Pittsburgh Penguins Winning Streak is a Team Effort


After a dismal start of 0-3, the Pittsburgh Penguins have turned it around, despite the power play schematically limping around and superstars off to an uncharacteristically slow start.  Typically those two things alone can sink the hopes of a team early in the season, especially in a division that’s suppose to be a tight race at the finish.  Early wins count even bigger these days rather than winning streaks at the end of the season.  The Penguins winning streak isn’t a fluke.  Depth, goaltending, and a whole team effort are why they’re hanging tough.


The big names on this team so far, haven’t contributed as reliably, during the Penguins winning streak, as they have in the past.  The superstar chemistry hasn’t developed as quickly as management or the fans had hoped.  The silver lining?  The depth signings to beef up the third and fourth lines have really shown up, every single game.

Eric Fehr has paid off dividends since coming off the injured reserve.  He’s injected some energy and skill into the lower lines that hasn’t been seen in years, unless you count a streaky Brandon Sutter.  Fehr looks like the smartest deal of this young season, and the great news, he’s signed through 2017-18 for a cap friendly $2 million.  His hard work will make him a crowd favorite, as well as his consistent scoring, especially since he’s seen mostly 4th line minutes.  His drive is what this team needs right now.

Nick Bonino, he isn’t lighting the offensive world on fire, but he’s adding enough punch to help keep the Penguins in these ugly games.  His scoring chances and effort have been exactly what the Penguins bargained for when they traded for him.  His depth has been crucial, especially while Fehr was shelved, and his ability to fill in up and down the line up has added speed and balance on this roster.  He’s better than a Steve Downie, every day of the week, because he gives that speed and determination, without the constant barrage of stupid penalties.

Matt Cullen, at the time they signed him, I was confused, and asked “Why, if this team wants a youth movement, why Cullen?”  Now I see, his veteran presence on the bottom lines are what help the youth movement along.  Teams need that grizzled veteran who’s seen every scenario, played through almost anything that’s been thrown at him.  He’s the level-headed, steady rock on this team, and I don’t mean an anchor like Scuderi, but a lower contributing player that’s reliable and accountable.  His signing was much needed and he’s proven he still as the ability to produced at this level.

Penalty Kill

As troubled as the power play is, the penalty kill is the exact opposite.  Third in the league, and a kill rate of 89.74%, when I watch games and the PK unit comes on, I’m eerily not worried.  In fact, I know they’ll be fine, so much so, I go to the kitchen and get a snack.  Sometimes, it’s the only thing keeping the Penguins in games, especially with the amount of penalties they take.  The penalty kill started the season as a question mark, between the loss of regular penalty killers, injuries, and the debate of putting star players on the PK, it seemed to be in a gray area.  Unlike the defense, the PK is sturdy, and it’s critical that it stay this way to keep the Penguins winning streak going, especially if the PP never truly finds it’s groove (but it will, a PP this loaded won’t stay grounded much longer, as we’re seeing.)

Next: Pittsburgh Penguins New Additions Bring Added Depth


Where are the Fleury haters now?  A few years ago, everything I read was Fleury was toast, he was done, he was a headcase, and his time has expired.  Hhmm, really?  The best player on this team, especially in these early rocky times, has been Marc-Andre Fleury.  Impressive isn’t a powerful enough word for him.  Stunning.  Immaculate.  Impenetrable.  He’s boasting a 1.71 GAA and .942% save percentage through ten games.  He’s even tallied 2 shutouts.  Fleury has thrived on constantly playing.  He gets stronger the more games he plays.  He’s clearly in his happy place, with a zen-like calm, a patience saved only for Ghandi.

Let’s hope the rocky start was a wake up call and this team can kick it in at the end of the year, because right now, the secondary support is exactly what we needed, and you can’t keep our superstars down for long, I guarantee that.