TORONTO | By placing the Penguins at the foot of the wall, the Canadian was given two opportunities to create one of the biggest surprises of the first round of the past ten years.
In the event that he manages to complete this mission, which initially seemed to be impossible, and if it is based on the point spread that separated it from its rivals to the interruption of the season, the Habs would cause the fourth most important change of the decade.
Its 15-point gap is placed behind the unexpected successes of the spring of 2019 Blue Jackets (30 points behind) on the Lightning and the Avalanche (17 points) on the Flames and behind that of the Kings (16 points) on the Canucks during the playoffs of 2012.
To achieve this, preferably on Friday afternoon, the cast of Claude Julien must apply six important principles.
1. It is far from being finished
The impetuosity of youth may give incentives to project too quickly in the future. The young Canadian will need to avoid falling into this trap, because the Penguins have seen other. We did not dispute beyond 170 playoff games without having lived a bit of adversity. Moreover, the path leading to the Stanley cup are strewn with pitfalls. The Penguins can testify to that. When both of their latest conquests, they have faced elimination on four occasions.
2. Reduce the time of possession of Sidney Crosby
It starts with the bets in the game. Each duel winner removes a minimum of five seconds of time of possession to the unit’s best player of the Penguins. A non-negligible, particularly in the defensive zone. In the course of the last two games, Phillip Danault was the work of a master at this level. Monday and Wednesday, he won 20 of his 27-confrontations (74 %) against the captain of the Penguins. Close to Carey Price, the Victoriavillois has had the best 12 times out of 18 (67 %).
3. Air for Carey Price
Since the second game, the attacking Penguins are much more insistent, almost to the net of the Canadian. Patric Hornqvist is prowling around Carey Price’s non-stop, and several returns of throws are available. Wednesday evening, representatives of the Pennsylvania unchecked or deflecting 11 shooting from the enclave. The back of the Habs will need to do the housework and make you pay for any opponent too reckless.
4. Launch, launch, launch
Several colleagues of Pittsburgh said that if he had gone there on merit, Mike Sullivan would have chosen Tristan Jarry to face the Canadian. He preferred to give the net to his veteran Matt Murray, winner of two Stanley cups. Except that Ontario is undergoing a series of roller coasters. It occurs rapidly and gives a lot of returns. Its movement imprecise, the often lead to be deported, a little outside of his net. Start anywhere and move Murray will make it vulnerable.
5. Close the neutral zone
Beware of the waters that sleep. Kristopher Letang has still not darkened the score sheet, and Evgeni Malkin has been limited to a statement of support. They are due to explode. To limit the risks, the Canadian will have to bottle up the neutral zone. Without the long passes and the entries of territory at full speed, the big guns of the Penguins are deprived of two important tools in their arsenal.
6. Stay away from the dungeon
Decrease the reaction time and the space of manoeuvre of the Penguins is not a simple thing, with equal strength, imagine it with a man less. Limited to one goal on 12 occasions in the first two games, the Penguins have finally found the right recipe. Creating a rift between the attackers and the defenders, the massive attack of the Penguins scored twice in 59 seconds. Because of his play five-on-five, more solid than that of his opponent, the Canadian recovered. But it may well not be the case next time.