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first time this presea

Post autor: panxing18 » sob paź 06, 2018 4:05 am

The Pittsburgh Penguins don’t expect the sting from their second-round playoff exit to fade anytime soon.

They also don’t expect it to compel general manager Jim Rutherford to give the roster a thorough makeover after the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions’ bid for a three-peat ended at the hands of Washington.

If anything Jeff Skinner Jersey , the setback has given Sidney Crosby and company a chance to put their remarkable run atop the league in perspective.

No team in a generation had won consecutive Cups until Pittsburgh did it last spring and the Penguins went as far as the 1999 Detroit Red Wings and Mario Lemieux-led 1993 Penguins in their own respective quest for a three-peat.

”I think it definitely allows you to appreciate how difficult that was, but also to know we were that close to moving on too, that’s the difficult part,” Crosby said Wednesday as Pittsburgh packed up for the summer.

”I think it definitely gives you a greater appreciation how many times it could have went the other way on a pretty good run.”

The margin is always razor thin in the playoffs. And the Penguins somehow found a way to land on the right side of things through nine playoff series across three springs.

Against the Capitals, however, the bounces – and often the energy – went the other way.

Twice Pittsburgh blew a third-period lead in regulation – something that never happened during the regular season.

Goaltender Matt Murray was usually crisp but not dominant. The scoring depth that made the Penguins an impossibly tough out vanished this time around. Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel did not register a point at even strength against Washington.

Derick Brassard – brought in at the trade deadline to be the third-line center role Nick Bonino filled so capably in 2016 and 2017 – was a nonfactor.

So were Bryan Rust and Conor Sheary, who played beyond their years and scored pivotal goals in the process while ending their first two seasons in the league with a parade through downtown Pittsburgh with the Cup in hand.

Not this time.

The Penguins downplayed the notion they simply ran out of gas after playing more hockey than any other club over the past 32 months.

Maybe, but there’s ample proof the NHL has caught up with the team that built itself on lightning quick aggression when Mike Sullivan took over as head coach in December 2015.

Now it’s time for Pittsburgh to spend the offseason trying to get that extra gear back.

”We’re a good team,” Rutherford said. ”And we will be a good team going forward. We’ll have a chance to win again. We have the nucleus to do that.”

How? Let’s take a look back and a look ahead while the Penguins spent the rest of the playoffs watching the pursuit of the Cup on TV, if they bother watching it at all.

DINGED UP: Pittsburgh, as is hockey tradition, had several players make a go of it in the playoffs despite undisclosed or non-characterized injuries that limited their effectiveness. The group includes Kessel http://www.officialhurricanes.com/authe ... kov-jersey , Malkin and Brassard. Kessel picked up a career-high 92 points while playing in every single game for the eighth straight season, but had just one goal in 12 playoff games. Sullivan allowed Kessel was dealing with a health issue but added ”it was nothing significant, I can tell you that.”

Penguins rookie Zach Aston-Reese, who broke his jaw and suffered a concussion following an illegal hit by Washington’s Tom Wilson in Game 2 of the second round, is currently eating lots of ice cream, sidestepped when asked if the three-game suspension Wilson received was enough but does feel it was a positive step.

”It’s something I guess they’re trying to get rid of and I think moving forward guys need to be a little more aware and have more control of their body when they go in and have hits like that,” Aston-Reese said.

HOT STOVE: Rutherford, who is as aggressive as they come in terms of trying to upgrade the roster, admitted there’s a chance the Penguins could move an established player or two if necessary.

”It is fair to say that this will be a different looking team by the time we open next season,” Rutherford said. ”It doesn’t mean there will be drastic changes … but they’ll be changes that are necessary.”

SPRING SPRONG?: Pittsburgh kept forward Daniel Sprong in the minors for most of the year and he responded by scoring a club-rookie record 32 goals for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. It didn’t earn him a promotion during the postseason. That likely won’t be the case next season, when the 21-year-old will be given every chance to make the team out of camp.

