As you know, it has been tough road of late for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Beating Washington, Toronto and losing to the Canadiens in OT, had me thinking things might be turning around.
Then came the news, that All-Star Goalie, Jarry has been battling nagging injuries since the beginning of the season. Oh Boy. Here we go. Now that explains why back up netminder, DeSmith has been playing so much, so early in this season. However, this doesn’t explain why the Penguins have struggled overall.
Full Disclosure, I am a Penguins fan and I do enjoy watching the Penguins. I try to remain positive in all articles and or, provide a solution if there is an issue. Very rarely do I pile on a player or the team for that matter, when they are struggling.
Now, it’s easy to pile on the Penguins at this exact moment. I think we all can agree, they are Underachieving at the moment. The Pens are 6-6-3 = 15 points, placing them 6th in the Metropolitan Division. And I will agree with the Penguins Fan Base, that given this line-up, all expectations were to be higher in the standings, at this point in time, for sure.
Please note, that a couple of victories over the Kraken and we might not be having this conversation today. The Kraken are better than we thought. They are not a free space on the schedule any longer, they are a tough out. They simply took it to the Pens in both games.
Keep in mind, the Penguins were knee deep in a 3-game losing streak when they met the Kraken for the first time. The Pens were then in a 6-game losing streak when they met them again, one week later. Both games, the Penguins should have been motivated to end the losing streak. Both games proved there are cracks in the Penguins Line-up. You Want to know the Truth? Captain Obvious Says…
The Pittsburgh Penguin Machine is not running very smooth as we speak.
Can You Handle the Truth? With what I have seen to date and no malicious attempt to put people down, here it is, Just the Facts…
All-Star Goalie Jarry has not been his All-Star self to begin this season. As mentioned earlier, news leaked that he has some undisclosed nagging injuries. This just adds to the drama now doesn’t it.
Back up DeSmith has been average to Ok at best. He can’t do it all by himself that’s for sure.
Ya just gotta make the Saves at the Right Time Boys.
Help from the Defensemen as well as the Forwards, could take off some pressure on the G-men.
I wrote on September 14.2022, that, I suspect the Pens D will be suspect, and I was correct. The Penguin D have struggled this season. Poor D-coverage in general. Poor outlet passes. Weak D in front of any Penguin Goalie, all have led to Losses.
The Penguins D as a group, must be better at boxing out the opponent in front of their net. Period.
Letang re-signed with the Penguins and will remain a Penguin For Life. It’s a nice feel-good story, however he has not played up to the elite All-Star level, we need him to be at night in, night out. Sorry #58, way too many turnovers for your skillset.
Pettersson needs to play a tougher game in front of his net. Period. Petry has been lukewarm ok, and Dumoulin has had a tough first month, as indicated by his third line D-paring. All must play better.
Ya just gotta make the Safe Pass at the Right Time Boys.
Help from the Goalies as well as the Forwards, could take off some pressure on the D-men.
Overall Poor Team decisions entering the Offensive Zone.
The Team ranks 9th overall in the NHL for Goals Scored, which looks ok, however, you need to score the goals at the right time. Goal Scoring Optics does not always translate into victories.
Penguins Centermen are winning Faceoffs at 51.% and ranking 11th overall in the NHL. Again optics, ya gotta win the important faceoffs, like, say in the last seconds of a game.
Crosby has been ok in general; however, he seems to lack a jump in his step of late.
Malkin is an All-Star one shift and giving away free pizzas the next. (I will have more to say on this topic another time).
All secondary scoring must step it up and help out, like now.
Bottom 6 forwards, come to play boys, contribute in some small way. Make a hit, a pass, generate a buzz, something.
Kapanen, I think you would agree that you are better than a fourth liner.
Ya just gotta make the Right Pass at the Right Time Boys.
Help from the Goalies as well as the defensemen, could take off some pressure on the Forwards.
Penguin Special Teams
Poor decisions by all parties on the Penguin Power Play and as a result the Penguins Power Play is ranked 24th overall in the NHL and hobbling along at 19.2%.
I must say this again, Ya just gotta make the Right Pass at the Right Time Boys.
And get this, the Penguin Penalty Kill is also ranked 24th overall in the NHL and bumbling along at a 75.5% kill rate.
Whatever your system is, it’s not working boys.
This is not good enough at all. This is Not Penguin Hockey.
The Penguins Team as a whole, are having a tough time passing the puck. We all know that 3 passes equal a scoring chance. There are long periods of time where the Penguins struggle to put one pass on a stick, let alone two consecutive passes together.
To many Penguin turnovers overall, from everyone.
Poor overall Team puck control. The Penguins simply are not putting the puck in areas for teammates to succeed. Go watch film from Last November 2021 until Mid-March 2022, if you can’t remember how to play this way.
Undisciplined penalties can cause a selfish ripple effect to run through a team very fast and turn the team mindset into that of the individual. Be careful with this, before it spins out of control.
Is it just me or does this years Penguins team look slow. Did age just catch up to the Penguins?
The Penguins Team overall have shown a weak mental toughness state of mind, losing leads, giving up late goals and losing in overtime. I do not like this trend at all.
The Penguins have been Outplayed, Outshot, Outworked, and Outscored. And right now, they are on the “Outs” of the NHL Playoff Picture.
My View from the Cheap Seats
Section: TV Row: PVR Seat: The Couch
Ya just gotta have a tougher Mindset Boys.
I know you are frustrated Penguins Fans. But Fear Not. GM Ron Hextall has brought back the band and is ready for a long NHL Playoff Run in 2022-23.
It is now time for this veteran Penguins group, to tighten that chin strap, tighten those skates and put it all together. It’s time for that Penguin run to begin.
Quote of the Day:
Marc Penner – Author/Writer