Less than 24 hours after learning that the Penguins will face the Canadian at the possible qualification round of the playoffs, the daily Pittsburgh Post-Gazette advised already at the club not to take the team to the montreal lightly.
In his text on Saturday, reporter Matt Vensel has listed a series of elements that can ensure that the CH should overtake the “Pens” in a series of three to five.
Precisely, the fact that the series is shorter than usual is one of the factors that could benefit the Habs. Vensel believes that this will “reduce the margin of error of the Penguins”.
There is also a certain Carey Price, who might come shuffling the cards. The guardian does not know, however, not the best season of his career, he has maintained an a average goals allowed 2.79, and an efficiency rate of ,909 in 58 meetings.
“Of course, Price always has the ability to steal a series, especially a series shortened,” wrote the reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
A team fast
Vensel also believes that the play style of the Canadian could cause a lot of trouble to the Penguins.
“They have four lines that are difficult to face and it is a team pretty quickly,” said the journalist. Their speed has meant that the Penguins were playing on their heels last season.”
“Under [Claude] Julien, the Canadian tries to create odd man rushes in attacking their adversaries with their failure before and cleaning down the neutral zone.”
The representative of the media in Pittsburgh has also made a parallel with the recent playoffs of the national hockey League (NHL), while the New York Islanders had swept the Penguins in the first round.
“Another team made up of players that are relatively unknown [no-names]”, he wrote to illustrate the similarities between the Islanders and the CH.
Better than its record?
In 2019-2020, the Canadian has maintained a record of 31-31-9, which conferred upon him the 12th level in the Association of the Is. In comparison, the “Pens” was at the fifth level, under a sheet of 40-23-6.
Vensel think, however, that the Blue-White-Red has been the victim of bad luck and it is based on the advanced statistics to prove his point.
“This season, they have generated 54.6% of their chances on high-risk five-on-five, according to Natural Stat Trick, he cited. This percentage is three points higher than that of the Penguins, is the third in the NHL.”
“Combine a lack of finishing with a lower performance on the special units and performance changeable Price, and you get a sheet of 31-31-9.”
In short, Vensel concludes that the Penguins “should not be in fear of the Canadian,” but that they “should not take them to the top.”