When the Penguins trailed 2-1 in the third period of Sunday's game 3, I expected a push from the home team. I never saw one.
I'm not going to criticize the Penguins effort. They played hard. Many of this group have an unimpeachable resume when it comes to effort in the playoffs.
Credit the Islanders. They were relentless as they have been all series long. But I expected better from the Penguins in terms of execution. I hope they execute better tonight.
It's possible that it's the final home game for Phil Kessel and Matt Cullen. Cullen is a UFA and Phil Kessel has been the subject of plenty of trade rumors.
The back-to-back Cup champion Pens will be a thing of the past. This team is already without Hagelin, Bonino, Sheary, Daley, and other key contributors to the 2016 and 2017 championship rosters.
If this series is indeed the end of an era, at least give the fans one more glance at what it looks like when this group wins. Give these fans a Thursday game 5. Show Pittsburgh that these champion Penguins may be finished, but they're not resigned to that fate.