For the past couple of seasons I’ve watched with increasing alarm as the Penguins have downsized (and defanged) in order to better fit Dan Bylsma’s “damn-the-torpedoes, full-steam-ahead” system.
It’s no secret that Bylsma’s approach is predicated on wearing the other team down with a relentless attack. While speed certainly is an asset in today’s up-tempo NHL, it can’t be your only asset. To draw a baseball analogy, if a pitcher throws nothing but fastballs—even if it’s a very good fastball—he’s eventually going to get lit up.
Same thing in hockey. When you’ve got all four lines playing the same way—at the same pace—opponents are eventually going to adjust to your rhythm and counter effectively. You have to be able to change speeds once in a while.
If I seem a bit wistful for the not-so-distant days when big Georges Laraque used his considerable bulk to pin the puck behind the other team’s net for entire shifts at a time, I am. To me the present-day Penguins are way too tailore