The more things change, the more things remain the same. As I look at the NHL Standings today, I see the Pittsburgh Penguins placing 7th in the Metropolitan Division, 8th in the Eastern Conference (I noticed there are many teams tied with points, so it feels worse), and placing 10th overall in the NHL.
Ouch, this does not feel so great, and I have a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach.
It was on this day, exactly one year ago, when I wrote this article about the Penguins and how they had faired to date. “If You’re Not First You’re Last”.
If you remember, last year, the Pens began the season without the services of Crosby and Malkin. With Covid as well as injuries, it was tough to field an NHL team, at times.
Going into November 10.2021 the Penguins were 4-3-4 = 12 points and were struggling to find their game. As of Nov 10.2022, the Penguins are 5-6-2 = 12 points and are struggling to find their game.
Lol, it’s Déjà Vu all over again.
Well, we know how it played out last year. I wrote about a crucial Penguins road trip into Canada, “Penguins Enter Canada with Trade Agreement”. Last year, this was the make-or-break point for the Penguins season. They went 6-3 and had a “ November to Remember”.
Folks, it’s make it or break it time again, for the Penguins. USA Thanksgiving is on November 23.2022. Which marks the unofficial, “70% of NHL teams, in a Playoff Position, on this date, typically make the NHL Playoffs”.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have their work cut out for them, again.
The Penguins started the season 4-0-1, scoring goals, kicking teams, and exorcising some Penguin demons along the way. We were all feeling really good about the Penguins team and their game overall. Then they went North.
This Year, the Penguins first venture up North was a complete train wreck. The Penguins proceeded to lose their next 7 games, IN A ROW. And they GOT KICKED ALONG THE WAY, during this slump.
Instant Karma gonna get you.
Thank goodness for the win against Washington November 09.22. Now we can all breathe a little easier today.
However, when I glance at the Penguins upcoming schedule, they have the Great White North staring right back at them, again. Toronto, Montreal, Minny, Winnipeg, Chicago, Calgary, all over the next 7 games. It is crucial the Penguins get hot and go on a tear. A nice 5-6-7 game winning streak, to get back into the race, is mandatory.
The Penguins were pumping 6 goals by their opposition early on, what changed?
Well, I’ll tell ya; Injuries, Travel, Life, Complacency, Poor Puck Luck, Lack of Effort, Mistakes, the ability to Turn IT On/Off at will is not always possible, Hot Opposing Goalie, Fluke Goal, Poor Team D, Bad Turnovers at the wrong time, Lack of Team Will to Win at All Costs mentality, a complete lack of Urgency from the group overall…I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.
Want More? Here are some Key Stats to think about.
Goals For: 46- Penguins Rank 11th overall in the NHL.
Goals Against: 45- Penguins Rank 9th Most Goals Given Up overall in the NHL.
Goalie Save %: .903 -Tristan Jarry, Ranks 23rd overall in the NHL.
Power Play %: 18.8% -Penguins Power Play Ranks 23rd overall in the NHL.
Penalty Kill %: 75.6% -Penguins Power Play Ranks 24th overall in the NHL.
This is not gonna cut it gang. The Pittsburgh Penguins must be better. Period. Everywhere. And in every facet of their game. They Penguins need to bump it up a few notches, like now.
Penguin management “Brought Back the Band”, for another run. They know who is in the room and what they are capable of. And in the first Five Games, they showed everyone.
You don’t win the Cup in October and November; however, you can knock yourself out of contention for it.
It’s all about Patience. It’s all about Character. But it’s really All About Winning.
It’s now time to win boys.
My View from the Cheap Seats
As mentioned, this time last year, “The Pens have some work to do, in order to climb out of the basement. As Ricky Bobby says, “If You’re Not First, You’re Last”. Of course, we all know that you can be second, third, fourth, hey, you can even be fifth. Which would be a great view compared to the one we see in front of us today”.
In the “real world”, Penguins out in the wild, are known to have thick skin, be self-disciplined, show determination and have the will to live with and overcome many of life’s challenges that are thrust upon them. This Penguins Hockey Team, like last years team, must show that same determination and resilience going forward.
1. We Are Family – support and stay the course.
2. It’s All About Defense – commit to it and we will excel.
Quote of the Day:
Alfred E. Neuman – Mad Magazine