”He will be a regular on our team,” Rutherford said.

So will Rutherford. The 69-year-old famously said he might only be around a handful of seasons when he took over in the spring of 2014. Now it appears he’s not headed anywhere.

”I think the best answer is I may be around longer than you guys Youth Tyler Pitlick Jersey ,” he said with a laugh.



More NHL hockey: Davis Webb took a step toward restoring confidence that he can be a capable backup quarterback for the New York Giants.

Webb took advantage of his opportunity to play for Eli Manning, throwing a go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter to help the New York Giants beat the Detroit Lions 30-17 Friday night.

"Everyone says that wins don't matter in the preseason, but they leave a much better feeling in the locker room," Giants coach Pat Shurmur said.

Webb was 14 of 20 for 140 yards with an 8-yard TD pass to Wayne Gallman Jr., who scored for a second time later in the game. Webb showed poise in the pocket and touch down the field, connecting on a perfectly lofted 40-yard pass to Russell Shepard to set up Aldrick Rosas' 55-yard field goal in the second quarter.

"I just wanted to hit the reset button on everything that happened last week," Webb said.

Manning, a two-time Super Bowl MVP, was a healthy scratch.

Webb, a 2017 third-round pick, played well after performing well last week. He was 9 of 22 for 70 yards, sailing passes over open receivers in the preseason opening loss against Cleveland to raise some concerns about whether he's ready to be the team's No. 2 quarterback.

"I was very happy to see Davis Webb bounce back that well as a starter Sidney Crosby Jersey ," Shurmur said. "He made significant improvements from last week to this week, and that shows why we have so much confidence in him. I thought he was calmer and he did a very nice job."

The Giants rested rookie running back Saquon Barkley with a strained hamstring and didn't test receiver Odell Beckham Jr.'s surgically repaired ankle.

Giants rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta, a fourth-round pick, scrambled and scored on a 10-yard run in the third quarter to put the Giants ahead 17-3. Gallman took an inside handoff and bounced to the outside on an 11-yard run to put New York up by three TDs early in the fourth.

The Lions started Matthew Stafford after sitting him in last week's game at Oakland and he didn't have much time to make plays behind a porous offensive line. Stafford was 2 of 5 for 51 yards and was sacked twice and hit once as he threw.

Detroit coach Matt Patricia, though, refused to blame the guys up front.

"I don't think we played particularly well at any position," he said.

Jake Rudock replaced Stafford in the second quarter and finished 23 of 30 for 171 yards with a TD. Rudock came back in the fourth, relieving veteran Matt Cassel, who threw an interception.

Even though it was just a preseason game, Patricia was clearly not happy with his players, staff and himself.

"We got to do a better job and it starts with me," he said. "We've got to get these guys ready to go. We obviously have a lot of work to do."

INJURIES

Giants: RB Jalen Simmons left the game in the second half with a concussion. Shepard left the game in the fourth with a finger injury.

Lions: LB Steve Longa appeared to hurt his right knee when he tried to tackle Lauletta on his TD run in the third quarter. After being evaluated on the field Sven Baertschi Jersey , Longa walked off the field slowly and went toward the locker room.

HE'S BACK

Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah played for the first time this preseason, coming back from an undisclosed injury that kept him out of the beginning of training camp.

"I noticed him on a couple plays," Patricia said. "It was good that he was out there, working hard."

NATIONAL ANTHEM

There were no player protests during the national anthem. The Lions, as they did last week, stood on the sideline with their arms locked together. The Giants all stood at attention and many players held their right hand over their heart.

PREGAME CHAT

Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders met Barkley before the game, chatted briefly and posed for some pictures.

"He's put together," Sanders said.

UP NEXT

Giants: Face the Jets on the field they share, technically as the visitors on Aug. 24.

Lions: Visit Tampa Bay on Aug. 24.
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