have not seen all season swung the game, and therein lies the greatest reasons for optimism.

Pittsburgh Penguins Analysis

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