PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero will spend the next weeks trying to determine how, in his words, "188 days in the regular season went down and kind of unraveled for us in 10 days."
Pittsburgh's players already believe they know why a Stanley Cup Playoffs favorite fell apart during their six-game Eastern Conference Quarterfinals loss to the Flyers, allowing 30 goals and not resembling the team that mounted a late-season 11-game winning streak.
Simply, they couldn't match the Flyers in any critical area: goaltending, star-power contributions, the penalty kill, the power play, responsible play in the defensive end, physicality or the intangibles. It wasn't one area that doomed the Penguins, it was every area.
Perhaps that's why, two days removed from a 5-1 loss in Game 5 in Philadelphia, both Shero and coach Dan Bylsma still had a "how-did-that-happen" look while addressing reporters Tuesday. This was the their second consecutive first-round playoff exit, but no one associated with the Penguins saw this one coming – not this early, not this way.