An excerpt from a fictious interview with Kris Letang sometime this upcoming offseason.
"You know, I felt great early in the year. Every chance I took was working out, and I didn't have to think about my game. I guess I just ran out of gas later in the season, and every chance I took started ending up in our net. And I couldn't get my legs back after that."
Hockey players are possibly the best conditioned athletes in the world. But no human can consistently withstand 30 minutes per night in the NHL, no less one that never stops his feet moving, and never shys away from contact. Not even Kris Letang, who when playing less than 25 minutes per night, is the top defenseman in the NHL.
Problem with Letang now, is now that he's obviously gassed, and needs to get his wind back, just playing 25 minutes per night isn't going to do that. So what is the best coach in the NHL to do? Hope that the last couple games of the season are meaningless as far as playoff standing goes, and then find Mr Letang the quietest hotel in Western Pennsylvania, and call him the night before round 1 starts and let him know which arena to arrive at.
The pens have showed over the last few months, that Pittsburgh minus 87 and 71 can still equal wins. But subtracting a healthy and freshly kept 58 definitely equals 0. It's simple math, isn't it?