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The Mike Sullivan Plan For The Pittsburgh Penguins

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

With Pittsburgh’s defence, breakouts might not be clean or pretty. That’s fine with Sullivan. Former players say Sullivan isn’t keen on cute passes. The goal is to get the puck to the stars as quickly as possible - by whatever means necessary.

“He wants to get the puck into forwards’ hands,” said defenceman David Warsofsky, who played for Sullivan in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. “If you look at the forwards we have here, they’ve got to be the best in the league. He wants guys to play to their strengths. He’s big on not guys blowing the zone, but once we get control to take off.”

The trickle-down effect will help. Knowing Crosby, Kessel (9 goals) and Malkin (13 goals) may once again be flying through the neutral zone could cause opposing defences to sit back and be less aggressive, allowing more room for Pittsburgh’s defencemen to get the puck out.

“By no means do I want to take the stick out of the players’ hands,” Sullivan said. “I think we’ve got an offensively gifted group. Certainly, we want to stay out of the way…what we would like them to do is have some calculated risk and make the appropriate decision.”

The payoff is potentially season altering. Sullivan said he does not believe the Penguins need to sacrifice defence in order to make it work. With Johnston, offence and defence seemed to be an either/or scenario. In Sullivan’s mind, his style doesn’t need to turn into a “chance-for-chance high-risk game.”

“I don’t know that you have to cheat to create offence,” Sullivan said. “I don’t know that there’s a trade-off. If you play the right way, you can score goals and you can also keep the puck out of the net.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+sullivan


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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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