NHL coaches obsess over obtaining every possible point.
NHL coaches seldom instruct anyone on how to play three-on-three.
If those two statements come across as incongruous, so be it. But let their combination underscore, powerfully, how little control anyone can have over so much speed, so much skill, spread out over so much ice.
"There just isn't much you can do," Kris Letang was telling me after the Penguins finally put down the Flames, 4-3, on Justin Schultz's goal 2:36 into overtime Monday night at PPG Paints Arena. "If you try to script it too much and something goes wrong ... you've got no chance. So it's better to just let everyone play."
Especially, of course, if that everyone includes the odd generational talent or two or three.