What Went Wrong: The Pittsburgh Penguins
This is a continuing series that will explore why the various teams that fall by the wayside did exactly that.
Boston found a new way to win and Pittsburgh found a new way to lose. The story of the Penguins all playoffs, and really all season has been scorching offense despite so-so possession numbers. The reason for that is that the Penguins’ top forwards, Crosby, Malkin, Neal, and Iginla, are so skilled that they don’t necessarily need much puck possession to put it in the net. That got turned on its head in the Boston series. While puck possession was better (136-123 on shots on goal and 271-217 on shots at the net), the big money stars failed to produce. None of the aforementioned players had any goals in this series.
Meanwhile the Bruins did convert their chances due in part to the Penguins’ sketchy goaltending. (Because everyone apparently forgot that Tomas Vokoun has just been sitting on his ass and collecting money in Florida for most of the past six years.) Boston neutralized special teams (both teams were o-fer) and let their superior five on five play and Tukka Rask win the series for them.