Extended winning streaks are hardly new to the Penguins. With their win over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, the Penguins became the first team in NHL history to post a winning streak of 10 or more games in three consecutive seasons. However, the thing that makes this streak different than its predecessors is the way in which they have put them together. Early in the year, they were guilty of having what can only be described as a split personality. You never knew which Penguins’ team would show. Whereas today they have become more of a shape-shifting bunch that has the ability to play and win any style of game against any opponent. Through the first four victories of their current streak, the Penguins surrendered 17 goals, were sloppy defensively and didn’t offer much support to its goaltenders. The only visible system seemed to be: find ways to outscore the opposition on a nightly basis. “Sometimes there’s a bad bounce, breakdown, and then maybe you start to cheat,” left wing Chris Kunitz said. “You want to lean the other way to make up for that mistake the shift before. However it goes, I think we do a really good job of focusing on our game plan.” Then came victory No. 5 of the streak, a 6-1 blowout of the New York Islanders -- a team that had dealt the Penguins an embarrassing 4-1 loss at Consol Energy Center on Jan. 29 -- while the home team was in still its split personality phase. If the Penguins were looking past the Islanders on that night, they used the outing to correct some of the deficiencies that had been visible in their game and the script has been completely different since. The Penguins have allowed just six goals over their past six games and look to be growing more confident in the defensive zone with each win. They also killed off 86 percent (12 of 14) of the shorthanded situations that they have faced.
Pens re-establish winning identity
Beaver County Times | Mar 21