Pens' Sullivan: Tablets can be 'difference between winning and losing'

by
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports / USA TODAY Sports

Before the start of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the NHL gave the green light for teams across the league to begin using the iBench video system - a decision Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said aided his team in its latest championship run.

Using iPads, the iBench system lets coaches show their players video footage during the game, allowing them to quickly adapt and adjust tactics.

Such was the case for Sullivan and his staff during Pittsburgh's second consecutive Stanley Cup victory this spring. "The main areas where we probably gained the most use out of it was special teams, because you get immediate feedback,” he said, according to Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe.

"You can make subtle adjustments on the fly. In the playoffs, you might only get two power plays a game. So if you have the ability to make an adjustment that might lead to an opportunity to score or generate a scoring chance, that could be the difference between winning and losing."

While Sullivan has embraced the tablet technology, he's also a traditionalist who looks to strike the right balance between new-school and old-school approaches to the sport.

"There’s always going to be that fine line between analysis and emotion and instinct. That’s our game," Sullivan added.

"For me, the game is rooted in emotion and instinct. As a coaching staff, we don’t want to get in the way of that. My antennas are always up, because I want to make sure that doesn’t happen. Having said that, the feedback and the ability to make adjustments on the fly is really important."

With tablets in tow, the Penguins will be looking to become the first three-peat champions since the 1982 New York Islanders.