Courtesy of Hertz

Drive to the Net: High-risk, high-reward Letang ☕

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Kris Letang. -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

Kris Letang received his share of criticism following the Islanders' sweep of the Penguins in the first round.

Was his giveaway count in the regular season really that concerning? Should he be looking to make major adjustments to his game? Not quite.

I’ll take a look at the bad and the good in Letang’s 2018-19 season, and look at where things go from here.

THE BAD

I've said it before, I'll say it again. Giveaways are to be expected with strong playmakers. Playmaking is inherently risky. High-risk, high-reward. You're not going to find a player who makes those near incredible plays but miraculously rarely fumbles the puck. Heck, Sidney Crosby has arguably the best 200-foot game in the league and he still finished fourth on the team in giveaways with 67.

So it shouldn't come as a surprise that Letang finished third on the Penguins in giveaways in the regular season, with 76.

The postseason, however, is the time to tighten up. The room for error is much more slim. That was especially true against a team like the Islanders, who didn't give the Penguins much room to work with.

“To win in the playoffs, you can’t be a high-risk team," Mike Sullivan said in his final press conference of the season. "You’ve got to have a certain discipline to your game on both sides of the puck. It’s not always about scoring goals.”

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