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So why can't the Penguins stay disciplined?


hf101
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Here are a few clips from a decent blog written by Justin Glock

Discipline is the biggest concern for the Pittsburgh Penguins. They are taking many ill-advised penalties, and they are taking the majority of these penalties in the offensive zone. Pens players are also getting mixed up in scuffles when they should walk away. Dan Bylsma cannot bench the goons who are responsible for these dumb penalties. Most of the time, the guys who are going to the penalty box are his top players. James Neal and Evgeni Malkin lead the list of culprits who are guilty of dumb penalties.
The Philadelphia Flyers have developed the recipe for beating the Pens. The Flyers try to cause as much chaos as they possibly can in an attempt to turn the game into a circus. There were 18 penalties between the two teams in their last meeting on Wednesday night. This script played right into the Flyers hands. They want to get the Pens’ stars caught up in the chaos and to get under their skin. Instead of the Penguins ignoring the extra-curricular acts demonstrated by the Flyers and walking away, the Pens continue to walk right into a trap.

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Kris Letang leads the Pittsburgh Penguins in giveaways this season with 20. (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)

The Penguins, and especially their stars, should know teams are going to attempt to be physical with them. When you have the talent that the Pens have on their roster, the only way teams can stop them is by taking the body and being physical. Brooks Orpik says that everyone on the team is aware of the discipline issue, but the entire team gets too caught up in their emotions.

“I don’t know how many times we can address it. We know how they (Flyers) play,” said Orpik. “We know especially once we get the lead that they like to target certain guys on our team.
Zac Rinaldo
goes off with Tanger. That’s a pretty good trade-off for them. I don’t think that’s very good for our chances at winning hockey games. We can talk about it as long as we want, but we have to go out and do it now. You can talk about it until your blue in the face but that’s no good if you go out and do the opposite.”

The Flyers have made it clear that the Pens did not learn their lesson from last year’s playoff debacle. The Pens will still take stupid penalties whenever they play the Flyers. There is more to the Pens’ discipline problem than taking penalties too often.

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@hf101

I think the Islanders were the ones who first stumbled into it. One of their goons Gillies knocked Tangradi out with a flying elbow then stood over him throwing punches at his helpless head. The brawl that ensued was where Godard came off the bench to defend Johnson against Haley.

I dunno about benching those guys so much as trying to get them and Crosby on board with recognizing when it's happening and righting the ship.

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@hf101

Because then the team becomes 1 line during that time and depending who is on the ice defensively that can be bad...either way they're without 2 of the top 3 scorers for stretches of games. Take two of your top six off the ice for anytime and your team suffers.

Those guys just have too be good Christians and turn the other cheek, and that is one of the most difficult things in life to do.

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Overall, I understand the article and it's fairly accurate, if not really that original.

But don't you think "When you have the talent that the Pens have on their roster, the only way (my emphasis) teams can stop them is by taking the body and being physical" is a bit exaggerated? They have some talent, obviously, but it's been 4 years since they won the Cup (waits patiently for the mandatory 1975 responses) and 5 since they won the division. Three years since they got out of the first round. While the subject of the article is valid and should be of concern in Pitt, it's obviously not the only way to beat this roster sent by God.

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@ruxpin

Nice Avatar!

@Polaris922

Using the last game as an example, The game was extremely physical with everyone on BOTH teams finishing checks any opportunity they got. The refs even let some of the retaliations go (again Both ways here) as long as it did not become an interference penalty for continuing so long or taking head shots or slashing like you are chopping down a tree. The last Pens/Flyers game was one of the most entertaining games I have seen in quite awhile because they let them play even with the 18 penalties called.

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@ruxpin

@flyerrod

I just think the team is talented enough that if they stay focused on their system and execute, they're extremely tough to beat. The ONLY team I remember knocking them out of the playoffs while they were playing their system was the Lightning, and I'm not sure if Ryan Malone had inside information that helped with that or the Lightning were just on fire. Otherwise, the only way I think this roster can be beaten in a best of seven is to get them playing outside their system. When they're too pissed off, or frustrated, the stars on the team seem to try to do it all themselves. Crosby is often capable of it, Malkin... not so much. Malkin always struggles in the first round of the playoffs anyway, so get him flustered and he's even less productive. Your Flyers go after them outside of the scope of the game. A lot of extra scrums and swipes, little cross checks and extra curriculars that draw them out of their game and into the chaos. I think that's when you see the worst of the Pens.. the Malkin elbows and Neal late hits... stuff like that they don't seem to do a whole lot of against other teams except on very rare occasions. It's not the hitting DURING the game that gets them out of sync, it's the extra stuff during and after the whistles that do the damage in my opinion. They're two teams that genuinely hate one another.

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