PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) — Root Sports Pens Analyst Jay Caufield joined the Cook and Poni Show on Monday to help preview Game 3 of the Penguins-Blue Jackets series.
With the series tied 1-1 and shifting to Columbus are the Pens still the favorite?
“They have given Columbus life and belief,” Caufield said. “But this has been two games without the Pens stars scoring yet and I still think Pittsburgh comes out with this.”
Caufield says the stars are what separates teams in the playoffs and the Pens should have the advantage but so far the Blue Jackets have been able to keep those stars like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and James Neal off the score sheet. That has to change if the Pens are going to win this or any series.
“Stars are paid to produce. Now is the time to produce,” Caufield added. “It may take a bounce here or there to get it going. The longer it goes the harder they press.”
Caufield gives credit to the hard working Blue Jackets, especially Brandon Dubinsky for keeping the Pens in check. He thinks Dubinsky has been the best player for them on the ice and he would expect more of the same if they have a shot to win this series.
“He has not only been all over Crosby, but all over the ice,” Caufield said. “He has been that good. He will be out on Crosby every time they can.”
Caufield also says he thinks Crosby’s struggles have been because of a blend of playing with different players and trying to do too much.
“it’s been a hodgepodge for that top line,” Caufield said. “It makes it difficult.”
Caufield also addressed the Pens and the questionable penalties they have taken in this series but saying some of those calls were not penalties in the past.
“Some of those hits would have been cheered 10 years ago,” Caufield said. “You can’t take a run at a guy. Letang made a hard hit. In this game you can’t do it, it costs you.”
Caufield said despite Letang’s play, he would expect no changes to those defensive pairings.
Listen to the full interview here:
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)