Olczyk: Sidney Crosby, Penguins "Chasing" Islanders

It's been tough sledding for Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in their opening-round playoff series

April 16, 2019 - 8:42 am
Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins New York Islanders NHL

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have won two of the last three Stanley Cup titles. They likely won’t make it three out of four.

The Penguins trail the Islanders 3-0 in their opening-round playoff series.

“I’m not surprised that the Islanders are leading the series; I am surprised that they’re up 3-0,” NHL on NBC analyst Ed Olczyk said on Ferrall on the Bench. “I thought that the islanders had every chance to win this series. I thought it would be long, but right now it looks like it’s going to be short. So good for the Islanders, and obviously tough sledding to this point for the Penguins.”

The Penguins lost Game 1, 4-3, in overtime and were outscored 7-2 in Games 2 and 3. Game 4 is Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

“I thought the Penguins missed some opportunities early in Game 3 at home,” Olczyk said. “That new line that Mike Sullivan put together – the Crosby/Guentzel/Simon line – they had a couple of really good looks early and weren’t able to cash in, and the Islanders took over. There was a long stretch there in the second period where the Penguins had nothing. They could not get anything generated. I think it has a lot more to do with what’s going on with the guys without the puck than the guys with the puck. But come playoff time, the rink gets a little bit smaller, the rink shrinks, and sometimes you have to come outside your comfort zone.”

Is this series over?

“I think the mindset’s got to be, ‘Let’s win a period. Let’s not worry about winning a game. Let’s not worry about winning a series,’” Olczyk said. “Maybe they got to play a chess-match game. Maybe they got to try to win a 2-1 game. But I thought they had some opportunities in (Game 3), but they’ve been chasing the game and they’ve been chasing the series. Barry Trotz and the Islanders, that’s not the team to do that with because they are so good when they have the lead, they are so good when they’re driving the bus – and they’ve been driving the bus for the majority of this series.”

Click below to listen to Olczyk’s interview in its entirety.