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Bylsma doesn’t want to trade chances with Bruins

Jun 3, 2013, 12:51 PM EDT

Dan Bylsma, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Matt Cooke AP

The Pittsburgh Penguins may be the highest score team in the NHL, but head coach Dan Bylsma doesn’t want his players trying to run and gun with the Boston Bruins.

“We don’t like the number of chances we gave up last game for the Bruins and don’t like the opportunities we gave them,” Bylsma said this morning ahead of tonight’s game at the Consol Energy Center.

“There was another two-on-one they had that they didn’t get a shot on that we didn’t like about our game.

“So we’re not looking to play an 8-to-6 game or a 7-to-5 game and hope we can outscore — I think the first team to score a goal is going to win this hockey game tonight.”

The Penguins, of course, didn’t score a single goal Saturday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, a 3-0 victory for the Bruins.

And the idea that the Penguins, blessed with offensive talents Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, should try to open it up against the B’s has a certain amount of merit. So far in the playoffs, Pittsburgh has been involved in seven games where at least seven goals have been scored. The Penguins won five of those seven games; the other two were won by the New York Islanders in the first round.

But even if the Penguins did want to trade chances, they might not have a willing partner in the Bruins, who did a great job of protecting the lead in Game 1.

“I think in probably the latter, I’d say, 35 minutes of the game, we got away a little bit from our execution,” Bylsma said Saturday. “Brought pucks back, tried to make plays through the neutral zone.

“They had all five guys back. We weren’t able to get through that.”

  1. upyourstodd - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    If the Bruins can somehow stay out of the box (Pens 0-4 on the PP in Game 1 was an aberration) their 5 on 5 play and defensive zone structure could potentially win them this series. The Bruins have shown the ability to score at a decent clip, focus on stopping the Penguins (Rask a key cog) and the offense will take care of itself.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:13 PM

      You said the key words: Rask is a key cog.

      I wasn’t all that impressed by anything else the Bruins did, nor was I upset with anything the Pens did, outside of shooting wide and hitting some posts. Could have gone either way.

      • dmacirish - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:30 PM

        good thing it wasn’t horseshoes or hand grenades, otherwise you might have been able to say the penguins won that game. in hockey posts don’t provide you with a point.

      • upyourstodd - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:35 PM

        yes dmac, but hitting posts is indicative of the Penguins generating quality chances. Sooner or later the Penguins will cash in…. The Bruins can be better in their zone and they know it.

      • dmacirish - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:12 PM

        right – as a flyers fan i was saying “sooner or later we will win” but it wasn’t this year {and queue the 1975 comments in 3…2…1…}

        hitting posts are chances, but hockey-i’m-a-douche-bag-withdrawal is suggesting that he wasn’t upset with them shooting wide or hitting posts. every pens fan i was watching the game with was cursing a storm about them shooting wide and missing posts.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:49 PM

        You’re a real idiot. Here’s your quote: “hitting posts are chances, but hockey-i’m-a-douche-bag-withdrawal is suggesting that he wasn’t upset with them shooting wide or hitting posts. every pens fan i was watching the game with was cursing a storm about them shooting wide and missing posts.”

        Here’s what I ACTUALLY said: “nor was I upset with anything the Pens did, outside of shooting wide and hitting some posts”.

        I understand that things are slow for you right now, and you’re probably wanting to contribute in the worst way…but please take the time to at least read before you react.

      • upyourstodd - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:16 PM

        Tyler Kennedy and Rich Peverley must share secrets on how to miss the net every shot they take.

      • jeff2000m - Jun 3, 2013 at 4:39 PM

        Pens DIDNT score and the bruins DID, 3 times ya schmuck!!! Thats something to be upset about! Are u a moron or do u just not know how to watch hockey….which is it

      • tdrusher225 - Jun 3, 2013 at 5:25 PM

        That’s not true. Rask was very good, but he didn’t single-handedly take that game. The Bruins won because they were better on the details of the game while the Pens just wanted to skate up and down the ice. The neutral zone was dominated by the B’s, as were face-offs. And they were also structured in their own zone, while the Pens just wanted to chase after the puck. The Penguins play without the puck is why they lost that game and may be why they lose this series if they don’t fix it.

  2. pastabelly - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Bylsma is not off base here. The Bruins were great in transition and turned Penguin risks into odd man rushes. The problem the Bruins had was putting the puck in the net. The Bruins played a decent game, but not a great game because they weren’t converting their chances. Bylsma obviously believes that he has the better team when both teams are playing conservative hockey. He might be right and the Bruins shouldn’t expect so many odd man rushes tonight.

    You can say “could have gone either way” about so many hockey games. The Bruins played a better game and really choked the life out of the Penguins in the 3rd period. If Pittsburgh plays that same style of play again, I have to like it as a Bruins fan. I just see Pittsburgh with a more focused responsible effort tonight.

