How Do The Penguins Survive Tonight's Game?

Our Penguins insider Jason Mackey with some thoughts

The Fan Morning Show
April 16, 2019 - 11:14 am
Mike Sullivan speaks to this team

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- Although it's a shock to most, the Penguins come into Tuesday night's Game 4 at PPG Paints Arena with their season on the line down 3-0 in their series with the New York Islanders.

So, how do they get it done tonight and avoid the sweep and the end of their 2018-19 campaign?

93.7 The Fan's Penguins insider Jason Mackey joined The Fan Morning Show Tuesday morning to help answer that. 

Is it to play more of the Islanders defensive style and match them? 

"What they need to do is play more responsibly. They need to play their own game more responsibly," said Mackey. "What I mean by that, there's a specific example in Game 3 that illustrates what I'm talking about, the pinch by Justin Schultz. Where you just see the puck and you don't think about anything logically and you just try to go get it. You can't do that." 

"What the Penguins don't want to do though and I don't think Sullivan is going to have them do this because I don't think it's how you want to go down in anything, but you can't be too passive. They can't sit back like the Islanders do because they're not built like that, they're not that type of team. Do they want to completely open it up and throw caution to the wind? No, I don't think that's the smart way of going about it. They need to mix a little bit of balance with the offensive skill they have."

Related: Islanders Leery of ‘Frustrated’ Pens, Crosby

Why can't they play a more physical game, with a heavy forecheck and implementing a chip-and-chase "ugliness"?

"Is it an inability to do that? I don't think so, I think they're capable. I think it's more of an unwillingness, a stubbornness. That's equally as big of a problem if not bigger that you're not willing to change and you know you need to change," said Mackey. "I do think it's difficult for this group because you're asking them to play a way that runs counter to how they want to play or how they've always played." 

"If this continues and they don't change it, we're probably going to look back and say this team wasn't diversified enough when it comes to creating offensive. They're good at creating it in a skill and speed kind of way but that's not what is called for here. They need to dump it into the corner purposefully and go get it back. It's not sexy whatsoever and I think they can do it, they just haven't to this point." 

He thinks that Patric Hornqvist will be bumped up to the first line tonight with Crosby and Guentzel. He has a tough time seeing the Penguins go with Dominik Simon on the top line in an elimination game and they need more traffic in front of the net which Hornqvist provides. 

You can hear the entire Game 4 preview with 93.7 The Fan Penguins insider Jason Mackey on The Fan Morning Show below. 

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