Kovacevic: 16 ways to solve apathy, arrogance


To continue reading, log into your account:

[theme-my-login show_title=0]
The players raise their sticks to the crowd after elimination Tuesday night at PPG Paints Arena. - DEJAN KOVACEVIC / DKPS

"They're a little bit hungrier. They want more, like, to win. They're blocking shots, they're forechecking, backchecking, like ... they look like they want more, like, win."

That was from Evgeni Malkin.

"They just defended way harder. I think they wanted it more than us."

That was from Kris Letang.

"They made it hard for us. That's basically the end of the story."

That was from Bryan Rust. And damned if he wasn't right, because it really was the end of these weird Penguins' perpetually wandering winter, this 3-1 loss to the Islanders that wound down a stunning first-round sweep from the Stanley Cup playoffs.

And everyone up there was right about the root cause: The other guys wanted it a hell of a lot more.

Which is to say, uh ... wow.

The summer to come will offer far too many days to dissect all that went awry, not just in this cameo playoff but in all the many missteps along the way that unquestionably contributed. For now, though, this immediacy, this door-slam to the collective nose of all concerned, almost makes it feel more appropriate to skip further ahead and wonder ... man, what's next?

In that spirit, then, in lieu of the standard postseason post-mortem, I'll offer the following 16 slices of advice, purely from my perspective, that this franchise should take into this offseason and the 2019-20 NHL season.

You know, one for every additional playoff win they'll need ...

To continue reading, log into your account: