Pittsburgh Penguins: 5 Reasons the Pens Will Not Win the Stanley Cup in 2016

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Feb 6, 2015; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Pittsburgh Penguins center

Maxim Lapierre

(40) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Pittsburgh Penguins won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

5. Same Ol’, Same Ol’

One thing that has plagued the Pittsburgh Penguins and so many others in the NHL is tunnel vision. The inability to accept new things has been the downfall of so many organizations. There’s a reason the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks have dominated the past six years.

First, it’s no coincidence that those teams regularly sit at the top of the ranks in possession stats. Let’s face it, analytics have a place in hockey and help more than hurt. I’m not saying that the Blackhawks or Kings have the best analytics staffs, or any at all, but someone is paying attention to the underlying numbers for those organizations.

Second, the playoffs are a tighter version of the regular season in hockey, that is very true. But, it’s not always about mucking and grinding, despite what the old school hockey folks say. Toughness, grit, and tenacity without skill will get you nowhere these days. Show me which team in the Stanley Cup Final that just concluded based their team around tough guys or agitators.

Grit and toughness are great, as long as they’re accompanied by skill and production.

Let’s hope that Jim Rutherford and the Pittsburgh Penguins buy-in and seek out players that won’t become defensive liabilities or fourth line talent forced to play top-six minutes.