TORONTO | The season of the Penguins may not take from a thread, they are far from pressing the panic button. The experience gained over the years allows them to keep a cool head. And they believe likely that they are the ones who should be at the helm of this series.
Thereupon, the troops of Mike Sullivan were not entirely wrong. This would be the case if Carey Price had not stolen the show during the first fight. Except that in life, what one deserves and what one gets don’t always go hand-in-hand.
Result : the time begins to press for Sidney Crosby and his teammates. It is particular to think that the captain of the Penguins could undergo elimination, this afternoon, during the one match that he may compete in the day of his birthday during his life.
The Penguins, winners of only one of their last nine playoff games, will not be able to correct the tangent without the contribution of Evgeni Malkin.
The great Russian has still not hit the target, despite a bombardment of 17 shots on goal. And his trio has not been able to produce with equal strength.
“It is difficult to score against Carey Price. This is the best goalkeeper in the world, at this time, has he supported. And around him, his teammates are doing a good job. They play tight defensively and block shots. We had opportunities to score, but it has perhaps not tried hard enough. “
The encouragement of the coach
This season, when Malkin scored, the Penguins have posted a record of 13-6-2 (,667). With the Russian milled (when he was in uniform), they showed a record of 17-13-4 (,558).
“From experience, I know that sometimes, it only takes a goal to bring back the trust and confidence of a player. The elite players are humans like everyone else. When something positive occurs, it gives them energy, said Sullivan, the course of the see unlock. I encourage it. I told him to continue working and not to stop directing shots at the net. “
Of course, we’re not talking about the same player class, but we were able to see how to shake a lethargy, can change the dynamics of a player when Jonathan Drouin beat Matt Murray. Subsequently, it seemed much lighter and confident.
“You need to stay positive, but I am not satisfied with my game. Tomorrow [today], this will be an important match. I have to set in motion ” launched Malkin.
Too early for the holidays
The prospect of having to fall back on holiday after being made to wait long due to the pandemic could be an element of motivation. At the very least, Malkin pointed out.
“We have a good group of guys. We haven’t seen for four months. We don’t want it to end now, ” said the striker of 34 years.
“We have to make sure to play for 60 minutes. During the third game, we led 3 to 1 and we stopped playing. You can’t allow it. Not in the playoffs “, he continued.
Curious error for a group of players accustomed to major honours. Probably a simple mistake of course.
“We are in a good state of mind. Many of us are familiar with this situation, we have already experienced. To play in the playoffs, it is far from an easy thing, ” said Patric Hornqvist, since the Hotel X, where he resides with his teammates.
The Swedish 33 year-old knows the song.
It is one of nine veterans of this team have been part of both teams, champions in 2016 and 2017. Of course during which the Penguins have faced elimination four times.
“The guys feel good. Today [Thursday], there was a beautiful energy to the training, told Sullivan. Our players are aware of the situation in which we find ourselves. They are confident and they are febrile. “