A Google search for the word ‘unraveled‘ shows definition number two as:
While the post game interviews from the Penguins locker room had guys talking about commitment to the team and each other, what happened on the ice sure looked a lot more like a team that has ‘become undone’.
While it may be surprising to some that this team faces elimination in game 4 on Wednesday night in Philadelphia, it’s not that much of a surprise to me.
I have been talking about the problems I have seen in their ‘playoff hockey’ for the past three seasons, so watching the Penguins lose game 3 didn’t come as that much of a shock to me.
What did come as a shock was the way they unraveled on the ice.
What happened Sunday it tough to ignore…and if we’re paying attention, it speaks to much bigger problems than a lot of fans would like to admit.
What happened Sunday was something I would have expected from the Flyers, not the Penguins.
What happened Sunday was disgusting…embarrassing…disgraceful…and demoralizing.
I have watched this team perform in the past…and been more than impressed with their character in tough situations.
Two years ago, when they lost to the Canadiens, I attributed the loss to a cup hangover and a hot goalie (Halak).
Last year, when they lost 3 games in a row to the Lightning was the first time I openly questioned their character: http://my.hockeybuzz.com/...id=6464&post_id=11129
. Of course, minus Malkin and Crosby, it was still debatable whether or not their character should be questioned.
After what I've seen in these playoffs, and specifically what I saw yesterday, if I hear one more guy talk about character…I might stop listening to them completely.
Yesterday was the closest thing I could imagine to what it would have been like to root for the Flyers teams of the past.
Yesterday was the unraveling of character…something I didn’t think would or even could happen.
It’s going to take a lot of work to fix what’s wrong with this team and the chances are very good it won’t be something that can be accomplished in the next couple of days, weeks or even months.
When a situation like this happens, it speaks to problems at the core…and problems at the core are not fixed by band-aids on the surface.
When a team unravels as much as it appears the Penguins have, it takes a lot of time and hard work to sew things back together.