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The Penguins Can and Should Expect a Counter Punch

Fast starts can be misleading, can Mike Johnston adjust when needed to stay ahead of the league curve?

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

What a start to the season! Through two games the Penguins have looked like a team driven by some intrinsic demons. They have played with force, they have played fast, and they have been relentless in their attack. As a fan it has been really exciting to watch, and the quick start has quieted the Mike Johnston doubters among us. But can we expect the current start to continue? Or will the league adjust and take the Penguins away from their new game?

With the Penguins scoring 11 goals through two games it is understandable that fans would be excited. The opponents that these goals were scored on, the Ducks and Maple Leafs, were pretty decent teams. But what can we expect when teams adjust to the Penguins' new scheme? In a day and age where video breakdown is the norm, teams are going to be devising ways to slow the Penguins attack down. Each system has a weakness and it is only a matter of time before opponents find that weakness in the Pens' system and work to shut it down.

One of the biggest complaints about the former regime was their stubbornness about adjustments. We all know the mantra "get to our game" was the answer to any struggles the Pens faced. So what can we expect out of Mike Johnston? I doubt there is much anecdotal evidence out there on the Internets about what Johnston has done in the past to counter a teams adjustments. But I have to seriously doubt he is going to be as stubborn about adjustments as Dan Bylsma was at times.

I would like to think Johnston is aware that one of his predecessors biggest failures was his inability to be flexible when the situation arose. I also want to believe the Pens management has explained their frustrations with FHCDB's rigid nature and have made it clear to Johnston more is expected of him.

Through two games I am enjoying Mike Johnston's reign. He has swag (look no further than his initial introduction at CEC), he shows emotion (look at his reaction after the Despres fight Saturday), and he has a system that has fit our players' skill sets well. I hope he is ready to adjust when needed, and can self-scout himself effectively so he and the Penguins can stay ahead of their opponents.