Sometimes, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan does our job for us. More than a few themes jumped to the fore to analyze the Penguins 4-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and a few acknowledgments from Sullivan followed. The Penguins didn’t have their best game, but the results, causes, and continuing issues are themselves an issue.
On Wednesday, Sullivan jumbled his middle-six forwards. He received mixed results against Toronto, and perhaps surprisingly, Jeff Carter had a strong game from the LW beside Evgeni Malkin.
Perhaps no other Penguins player consistently created and pushed the puck as well.
The Penguins had 19 turnovers, and Toronto had 11 more takeaways. Sullivan’s somber tone in the postgame expressed both the continuing nature and the coming reckoning if things don’t improve.
“We obviously didn’t have our best. We just weren’t good enough tonight, you know, we didn’t execute well enough. I don’t think we were hard enough to play against. You can’t give a team of that caliber the types of opportunities that we gave them tonight,” Sullivan said. “I mean, they’re a good hockey team. You’ve got to give them credit, but I don’t think we did as good a job doing what we needed to do to limit the quality of the chances that we gave up. And so it seemed like we were chasing the game right away.”
A recent trend is how and who gave up those Grade A chances against Toronto.