The Penguins are locked and loaded heading into the postseason.
And that is a development that shouldn’t be overlooked prior to Game 1 against the Islanders.
They’ve been loaded before.
But I can’t recall a Penguins team that had the balance between talent and tenacity, the potentially lethal combination of combustible skill and unshakable
focus/attention to detail that this team has established.
To assistant coach Tony Granato the latter is the Penguins’ signature strength.
“I would say (it’s) our work ethic, our competitiveness, our continuous ‘attack, attack’ mentality,” he said. “The runs that we had this year and through some of the different times this season, when we were challenged we stepped up and brought it to another level.”
A big part of putting the finishing touches on all of that was the acquisitions of Brenden Morrow, Jarome Iginla, Douglas Murray and Jussi Jokinen.
“The most important thing they brought to our team is the character that they have,” Granato continued. “They are competitors. They are guys that fit into your room and are
willing to accept roles and responsibilities.
“Right from the first day they all got here you’re like ‘these guys are Penguins.’ And that’s the part as a coach, I think, you’re a little bit unsure of, especially when you add four players, what kind of people and what kind of character you’re bringing into your room.
“Their reputations are everything that they are. It’s been real rewarding.”