ALLEGHENY HEALTH NETWORK

Kovacevic: All this muscle mass could portend big things

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Zach Aston-Reese whacks at a loose puck near the Kings' Jonathan Quick. - AP

Maybe it was when Ryan Reaves put all 225 pounds of muscle mass into the wicked wrist shot.

Or when Zach Aston-Reese planted all of his own 204 pounds, the rear end first and foremost, in front of the opponent's goaltender for the winning redirect.

Or when Jamie Oleksiak pushed back along the boards with all of his own ... what, two tons? ... with such force that he bowled over two Kings for the price of one.

[caption id="attachment_565976" align="aligncenter" width="400"] TAP ABOVE FOR BOXSCORE, STANDINGS, VIDEO[/caption]

But I'm betting it wasn't any of those, at least not in isolation, that prompted my curiously sudden realization that these Penguins are a whole lot larger than either of their two Stanley Cup championship precedents. Because it sure felt like that wasn't finalized until I asked John Stevens about it:

He's Los Angeles' head coach, of course. And his team has been among the NHL's biggest for the better part of this decade. Still is. So he knows just a bit about valuing size, even in this era of speed, speed, speed.

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