In partial dual of a mainstay on hindsight and research of a Pittsburgh Penguins deteriorate and privately of Mike Sullivan, we incited to a things that Sullivan got wrong or could have finished better. Of course, since some things weren’t tried, we’ll never know a answer and several situations could have been finished worse. And it should be noted, a Penguins whimpered into a offseason and it is doubtful anything Sullivan could have finished to make his organisation a system-loving, gritty, inspired organisation like a New York Islanders who flog them.
Read Part One– Mike Sullivan vs. Social Media: 5 Things Sullivan Got Right
The Penguins staggered by a deteriorate for months. The locker room was a dim place as a Penguins sank to a bottom of a Eastern Conference in November. There weren’t answers as Sullivan pushed each symbol usually to find a incompatible register with zero to play for. It seemed a Penguins unsuccessful in a opposite proviso each night. Goaltending faltered some nights, invulnerability faltered on others, and a brazen lines had inevitable problems other than a Guentzel-Crosby combo.
Derick Brassard was ceaselessly unfortunate unless he was given a top-six role, it seemed Phil Kessel would usually play with Evgeni Malkin and a fourth line sputtered with Riley Sheahan in a core and Daniel Sprong on a right side. The fourth line also faltered with Cullen in a core and Sprong on a wing.
One thing that Sullivan got right that we didn’t embody in Part One was putting Sheahan on a left with Cullen in a core and Zach Aston-Reese on a right wing. That fourth line sprang to life and gave a Penguins a second unchanging line and a small bit of descent pop, too.
Things Sullivan Got Wrong (In No Particular Order)
1. Jack Johnson on a Right / Defense
Johnson defends his possess section good adequate though it was mostly unpleasant examination forecheckers conflict Johnson with impunity. In full integrity to Johnson, a organisation wasn’t accurately personification as a five-man section in a initial several months and opening passes weren’t always as accessible as they should have been. However, forecheckers fast schooled to angle their conflict on Johnson to keep him on his backhand that forced Johnson to use a potion to allege a puck. It wasn’t a pass as many as it was a clearing try that ceded possession.
It’s no consternation fans were upset. It was a tough conditions for Sullivan who had usually one right-handed defenseman though a worse pursuit for Johnson who was bettering to a new conditions and doing so on his off-side.
Things severely softened for Johnson with a further of Marcus Pettersson in Dec though a Penguins blue line was still subpar until Justin Schultz returned from his fractured leg in Feb and a Penguins acquired Erik Gudbranson after in Feb during a trade deadline.
There were also signs of life in mid-February as Sullivan extrinsic abyss defenseman Chad Ruhwedel into a lineup though Ruhwedel was shortly harmed and didn’t play again.
Brian Dumoulin finished a switch to a right side late in a deteriorate after Kris Letang was harmed and he showed good on a right. In hindsight, Sullivan could have been softened off switching Dumoulin to a right instead of a hard-handed Johnson, gripping Jamie Oleksiak on a right and operative with a large defensemen to keep his diversion elementary or inserting Ruhwedel brazen of Juuso Riikola.
2. Derick Brassard
The Penguins had a actor able of more. Brassard was prosaic wrong to scowl or not give all he had to a third line core role. However, Sullivan non-stop a doorway to personification left wing though didn’t entirely try it.
On a Penguins west seashore highway outing that straddled Oct into November, Sullivan put Brassard on Sidney Crosby’s left wing. Brassard racked adult 3 assists in one diversion before being injured.
Brassard now had a bound in his skates, too. Sullivan usually sparingly used Brassard on left wing going brazen notwithstanding a engorgement of centers on a roster.
One thing Sullivan didn’t try was Brassard on Evgeni Malkin’s left wing. Could Brassard have complimented a Malkin-Phil Kessel sight wreck? Perhaps Brassard could have been a blank square that got a span to play reduction passenger hockey, or Brassard could have been a talent on a line, and a coaches could have re-united Kessel with Riley Sheahan on a third line.
Kessel and Sheahan had singular success in 2017-18. Malkin-Kessel weren’t personification good hockey together, nor did Brassard-Kessel. Perhaps a resolution would have been Brassard-Malkin.
We’ll never know.
3. Penguins Power Play / Phil Kessel
This season, Kessel had a high commission of energy play points (36) opposite even strength points (46). In this case, a series of energy play points were impressive. However, a Penguins also yielded an unsightly 15 shorthanded goals against. Specifics are a matter of interpretation, though Kessel was obliged for about half of those.
Kessel sprang to life on a Penguins energy play though mostly lacked what Sullivan called termed “a defensive conscience.”
The Penguins vaunted power-play was during times shining and during times self-destructive. It would have been sin in a fan base, though relocating Kessel from a tip power-play section could have been used to indurate a group.
Would a Penguins have mislaid many descent firepower with heading idea scorer Jake Guentzel on a tip section instead? They positively would have gained some responsibility, a actor peaceful to go to a net, and even if Guentzel lacks Kessel’s disagreeable shot, Guentzel is a sniper, too. Sullivan easily joked about not regulating his heading idea scorer on a energy play during a Round One loss.
Perhaps he should have used Guentzel. That opinion was created here several months ago.
The Penguins energy play won a few games for a organisation though it also mislaid a few, too. How many times was a phrase, “the diversion altered on that shorthanded goal,” uttered?
Kessel by his possess admission final week did not have a good season, notwithstanding a strong point-per-game indicate total. There were too many examples of Kessel not personification good hockey that directly cost his team. Sullivan dished a integrate of punishments including a third duration benching in Dec and dual other low-ice-time nights.
But Sullivan mostly acquiesced to his star’s wishes and kept Malkin-Kessel joined in a initial dual months afterwards for many of a deteriorate after a horrible display of Brassard-Kessel in December.
Did Kessel need a quick kick? Or would that have sent a actor into a low pout? A oppressive pierce could have gambled a season, though in hindsight, a deteriorate wasn’t many anyway.