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What Went Wrong: Penguins Report Card vs. Canadiens



Kris Letang Pittsburgh Penguins

Hockey is a game of mistakes and capitalization. If you watch any player or team, you can find the errors, or what look like mistakes after the play. On good nights, the positive moments outweigh the bad. Then there are nights like Tuesday when the mistakes were obvious and one lousy period with a handful of mistakes canceled all of the good. The Montreal Canadiens played a simple road game and attacked the usually well-positioned Penguins defensemen for a 4-1 win at PPG Paints Arena.

It wasn’t just one Penguins defenseman which was suddenly staring the back of a Canadiens jersey. It was five. Three times, those moments became goals despite a handful of wow-factor saves by goalie Tristan Jarry.

“It just wasn’t a good period,” Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson said.

Johnson was the lone defenseman with clean hands on Tuesday. He also had a few good rips at the net.

Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan was justifiably dour after the loss, as well. Les Habitants were able to attack the Penguins underbelly and work the edges on the defencemen de Pittsburgh Penguins.

“They’re certainly fast. They’re on you quickly, they challenge you on the breakouts with the forecheck, their D is pretty active on the walls, but we tend to face that every night,” Sullivan said. “A lot of teams play that way.”

Then Sullivan got into the heart of the matter. His analysis and PHN analysis don’t differ much. Though the technical aspects and the Penguins shortcomings could reverberate beyond this game. The tactics Montreal used against the Penguins can be done by many teams, though few have been as fearless, until Tuesday.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.