The hardest part of the long summer for the Pittsburgh Penguins will not be that they failed to win the Stanley Cup. It will not be that they lost in the first round to the Philadelphia Flyers. It will not be that they were eliminated in Game 6 on Sunday afternoon, in a game that started with Claude Giroux flattening Sidney Crosby, then scoring a goal on the first shift.
The hardest part of the long summer for the Pittsburgh Penguins will be the knowledge that it did not have to end like this, with a 5-1 loss in the series’ least dramatic game, and that they have only themselves to blame.
The Penguins had a three-goal lead in Game 1 on home ice, and lost 4-3 in overtime. A 3-1 lead in Game 2 became an 8-5 loss. When the conversation at Dan Bylsma’s postmortem news conference turned to those games, Pittsburgh’s coach frowned and nodded for...