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Monday, May 7, 2018

Not Like the Others by @AlfaM1keFoxtrot

Each of the last 3 times the Penguins beat the Capitals in the playoffs, they went into game 6 with a 3-2 series lead. Ironically though, they lost two of those game 6's.

Trailing 2-3 makes this year different......This team is different. It's not just the absence of Mac Andre Fleury that can be felt but the lack of scoring depth and consistent compete level that came from role players such as Chris Kunitz, Matt Cullen Ian Cole and Trevor Daley....etc.

Maybe the team has taken the feeling of continuously finding ways to prevail for granted. But, there is definitely a lack of focus that has made it's way into the Penguin's overall play.

The Capitals have taken advantage of these moments, even if their overall play has more often resembled that of a garage league team rather than an NHL one.

The writing was on the wall for this scenario to occur at some point though. Injuries or not, inconsistency or not, game 6 and the series as whole now will force the core of this team to summon the kind of character that has so often showed up in the most dire of circumstances over the last two years.

The difference now is that many of the pieces that created those moments have now departed. So, it will be left to some lesser known names to make a play, score a goal, help win a game, or help win a series.

Bonino wasn't much more than a depth center they traded Brandon Sutter for before that series back in 2016. Trevor Daley wasn't much more than a guy that helped the Penguins get out from under Rob Scuderi's contract before he played a series defining game in Kris Letang's absence that same year.

Those are the moments that occur when players stretch beyond what most believe they are capable of and the stage is set for it to happen again.

Could it be smart to give Daniel Sprong a chance in what might be the most important game this year?...Yes.....Will it take more than that to beat the Capitals.......Yes!

It's crunch time, and the Penguins, injured and inconsistent, have a chance to take one at home.

It's time they played like the team have the potential to be

Let's go Pens!!

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