5 Ways for the Pittsburgh Penguins to Shock the New York Rangers

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Dec 12, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Johnston (top) talks with defenseman Kris Letang (58) and right wing Craig Adams (27) during a time-out against the Calgary Flames during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

3. Do Not Crumble In The Face Of Adversity

Before the team’s defeat to the New York Islanders in the 81st game of the regular season, an unnamed Penguin told Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that “when one little piece of adversity hits [the Penguins], we fall apart.”

Any spectator of the Penguins dismal April can verify that this observation was dead-on. When pressure started to mount against Pittsburgh in recent games, the team folded. The defense would make sloppy mistakes, the offense would make poor decisions with the puck and the opponent would steamroll the Pens with their momentum.

Given the strength of the Rangers squad, it would seem like a safe bet to assume that the Penguins will encounter some trying moments once the games begin. They are already a heavy underdog and if the Rangers get on the board quickly or rattle their cage a bit, it will be vital for the team to show fortitude.

This has not been a strong point for Pittsburgh, as the team has earned a reputation for being a bit weak on the ice. However, if they wish to have any chance at proving their critics wrong and pulling off an upset in the first round, they must sharpen focus and show the grit needed to make a deep postseason run.