Is it me, or did the Penguins’ 6-5 loss to Philadelphia Wednesday night look eerily familiar? It was almost as if we entered a space/time vortex and were watching a game from last season’s disastrous first-round playoff matchup.
The game featured an all-too-familiar script. The Penguins rocketed from the starting gate to snatch a quick lead. Philly coach Peter Laviolette burned an early timeout to steady his troops. The Flyers responded with an U-G-L-Y goal (the only guy who wasn’t in the net was Pens goalie Tomas Vokoun). The Penguins’ composure—along with any semblance of defensive-zone structure—crumbled in the wake of yet another frustrating defeat at the hands of our most bitter rival.
It’s the latter that troubles me the most. After watching the Flyers slice through his team last spring like a knife carving up a Thanksgiving turkey, I thought Pens coach Dan Bylsma surely would preach better defensive play to his charges.
If he has, the players aren’t heeding the message. Every...