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04.03.2019, 13:49   #1
elaine95
 
: 23.01.2019
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 Youre trying your best to figure it out

PITTSBURGH (AP) Mike Sullivans regular film sessions with the Pittsburgh Penguins dont lack for clues on why one of the NHLs marquee franchises is in the midst of its bumpiest stretch in more than a decade.The defense can morph into a disjointed mess under sustained pressure Semyon Varlamov Jersey , particularly right in front of the net. The crisp breakouts that used to trigger odd-man rushes featuring some of the leagues most skilled players moving at warp speed have largely vanished and been replaced by something significantly sloppier.Oh, and the NHL at large has caught up to the frenetic tempo Sullivan introduced when he took over nearly three years ago, a hiring that combined with a roster makeover authored by general manager Jim Rutherford helped power the Penguins to consecutive Stanley Cups. In that way, Pittsburghs current struggles are a byproduct of its not-so-distant glory.For the most part its a copycat league and teams tend to try to emulate the teams that have success, Sullivan said Tuesday. When you look at our team over the last handful of seasons, weve had pretty good success with a certain style of play.A style Sullivan has no plans to abandon even with Pittsburgh mired in a 1-7-2 funk that has dropped his club into a tie for the fewest points in the wide-open Eastern Conference a quarter of the way through the season.You look at the core of our players, (Sidney) Crosby, (Evgeni) Malkin, (Phil) Kessel, (Kris) Letang, all those guys can skate Sergei Boikov Jersey , Sullivan said. They can still skate.The thing now is, so can everyone else.The proof came to life over the last 30 minutes against Buffalo on Monday night, when the Sabres reeled off the final four goals, including Jake Eichels game-winner 45 seconds into overtime at the end of a sequence that began with a Malkin giveaway in the offensive zone.It was the kind of miscue Pittsburgh used to pounce on with ruthless efficiency. Now its the Penguins who are making the crucial mistakes, ones that are ending up in the back of their own net with alarming regularity.I think weve been doing some really good things the last handful of games but weve been shooting ourselves in the foot a little bit with a few plays, forward Bryan Rust said. Weve got to be a little bit more mindful of that and just dig down a little bit deeper and the bounces will eventually go our way.There is a fair amount of puck luck thats abandoned Pittsburgh at the moment. The Penguins were up two goals late in the second period against Buffalo when Pittsburgh defenseman Jack Johnson locked up Sabres forward Conor Sheary in front of the net. No matter. Casey Nelsons shot from the point deflected off Johnsons skate and by goaltender Casey DeSmith.Watching from afar while sitting out a third straight game nursing an upper body injury, Crosby could only scratch his head.I think the thing for us thats probably been a little more difficult is, its not necessarily the same thing, said the two-time MVP, who hopes to play on Wednesday when Pittsburgh hosts Dallas. Weve found different ways to lose games and you know, weve probably corrected one thing and something else has been a factor in another game we lost.One thread Youth Jake McCabe Jersey , however, has been a constant: defense. The Penguins particularly early in the season during the Crosby era have occasionally been slow to tighten things up because they are so talented offensively that the finer points of playing responsibly in their own end can be lost.In past years, Pittsburgh has been able to outscore opponents even on nights it didnt particularly play well. Thats not happening at the moment. The loss to Buffalo marked the eighth time in 19 games the Penguins have allowed at least five goals, something they did 13 times all of last season.While Sullivan is quick to point to the number of quality chances Pittsburgh created against Buffalo, hes well aware his team was far too generous in front of DeSmith. Pittsburgh dominated the first period but only had a 1-1 tie to show for it after forward Dominik Simon lost his footing while attempting to help clear a puck. Buffalo kept it in the zone and a cross-ice pass led to a one-timer that Tage Thompson buried to even the game.Weve got to do a better job defending and making sure we stay on the right side of the puck and the right side of people in the critical areas of the rink, Sullivan said. Thats an area we can all improve as a team.Pittsburgh hasnt missed the playoffs since Crosbys rookie year in 2005-06 and Crosby stressed it is far too early to panic.Its tight but we just have to make sure we eliminate our mistakes and give ourselves the best chance and I thought for the most part (against Buffalo) we were pretty in control of that game, Crosby said. I think if we keep trending that way, well learn from that one and get a lot more wins.Three quarters of the season remains. Though the Penguins have been meh at best, the rest Metropolitan Division hasnt exactly been lights out. Only eight points separate the Penguins from first-place Columbus. One good consistent stretch of hockey and things can change very quickly.You cant control the ones youve let slip away, Crosby said. Ten games from now, you dont know where youre going to be. Getting shots on goal hasnt been the problem for the Arizona Coyotes.Getting them into the goal has been the issue Jason Pominville Jersey Kids , one that might not get any easier to solve Tuesday night when they start a four-game road trip by aiming pucks at Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk.Although Minnesota (1-2-2) lost 4-2 Monday night in Nashville with backup Alex Stalock between the pipes, Dubnyk isnt the reason for its slow start. All hes done in four games is post a .934 save percentage, going 1-1-2 with a 2.64 goals-against average.Article continues below ...Hes faced an average of 41.8 shots per game, including a ridiculous 57 Saturday in a 5-4 overtime loss to Carolina. Without Dubnyk, the Wild probably dont steal a point in that game or in a 2-1 OT setback to Vegas on Oct. 6, when Dubnyk stopped 41 of 42 shots.Hes been our No. 1 star in all four games that hes played, Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau said following the loss against the Hurricanes. In a realistic world, youre happy you got a point out of that.For his part, Dubnyk isnt worried about the Wilds slow start, not just to the season, but to games. They coughed up the first goal Monday night for the fourth time in five games Womens Johan Larsson Jersey , and even though they tied it after 20 minutes, they spent most of the games remainder in chase mode again.I think were all proud in here and we all know how good we can be, so we have just got to figure it out, Dubnyk said. We know we have a great group in here. I think we all agree we can be better.As for Arizona (1-3-0), its mission is simple, according to coach Rick Tocchet: Dont allow frustration to govern your game. He gave that speech minutes after it outshot Buffalo 36-23 Saturday, but couldnt beat backup goalie Linus Ullmark in a 3-0 setback.The Coyotes have driven play in the early going, putting 146 shots on net to the opponents 93. But aside from a 3-2 win on Wednesday in Anaheim, they havent scored a goal.I know everybodys frustrated, Tocchet said. The coaching staffs frustrated. Everybodys frustrated were not scoring goals. Youre trying your best to figure it out, but at the end of the day Authentic Justin Bailey Jersey , youve just got to be able to will yourself a goal.Arizona has pumped at least 30 shots on goal in every game, the first time its done that in the first four games since 1985-86, when the franchise was playing in Winnipeg.Part of the problem might be the lack of proven snipers on the roster. Only two players have scored 30 goals in a season. Michael Grabner is eight years removed from doing it with the New York Islanders and Alex Galchenyuk, who scored 30 three years ago for Montreal, is currently sidelined with a lower-body injury.Id like to see somebody score a goal, Tocchet said. Weve had point-blank shots in the slot. You just got to keep shooting, I guess. You got to work at your game. I dont have a recipe other than that.
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