Hey Penguins Can You Handle The Truth

Penguins. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Penguins. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

We all know that there are serious issues plaguing this years Pittsburgh Penguins, especially if we want to Win another Stanley Cup.

Like, maybe…Goaltending, Defense and Forwards…ouch.

Where do we go from here?

Well, the first thing is, we must realize and accept that there are serious issues that need to be fixed.

Next, we need to make a list of these issues, then look for solutions.

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So I’m here today, to provide you with that List.  But first, I must ask you the Tough Questions right here, and right now…

Can you handle the truth?  Cause I’m gonna give it to ya.


Well, again if you were just settling in to catch the Florida game the other night, we all found out at game time, that our #1 goalie, Jarry is hurt…again.  OMG, every time we think this Pittsburgh train will start to move faster down the tracks, the Penguins derail.  We Need All-World Jarry or we are done, toast, golfin’.

Back-Up Goalie

DeSmith, was of course called into action.  OMG, want to see a trainwreck, live time…ouch.  Watch the Florida game.

Now, some will say, the Team D was bad.  Ok, I will agree, however, the pucks that hit him, were flying around everywhere, which means a lack of rebound control.

He was very unsure of his where-abouts in his crease.  Moving from post to post, sometimes over sliding past the opposite post, is never a good thing, nor a good feeling.  (can you say, fish out of water kinda feeling)

He made a late decision to challenge a Florida player on a semi-breakaway, and it turned out bad.  Now, I’m not going to criticize his decision to challenge, so much as, his technique for trying to stop the puck. It was, how shall I say this…brutal.

Hey, listen, I’m not here to bash anyone.  This dude is playing in the NHL, and I’m not. Fair Point.  However, I have played hockey since I was 3 years old.  I played Jr, scouted and have been around the game for most of my life.  I can tell when I goalie has confidence or not.

And as far as DeSmith is concerned… it’s….Ummm….not.

Back-up to the Back-up Goalie

So, now with Jarry out, DeSmith in as the #1 G-Man, we need to re-call Tokarski, to back up DeSmith…OMG…

Literally re-read the above Paragraph.  Ok, don’t want to, then let me paraphrase…

Confidence as far as Tokarski is concerned… it’s….Ummm… not.

Want some proof?  Go re-watch the Vancouver game Jan 10th as well as Jets game Jan 13th.  Yikes.

Some will say, “but we played real bad that game and had some injuries”.  Ok, I’ll give you that.  Well guess what, Jarry had to play with that line-up too and performed to a higher level.

It’s why they get paid the crazy money, to play this game, at the highest level in the world.  Because, they are supposed to be able to play amongst the Pros and stop the First Shot, at the very least.  I don’t get paid the crazy money, cause I can’t stop that first shot…lol.

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Well, we all know that Letang has had a tough season to date.  So, let’s not pile on.  The bottom line here is, the Penguins need All-World Letang, in order to win going forward.

Getting all D back and healthy, will really help with a second half push, that’s for sure.  However, you can also say that same sentence, for all the other 31 NHL Franchises.

Team Depth at this position will be a challenge.  Maybe Team D needs to step it up.  Let’s all just make the simple pass, make the simple play and help get the puck out of our own end… Faster.


Pass the puck with more accuracy.  It simply means paying attention to details.  Put pucks in areas where your teammates can get to it, before the defender.  Simple stuff here boys.

Focus on tape-to-tape passing.  Yes, you need to understand who’s a lefty or who’s a righty.  Maybe pass a little less in traffic, if this is to difficult for ya.

There have been way to many turnovers, interceptions, and puck possession reversals, which allow for a quick-strike-counter-attack, from the opposition.  This needs to be cleaned up, like now.

In Football, “The Team with the Most Turnovers, Rarely wins the game”.  If this Turnover trend continues, neither will the Penguins.

Critics are crying about the Bottom 6 Forwards, and wanting more scoring.  While I agree, More Scoring is always needed.  I’m just not sure I understand how and why people are so shocked…

You Know who these guys are, right?

You knew who these guys were last year, right?

You know who these guys will be next year, right?

I’m not sure many other Franchises are interested in parting with their Goal Scoring Bottom 6 Forwards…since they all want that type of player.

It’s called a lack of Highly Skilled Player Depth in a 32 Team League.  Or maybe, it’s coaches who would rather employ a Defensive System of puck management, stagnating a player’s offensive creativeness, for less overall turnovers. 

I’m not sayin’ I’m just sayin’  …maybe.

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Trade Route – Penguins Upcoming Free Agents

Dumoulin-D >>>$4.1 Million

Zucker-LW/RW >>>$5.5 Million

Blueger-LW/RW >>>$2.2 Million

Heinen LW/RW >>>$1.0 Million

Jarry-G >>>>>>$3.5 Million

Tokarski-G >>>$750,000.

Well, well, well, look at what we have here.  $17,050,000.  coming off the books at the end of this season.

So, can you say…Find a Goalie, Add a D, and Trade for some Forward Depth?

Who says, only these players are tradable…?

Issues that Need Fixing, LIKE NOW

Goalies:  Save the First Shot and Control Rebounds

Defense:  Communicate and Defend with Tenacity

Forwards:  Shoot More and help out with Team D


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Last year on Feb 10.2022, I wrote about what the Penguins needed to do before the Trade Deadline.  The funny thing is, The List Has Not Changed for 2023…lol, or I just wanna cry.

Here is what I think is on the Penguins “To Do List.” (…same for 2023)

1-Search for a Back-up Goalie.

2-Look for Depth on Forward – based on IR Player recovery dates.

3-Look for Depth on Defense – the Playoffs are a War of Attrition.

4-Sign Upcoming Penguins Free Agents – some…not all.

5- Trade upcoming Free Agents for Assets – see above #1 on To Do List.

So, when making big decisions you must factor in your Wants vs your Needs.  There are players the Penguins “Want.”  However, there are other players the Penguins “Need.”  It’s all about Priorities my friends.  Priorities for the Short Term as well as the Long Term.

Pittsburgh Penguins Objectives 2022…(same for 2023)

1-Make the Playoffs (Short Term)

2-Win the Stanley Cup (Short Term)

3-Be Competitive for years to come (Long Term)

Pittsburgh Penguins as of Jan26.2023

24-15-8 = 56 pts

4th-tied in the Metropolitan Division

6th in the Eastern conference (ties)

9th Tied in the NHL (overall)

Pittsburgh Penguins are holding the #1 Wild Card Playoff Spot, Eastern Conference.

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My View from the Cheap Seats

Section: TV   Row: PVR   Seat: Couch

The Penguins, like most teams, are up against the Salary Cap.  They have many issues to fix, however, so do many other teams, which means, there still is time.

It really comes down to what this Franchise defines as it’s Main Objectives.

If it is to, Win The Cup, then changes are needed, like now.

If it is to, simply make the playoffs for a 17th consecutive season, then bow out early.  This roster can attain that.

Quote of the Day:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Albert Einstein – Theoretical Physicist