No letdown for Penguins in 7-1 start
There’s been no post-Stanley Cup slump yet for the champion Pittsburgh
More like a Stanley Cup surge.
They are 7-1 with no losses yet in five road games.
There was considerable talk before the season began about a possible letdown by a team that has played in two successive finals and won the Stanley Cup in June. Instead, the rest of the NHL might need to worry more about the
Since coach Dan Bylsma took over in mid-February, the
“(I’m) pleased with the record and I think the guys are pleased with the record, but I think to a man we really haven’t been at our best yet and haven’t put together our game like we think we can or expect we will,” Bylsma said Monday. “There are areas we know we have to improve on if we want to be a good team. We have a long way to go.”
“It’s something we heard a lot about coming to training camp, coming into the beginning of the season,” said Fleury, who is making a strong push to be included on Canada’s Olympic team. “We knew that every night was going to be a tough night and teams would want to beat us, so we’ve been ready and played good hockey.”
Bylsma did exactly what Steelers coach Mike Tomlin did by eliminating all talk of the championship season once training camp began – and, for the
The shift in focus appears to be working. The
“I’m happy,” Malkin said. “The team is playing great.”
“I think when things are going well, that’s the time to push harder,” Guerin said. “I think Dan has a good handle on what we need to do to stay focused each and every night. It hasn’t been a grind yet, there are a lot of peaks and valleys during the season. Right now, we have to make sure we’re bearing down and riding the wave.”
Malkin (3 goals, 10 points) and Crosby (4 goals, 7 points) aren’t slumping, but neither has matched the eruptive start by Washington’s
“If we were 7-1 and our team thought we were playing well and our team was acting that way, I would be concerned,” Bylsma said. “We know we have to get better. Some of the details we want to get in our game, we’re not as sharp as we want to be. We’ve talked about paying attention to those details.”
The power play, for example, ranks 21st.
It’s also a long way to March, and the
“It’s not something where you ever really get caught looking ahead to March. You can’t afford to and I don’t think anybody does,” Crosby said. “We’re not going to start doing that now. We’ve had success, and that’s great, but nothing’s automatic and things can turn as quickly as they’ve been going great. We’ve got to keep that in mind and stay on task. It would not be a smart move for us to be looking ahead.”