from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
“The challenge with Washington’s power play is they have a lot of threats, not just him,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said Wednesday when I asked about it. “So it’s hard to just key on just one particular threat out there. I think we’re trying to do our very best to not be predictable and make sure we have a scheme that tries to limit their best options.”
But there is a risk, at this critical juncture of the Eastern Conference semifinals, of being too clever by half, and Sullivan’s team obviously isn’t the first to allow No. 8 to treat the left circle as though it were his private patio. But what I saw in that 4-3 Capitals victory Game 3 looked a lot like Penguin dereliction....
At one point on the first of three power plays in the opening period Tuesday night, Ovechkin was granted the entire circle to himself as he awaited some room service from any of the four other skaters absorbing all of Pittsburgh’s attention. I know Rust never sleeps, but Bryan Rust in one sequence seemed unaware that Ovie was even on the ice.
Later in the period, with the Penguins shorthanded again, Ovechkin actually stood as the only skater on his half of the Penguins defensive zone. Had he purchased his own digs on the suite level, he could not have been more comfortable.
For a team whose defensive catechism starts with the commandment That Shalt Strictly Limit Time And Space, the Penguins in this series look like groomsmen at the wedding of the Mayor of Moscow to the Time-Space Continuum.
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