The Pittsburgh Penguins continued their winless streak last night after they lost 4-2 to the Winnipeg Jets.
Pittsburgh saw Sidney Crosby score two early goals to put them up 2-0, only to have the team lose the lead for the rest of the game and get caught sitting back once again.
Pittsburgh, we have a minor problem.
As of late, it seems as though the Penguins have had an excruciatingly tough time holding leads in the game.
Each one of their contests this year, the Pens have tallied the first goal. But the Penguins seem as though they are getting perhaps a little too comfortable with early leads.
Yes–in the Flyers and Rangers matchup’s we didn’t see this. However, both of those organizations are struggling to find offense as is.
So when the Pens held onto their leads in those games, the other team that they were playing really wasn’t a threat to comeback, considering both of those teams poor early offensive performances.
When Pittsburgh starts to sit back, they start to play catch-up. That seems to be the biggest problem circling the Pens right now.
That and turnovers.
The eventual game-winning third goal was recorded after forward James Neal was unable to handle a pass up the boards in their own zone from defenseman Ben Lovejoy.
Take it a step back and examine the first goal scored by Winnipeg, which was off a turnover. The Pens pass the puck out of their own zone up the boards, to the other team, and it results in a tic-tac-toe tally.
The last goal was a turnover. Taking the puck out of their own zone, defenseman Matt Niskanen passed it cross-ice to defenseman Kris Letang, who lost it off his blade.
Lackadaisical defense and poor puck management have got the Pens reeling at 2-2.
It’s hard to pull positives out of a loss, but that’s just what the Penguins have to do–look at the positives.
The amount of penalties allowed–astounding. At least for this game.
Penalties have suffocated them of late and this achievement deserves being noteworthy. In the end, they amassed just two fouls the whole match.
Now, that’s is not to say that penalties didn’t cost them, cause it definitely did. And who worse to it have happen to than forward Evgeni Malkin.
Nearly three quarters of the way through the second period, Malkin gets tossed in the box for hooking and Dustin Byfuglien rips a blistering shot through Tomas Vokoun to tie the score.
Not what Geno had in mind, considering his recent dilemma with the officials in his last game.
But regardless of who commits the penalty, the team apparently still needs to work on limiting costly fouls, along with the careless turnovers and relaxed defense.
Energy needs to be exerted throughout the whole game, not just part of it.
Sometime you can put in all the work, but don’t get nothing to show because you forget to show up.
The Pens get their next shot against the 3-1 Ottawa Senators tomorrow in Ottawa at 5 p.m.