The Pittsburgh Penguins are continuing to play solid hockey, but currently it is not going to be enough if they want to make the playoffs this season.
The Pens defeated the Lightning and the Senators this week, both games were solid outings by Pittsburgh, and games to be proud of. Last night, they lost to the Maple Leafs, one of the powerhouses in the Eastern Conference. In no way was this a bad loss, but Pittsburgh is currently involved in a jammed division, and Carolina is starting to catch up.
If Columbus was not suffering from their worst stretch of the season, then Pittsburgh would be in that last spot. The Penguins have done a good job avoiding long stretches of losses, but if they did not have the long win streak a while back, they would not be even close to where they are right now in the standings.
It will be interesting to see how the acquisition of Bjugstad will help Pittsburgh in the coming months. He recorded his first point with the team against Ottawa, and had five shots last night in the losing effort. This Penguins offense seems to get better and better… at least on paper.
At the end of the day, Pittsburgh is going to have to once again turn up the pressure and get a large chunk of victories, because they have a crowded division right now, and every game is important. This Carolina game on Tuesday will be especially huge, and Pittsburgh will look to get back on track, and hopefully start another streak of winning.