Defensemen talked about Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray and a few other Penguins players loved it and had fun with it. The New York Islanders crowd in the old and smaller Nassau Coliseum was rowdy and loud. Defensemen couldn’t hear each other which aided the New York forecheck and accelerated their momentum.
Crowd noise doesn’t affect the game?
“It just seems like it is never going to stop. It’s hard to think when the crowd is that loud,” Penguins forward Zach Aston-Reese said before echoing the sentiments of several Penguins. “We need to get one early on them or play them pretty tight to try to get the fans out of it.”
There is just something about the old barns without loads of trucked-in speakers which shake the soul. The passion reverberates louder than the voices. Even the rickety Nassau Coliseum which was thought to be retired for NHL purposes rattles with fan support. Like the old Civic Arena used to shake.
“They’re going to come out with the exact same game plan as last time because it worked for them. We need to weather the storm,” Penguins defenseman Erik Gudbranson said. “We need to go out there and implement our will right off the hop and take the wind out of their sails as soon as possible.”
The would quiet the crowd, which may affect Matt Murray’s enjoyment level be he would likely trade that for a lead and a win.
“Not that we were bad last game by any means. There are just certain things we can clean up, like bringing the puck out a little cleaner,” Gudbranson said. “That helps, it always does.”
Despite the New York Islanders hot start which included a disallowed goal and a real goal within the first 100 seconds, the game still went to overtime as the Penguins calmed down and calmed the game down, too. However, the Penguins never climbed out of their early hole. The Penguins did not lead in Game 1.
Scoring a goal in the first few minutes is a big ask but tempering the New York charge is not. The Penguins will need to sidestep the forecheck and create speed and pressure out of their own zone. PHN detailed the Penguins needed tweaks for Game 2.
“I think we didn’t have the best start in the last game. They kind of took it to us in the beginning,” Penguins forward and playoff newbie Jared McCann said. “Tonight I feel like we’re going to have a different story for sure.”
McCann is a four-year NHL veteran but this is his first taste of the playoffs. Gudbranson has just six playoff games which came with the Florida Panthers back in 2015-16. Aston-Reese has was a rookie last season and his playoffs were cut short by the vicious hit from Tom Wilson in Round Two.
The Penguins do have some inexperience in their lineup but it skates beside players like Sidney Crosby who have most of the 13-year playoff streak on their resume.
Perhaps the crowd does rattle the arena. It sounds like the Penguins have talked about it but it shouldn’t rattle them. That doesn’t mean they won’t try to silence it nonetheless. After all, that would allow Zach Aston-Reese an acceptable noise volume to think.