NHL: Can the Penguins bounce back?
The Pittsburgh Penguins have found themselves in a huge whole. A club that features the world’s two best players headlining a star-studded roster is down 2-0 in their best of seven Eastern Conference Final to the red-hot Boston Bruins.
While the Penguins were not the heavy favorites as the Bruins are a very deep team that can role out four solid lines up front, a solid defensive core led by Zdeno Chara and good goaltending, the fact that the Penguins lost the first-two games at home and looked pretty much “dazed and confused” is a bit shocking. A lot of credit should be given to the Bruins, especially the likes of centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, who have done a terrific job shutting down the Penguins outstanding duo of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
How can the Penguins make this a series? The Bruins are playing great hockey, they play an in your face, aggressive, physical style that is tough to beat. They are going home to Boston up to 2-0 and have a great opportunity to at the very least take a commanding 3-1 series lead, before they head back to Pittsburgh or perhaps even sweep the series. Can the Penguins overcome the Bruins rugged style? The Penguins just need to keep things simple. Going on the road down 2-0 is never the position you want to be in obviously, but despite the Bruins strong play, if the Penguins can get back to basics and get off to a quick start in game three, then perhaps they can get some of their top guys going again.
Tomas Vokoun will be back in net for the Penguins in game three. He was pulled in the first period of game two after facing a Bruins onslaught. Vokoun has put up good numbers in this year’s post-season, but will he be able to bounce back and provide the above-average goaltending his team will need to get back in this series? It’s a tough one to answer.
If the Bruins continue playing the way they have, it might not matter if the Penguins adjust and pick it up a bit. A big part of the reason for their struggles in this series has been because of the strong play of the Bruins.