Courtesy of Fortify Franchising

Stats ‘N’ At: How does Cup contention look? ☕

MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

By now, you know the Mike Sullivan mantra. Be hard to play against. Win puck battles. Limit odd-man rushes. Play north-south hockey. It's a philosophy that, along with several Hall of Fame talents, catalyzed back-to-back Stanley Cups. And it's a philosophy that seemingly fell on deaf ears in 2018-19, when the Penguins were swept out of the first round of the playoffs while playing fire wagon hockey.

So far in 2019-20, however, the Penguins are playing peak Sullivan hockey.  The parallels to the 2015-16 team--one that also relied on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton call-ups, weathered serious injuries and dominated puck possession nonetheless--are hard to miss. They're not getting fully rewarded for their efforts in the standings so far, but the process has been excellent.

Let's take a closer look at how the Penguins are playing a more responsible style of hockey, while remaining potent offensively.

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