5 Issues that could derail the Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Tell me if you have heard this story before, but the Pittsburgh Penguins are creeping up in the standings.  The Penguins are currently in Fourth Place in the Metro Division, just 2 points behind the Capitals for 3rd place, and only Five points behind the Rangers, for First Place.   The Pens just rattled off a 10-Game winning streak and Malkin has now returned from his knee injury.  We all should celebrate.

True that, except for, as we speak, Five Penguin Players are currently on the IR, under Covid Protocols.  Yikes.  Can you say, here we go again.  Remember the uncertain, scattered lineups in October.   Remember never knowing who was actually going to play, until game time.  Well, as much as things change, they remain the same.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will Win the 2022 Stanley Cup if they can navigate through these Five Issues, that look to derail them in 2022.

Trending. Pittsburgh Penguins 2022 New Year Resolutions. light

Covid-19 Outbreak 2022

The Penguins had their first bout of Team Covid in late October, early November.  They weathered that storm, getting out of November with a record of 10-7-5.  They got healthy and rattled off a 10-game winning streak in late December-early January.  Now, as we get into the dog days of January, Covid has reared its ugly head towards the Penguins, once again.  The short term objective during this time of crisis is to Tread Water.  Play .500 hockey or so, until all the players return from IR.  Play a simple game, pick up as many W’s as possible and hope to be done with Covid for the rest of the season.  Long term objeective is to make the playoffs and be healthy for the 2022 playoff run.

The Schedule

The Penguins had five games postponed, from December 21 to December 31.  They will be played at “some other time”.  There is a little flexibility in the NHL schedule,  since the NHL Players are not going to the Olympics.  That said, if there are any more future postponements, the Penguins schedule will get compressed really fast.  A large number of games in a short number of days, is a recipe for injury.  The human body needs rest in order to recover from exertion.  A compressed schedule, is a sure sign that injuries will happen and presents an even a further risk of overall sickness to the Team.  This is however, out of the Penguins control.  Here is hoping the second half of the season can be completed on time and with no more glitches.

Trending. Pittsburgh Penguins Offense Dissected. light


As we speak there are Five Penguins on the IR due to Covid and one Penguin on IR due to a Lower Body Injury.

Heinen – Covid Protocol

Aston-Reese – Covid Protocol

DeSmith – Covid Protocol

McGinn – Covid Protocol

Rust – Covid Protocol

Zucker – Lower Body

We all know that in order to Win the Stanley Cup, it is a marathon, not a Sprint.  Overall Team Injuries from here on will be key to how this Penguins 2022 Playoff Run will look come April.  The Pens have the team depth to make a run this year.  Injuries and the timing of theses injuries, will factor in to how long that run will be.

Mental Fatigue

Covid-19, Vaccine Protocols, Personal Health, Mental Health, Family Health, Finances, Missed Family Gatherings, Missed Happy Events, Missed Sad Events, Missed Friends.  Can the players remain focused during these very trying times.  It all adds up and effects each one of us differently.  Remember, We Are Family.  If you need to reach out and talk, we are here for you.

Trending. Defense Win Championships especially in Pittsburgh. light

Trades / UFA’s

2022 Penguin Unrestricted Free Agents

Malkin – C – UFA 2022

Carter – C/RW – UFA 2022

Rodrigues – C/RW – UFA 2022

Boyle – C/LW – UFA 2022

Simon – W-  UFA 2022

Letang – D – UFA 2022

Ruhwedel – D- UFA 2022

Who do the Penguins want to keep going forward and who do the Penguins want to Trade.  With Cap Space at a premium and likely remaining flat or increasing by $1 Million, there will not be a lot of extra money to throw around in 2022.  The Penguins have just changed their Ownership Group, and we know Management will want to have, “their guys”.  So, who stays and who goes, will get very interesting, really soon.

As of Jan16.2022

Pittsburgh Penguins    22-10-5 = 49 Pts

4th in Metropolitan Division

7th in Eastern Conference

9th Overall in NHL

The Penguins hold the #1 Wild Card Playoff Spot in the Eastern Conference

My View from the Cheap Seats

There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now.  Our day-to-day routines have changed.  Our future plans, may have changed.  Our thoughts about what matters most to us, may have changed.  Keep in mind, this uncertainty affects us, as well as all teams in the NHL.  For the Penguins, (as well as us everyday people), it really comes down to taking things as they come, remaining flexible, being open to change and of course, taking it one day at a time.

Quote of the Day:

Be willing to change, because life won’t stay the same”.