  3. kovodisc - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:57 PM


    Only one of the posts (Kunitz I believe) was an unimpeded/open goal that definitely should have been converted.

    Did you ever think Rask was positioned in the right way to leave only 3 options available – hit him with the puck, push it wide, or hit the post?

    Stop focusing on the near misses because the bruins had several as well! It’s a two-way street.

  4. kovodisc - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Also, as far as the Bruins knowing they can be better in their zone, that should scare Pittsburgh considering they STILL put up a goose egg.

    Bruins can be A LOT better offensively too.

    This is going to be a great series.

    • upyourstodd - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:09 PM

      Concerning the posts.. Yes i realize that if the shot was inside the post it very well could have hit Tuukka’s pad. Simply pointing out that the Penguins are generating chances. In addition, as a Bruins fan, I don’t think that the Bruins offense (good or not) will be the determining factor in this series. Special Teams, Defense and Goaltending (particularly in the Bruins zone) will be the focal point on who wins this series an why. I also agree that it is a potentially scary notion that the Bruins can play better in their zone after pitching a shutout. The Bruins defensive system and physical play is a great asset to have against a high flying offense such as the Penguins. Staying disciplined, limiting turnovers and getting great goaltending is a recipe for success for the B’s.

      • kovodisc - Jun 3, 2013 at 6:17 PM

        Well said. Can’t argue with that!

        Concerning the D, I don’t think we’ll be seeing as much defensive scoring from the Bruins this series…and I don’t think they will need it, but it’s good to know it’s there.

        No doubt they are focusing on their sound defensive play this series…they can’t afford not to.

        Fingers crossed that they stay healthy because I don’t want to see Hamilton out there this series…I think he’d be really vulnerable out there against the Penguins’ speed. Having Bartkowski in the chamber is a nice asset to have.

        Everyone talks about the flash of the Pens, but this B’s offense can be just as potent. Big difference is that Pittsburgh doesn’t have the defense the B’s have! What happens when Seguin gets hot? And Jagr starts finding the back of the net? Lucic is in straight-up BEAST MODE right now, too.

        HURRY UP GAME 2!!!!!!!!

    • itsallniceonice - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      More importantly the Bruins can be a lot better defensively.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Jun 3, 2013 at 5:05 PM

      And the Pens can be a lot better defensively and far more emotionally disciplined. Vokoun was left out high and dry many times in that game. Earlier in the season they had a crazy 3rd period comeback against the Bruins. If they stick to their game they can wear down the Bruins just like the Bruins wore down them down on Saturday night. It took the eastern conference 60 games to shutout the Pens. I’m not saying it won’t happen, but the Bruins shouldn’t be counting on another shutout this series. They have to be planning to score at least 2 goals to win a game against the Pens. The Saturday game reminded me a little bit of the game the Pens lost in the Ottawa series because of the fact despite what seemed like plenty of opportune scoring chances, the offense just wasn’t clicking and the opposing goalie came ready to deliver. The Pens came back strong after that, though, and I’m hoping they do the same tonight. Anybody who thought this series was going anything short of 6 or 7 games is an idiot anyway. Aside from Boston, there was never really another team on my radar that would be challenging the Pens for the east spot in the finals. They’ve gotta win tonight, though. Splitting Boston to keep the series even sounds a lot easier than shutting down Boston twice in their own arena.

      • kovodisc - Jun 3, 2013 at 6:24 PM

        People who think another shutout is coming are delusional haha

        Pens can score 4, but the Bruins can score 5 and still win (not saying they WILL).

        Bruins offense can be just as potent with the likes of Krejci (playoff leader in pts) , Lucic, Horton (top 5 in playoff points), Bergeron, Marchand, Seguin, and Jagr. Don’t bore me with stats because I KNOW what Pitt has in their chamber…that’s not my point. If, and it’s a big if, Seguin finds his groove (he is playing MUCH better the past 3-4 games) and the Jagr can find the back of the net….watch out.

        Then there’s that thing called the “4th line”…

      • kovodisc - Jun 3, 2013 at 6:25 PM

        What DOES concern me is that I don’t think Chara can keep up his pace. He has looked sloppy at times, and you can tell the heavy minutes have taken their toll on him. Too much speed up front for the Pens for Chara to get lazy.

  5. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 3, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    It might help if Bylsma doesn’t let coach J dictate the match ups on Pen’s home ice. Julien will be laughing all the way to the SC final if he gets to match up Bergeron vs Crosby. Heck, Julien starts Bergeron’s line, and Bylsma matches that with Crosby’s line. Personally, I’d like to see an original 6 match up in the SC final, but would like to see a bit more head to head strategy. If Bylsma doesn’t make it to the SC final, then it’s arrivederci coach.

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