Yesterday, Artistry accurately quoted me (as he always does) saying that the Talbot and Godard fights in the first period were reminiscent of the 2008 Philadelphia Flyers. I stand by that statement. The pre-Laviolette Flyers had a stacked roster - they just didn't know how to get the most out of it because they got sidetracked and baited into ridiculous penalties and fights.
Admittedly, it is way too early to tell, but it's worth wondering: Are the Pens trending in a similar direction?
In the team's 7 wins, Penguin players had 6 fights. In 8 losses, the Pens dropped the gloves 13 times. This is skewed a little by the Dallas and Boston games, but it is still alarming. The Pens' philosophy is supposed to be about getting to a very particular kind of game, using speed, puck pressure, and puck possession to overwhelm the opposition, and any focus on fighting or exacting some sort of retribution on a player who dares hit Sid or Geno diverts precious energy away from that ultimate objective. The Boston game was a perfect example. The Pens were completely dominating the first period. Two ridiculous fights and a Kris Letang penalty later, they are down 2-1. Sure, they got the lead back, but the opportunity to suffocate the Bruins from the beginning was lost.
The internets are rumbling today with complaints about Dan Bylsma (Artistry will have more on this later). My message to Bylsma is simple: do what you say you want to do -- get to your game. Fighting is not your game.