Mike Sullivan: Penguins must be prepared for Canadiens’ forecheck

Mike Sullivan: Penguins must be prepared for Canadiens’ forecheck
(Dejan Kovacevic / DKPS/Dejan Kovacevic / DKPS)

Mike Sullivan and his staff got a first-hand look at Montreal Tuesday evening, when they watched the Canadiens' 4-2 exhibition loss to Toronto at Scotiabank Arena in the wake of the Penguins' 3-2 overtime defeat by Philadelphia there a short time earlier.

Sullivan told a video conference Wednesday that technology gives coaches pretty good insight on what they can expect from opponents, but seeing the Canadiens live reminded him -- in the unlikely event a reminder was necessary -- that they have good team speed, which could translate to an effective forecheck in their qualifying-round series against the Penguins, which begins Saturday at 8 p.m.

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"One of the ways they utilize their quickness is on their forecheck," he said. "We're going to have to do a good job of getting back to pucks quickly. We're going to have to help one another.

"We're going to have to offer some interference (on Montreal forwards) coming through that neutral zone to buy time for our defensemen, and then we're going to have to be on the same page and execute. We're going to have to be able to handle their pressure."

The guys who will have to do that certainly seem to be aware of the challenge the Canadiens could pose.

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