There’s a huge possibility the Pittsburgh Penguins could be vying for their second Stanley Cup in five seasons — but they’ll still have to get past the Boston Bruins.
And while most of the nation remains in awe over the names that Pittsburgh has in their lineup, Boston has all the tools to beat ‘em.
Penciling in a hard-nosed defenseman in Zdeno Chara, a stand-out goaltender in Tuukka Rask and a plethora of grinder’s — the Bruins aren’t receiving the amount of respect they deserve with how well the Pens dominated the last round.
But the outstanding second round performance will not change the way Pittsburgh will go about their business.
Keeping the right state of mind — Pittsburgh is focused on the next game only.
No matter how many accolades they receive, they still know there goal isn’t yet accomplished.
Even there general manager, Ray Shero – who spoke to the media Friday – knows not to look ahead:
“Our goal, like Boston, L.A. and Chicago is to win four more games. I’m not going to look further than that, past this series.”
Sticking to the game-plan is part of the protocol Pittsburgh likes to instill within its skater’s. Although it’s hard not to admire their fascinating play of late, they know to keep the past in the past.
If the team wants to maintain the current high they’re on — they’re going to have to work in these upcoming contests.
The hockey world saw how well the New York Islanders competed with them. They were the same Islanders who came in with less experience and an eighth seeding.
Anybody can beat anybody in the NHL playoffs.
That’s the mentality Pittsburgh’s brought to each game and they must keep bringing it.
When the Pens are firing on all cylinders it is without a doubt they are stupid-good — but they have to remember to play out every contest as if it were there last.
Skating an uptempo game and attacking Boston’s defensive wall is going to be a obstacle. If the Pens manage the puck well, and more importantly dictate the speed of the game, they’ll make it hard on them.
The Pens swept the Bruins during the regular-season (3-0) and if there’s anything they can learn from those past contests is that if you limit Boston’s opportunities, they’ll start fluctuating.
But if the Bruins start to get frustrated the Pens must learn to contain their emotions.
Should Boston start to stumble, don’t be surprised to see Milan Lucic get a little more rambunctious. Knowing how well Philadelphia rattled Pittsburgh last year, teams can now follow suit with that same blueprint.
Boston cannot see the power play because of boneheaded penalties.
Staying out the box will be the determining factor for both teams.
Should Pittsburgh commit sin-bin after sin-bin — we could be in for a long series.
But all off Pittsburgh’s attention is on the next contest.
Game 1 is Saturday in Pittsburgh at 8 p.m.