The Pittsburgh Penguins still lead 2-1 in the Stanley Cup Finals against Nashville but is there a hint of trouble we should be paying attention to that seems rather obvious if you have been watching?
Puck possession is a large part of the style of play that Pittsburgh uses, mostly because they have so many ways to generate almost immediate pressure on opposing defenses and plethora of players who can stretch the nylon in the back of the net. However, in this series, with how Nashville can dominate the puck for long expanses, let's be honest, it would be real easy to make a case that the Predators should have the series lead.
The fact is Pittsburgh has been outshot in this series 97 to 64. The Penguins vaunted power play, which was third during the regular season, is 1 for 13 is this series and lone tally came in Game 1 in the first period and been dry since.
Looking Ahead in the Series
As expected Nashville was ready from the start and while Pittsburgh played a strong first period, they seemed to lose interest when falling behind. Two things need to happen going forward it would seem.
One, Sidney Crosby has score or be a major facilitator. Crosby now has one goal in his past 19 Stanley Cup Finals games and while he draws a lot of attention from the other team, this is not a new development after a playing for 12 years.
Goalie Matt Murray had a poor game, with at least two goals allowed which should have been stopped. If Nashville were to take a 2-0 lead in Game 4 in the first period, would Penguins coach Mike Sullivan have the quick hook at pull Murray and go back to Marc-Andre Fleury? #intriguingTake a Step Back
Series are fun because we have the back and forth, nonetheless, Bookmaker.com still the NHL odds at -215 for Pittsburgh to keep the Stanley Cup in the Steel City and teams that started 2-0 winning both games at are 34-3 in this round, which would seem to those who used the Pens for NHL picks to win the series are still in great shape.
If the Penguins win Game 4, all this speculation dissipates, however, is Nashville wins, then the series is really on.