COMMENTARY| The Pittsburgh Penguins trail the Boston Bruins two games to zero after being soundly beaten in the second game of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2013 Stanly Cup Playoffs, according to the Associated Press. While much will be made of the performance of Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask, as it should, the series has so far been a dud with Boston dominating Pittsburgh. Unless Penguins Coach Dan Bylsma finds a spark for his squad, the 6-1 drubbing in the Steel City will be a stinging memory for fans until the puck drops on the new season.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Bylsma yanked starting netminder Tomas Vokoun in favor of Marc-Andre Fleury near the end of the first period. The move would be one of several adjustments that the Pens leader would make, he even resorted to getting stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the ice together without a power play. I was shocked that nothing seemed to work, the Boston defense was everywhere the Penguins forwards were and wanted to be.
I have to give a lot of credit to Boston, because they are putting on a clinic for the Penguins, which is a touch ironic because of the lessons Pittsburgh handed to the Ottawa Senators in the previous series. If these Penguins thought this series would be a cake walk, they were sadly mistaken. The Boston Bruins came to play and they came to win.
The surprise is on the faces of Pens fans across the country: a team with this much talent can look this bad-two fairly important games in a row. Many questions will be asked of Sidney Crosby and his teammates over the next few days, but until the puck drops on Game 3 of the series Wednesday night nobody will have a clue on how the Penguins plan to answer. It’s pretty clear the Boston Bruins are a well-built team and are ready to move onto the finals.
The Pittsburgh Penguins need to find what’s wrong and make the correction-quickly, because the clock is ticking on the season. Sure it might be too early to push the panic button, but after 120 minutes of unconvincing hockey against the Boston Bruins, fingers should be resting on those buttons. The burden of convincing fans and propelling the team back into this series falls on Crosby, Malkin, and the rest of the Penguins stars, and a great performance could get the safeguards put back onto those panic buttons.
Jason Gallagher has been a Pittsburgh Penguins fan his entire life and has followed the team through the roller coaster ride it has taken through the NHL.