Pen’s Picks February 2023

Penguins (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Penguins (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Welcome to the NHL’s All-Star Break.

It’s a time to lay low, unwind, kick back and enjoy some of the game’s best talent, all in one building, for the weekend.

It’s time to reflect on some missed opportunities from the first half of the NHL schedule.  It’s also a time to ponder about the future and how the final script is still, yet to be written, for the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins.

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Pittsburgh Penguins as of Feb 01.2023

24-16-9 = 57 pts

5th  in the Metropolitan Division

8th in the Eastern conference

11th Tied in the NHL (overall)

Pittsburgh Penguins are holding the #2 Wild Card Playoff Spot, Eastern Conference.

A look at the standings today, will have you notice the Penguins have slipped a little.  That said they are getting somewhat healthier by the day.

The Penguins were missing some key players in the Month of January, which led to some real interesting games and some terrible outcomes.

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The beauty is, as frustrating as the Penguins have been so far this season, they are still in control of their own final destiny.

February will determine how this team will end the season.  The Penguins need to be over .500 this month.  As you can see, “the pack”, is beginning to separate from the wannab’s, and those other teams, who were waiting for a sneeze, are now actually catchin’ up….ah-chew!!!

The Penguins will play 6 teams they should be able to beat.  In fact, the Penguins will need to beat these teams simply to keep pace with the others in the Metro Division and the Playoff Cut Line…

Here is the Penguins upcoming schedule for the Month of February.

1.     Feb 07. Vs Colorado

2.     Feb 10. @ Anaheim

3.     Feb 11. @ LA

4.     Feb 14. @ San Jose

5.     Feb 17. @ NYI

6.     Feb 18. Vs New Jersey

7.     Feb 20. Vs NYI

8.     Feb 23. Vs Edmonton

9.     Feb 25. @ St. Louis

10.  Feb 26. Vs Tampa Bay

11.  Feb 28. @ Nashville

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That said, let’s have a look at how I think the Month of February will play out for the Penguins.

It’s what I call, Pen’s Picks (It’s just for Fun and Not for Betting)…enjoy.

Feb 07. Vs Colorado

The Penguins come out of the All-Star break looking to end a 2-game losing streak against the Defending Stanley Cup Champions.  Ouch, now that’s a tough task.  The Avs also, have had a rough first half of the season, with injuries and inconsistent play.  However, they are climbing in the standings each day, as we speak.  They are a tough out and are regaining their MOJO.  If the Avs get healthy look out.  Never underestimate the heart of a defending Champion.

Pen’s Pick: Colorado

Feb 10. @ Anaheim

The Penguins beat the Ducks 4-3 in OT on Jan16th.  Another one of those, last second Pens ties it up, win it in OT.  You can look at it in two ways, either the Pens completely lucked out or they Gutting Out a Win.  Either Way the Penguins need to win this one, no matter what.

Pen’s Pick: Pittsburgh

Feb 11. @ LA

Remember early in the season, when the Penguins were smackin’ everybody they played?  Well, they handled LA, with a 6-1 beat down, on Oct20th.  That said, LA looks to be for real, while the Penguins are still trying to determine if they are contenders or pretenders.

Pen’s Pick: LA Kings

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Feb 14. @ San Jose

The Penguins will get another crack at the Sharks.  Remember, how I said back on Jan28th, that the Sharks are another team in Free Fall mode for Bedard.  Sellers already means, easy Penguins Points should be available.  Then the Sharks bit the Pens 6-4, in the last game before the All-Star Break?  Well Pens Fans, it’s pay back time.  The Penguins need this Win….chomp!!!

Pen’s Pick: Pittsburgh

Feb 17. @ NYI

The Curse of the Islanders remains.  NYI beat the Pens 5-1 on Dec 27th.  They are chasing the Penguins in the standings and have made the trade for Bo Horvat.  We will know how well BO fits into the Islanders line-up, by the time this game hits the schedule.  He will either be their inspiration or just another lukewarm addition to a wannbee.  The Penguins Need This Game.

Pen’s Pick: Pittsburgh

Feb 18. Vs New Jersey

A look at the standings, shows the Devils are coming down to earth, somewhat.  Now, I was not convinced they would even make the Playoffs this year.  And, I am still somewhat shocked to see where they are in the standings, to date.

I have picked the Penguins to win both times so far and I have been wrong in both games.

Ouch, My Pride…lol.

That said, I really do think they have a tough second half schedule of games and I really do want to see where they are on April 01.23.  Let’s talk again then, shall we?

Pen’s Pick: Pittsburgh

Here is what I wrote.

Jan 22. @ New Jersey  (NJ Won 2-1OT)

I’m still not convinced they are a Playoff team.  Four other Metro teams are all nipping at the Devils heels, just waiting for them to fail.  They will.

Here is another team who will really show themselves with a tough upcoming schedule.  So again, let’s talk April 01 and see who really is the fool.   I may eat crow on this one too. Time will tell eh.

Dec 30 vs New Jersey  (NJ Won 4-2)…I wrote.

Well, the young kids are lighting the league up.  Are they for real?  They are beating teams who have been considered better than them to date.  I think they drop down to earth in December.

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Feb 20. Vs NYI

I really think the Penguins must beat NYI in order to stay afloat in the Wild Card Race.

Pen’s Pick: Pittsburgh

Feb 23. Vs Edmonton

The Oilers smacked the Penguins 6-3, back on October 24th, in what became the start of a 7-game losing streak.  The Oilers are finding their way up the standings and taking out pretenders along the way.  Ouch, the truth hurts sometimes.

Pen’s Pick: Edmonton

Feb 25. @ St. Louis

Another team that has struggled this year with injuries and inconsistencies.  This should be a close game…lol.  The Blues play a tight checking game and if healthy look to be a Stanley Cup contender.  That said, it might be to late for St. Louis.  The Pens need this one.

Pen’s Pick: Pittsburgh

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Feb 26. Vs Tampa Bay

The Penguins surprised TB back on October 15th, with a 6-2 beat down. You know what they say about payback…

Pen’s Pick: Tampa Bay

Feb 28. @ Nashville

The Preds are another team trying to climb back into the Playoff mix. By this date we will know exactly who these teams are.  For now, the Pens need to win this one.

Pen’s Pick: Pittsburgh

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My View from the Cheap Seats

Section: TV     Row: PVR     Seat: The Couch

The hard part of Pen’s Picks, is trying to predict the outcome of these games, so far in advance.  There is no doubt, that I would pick differently, had I known Jarry was not in the Lineup.

That said, here is how I see February playing out for the Penguins.  The Penguins must beat these teams in order to stay above the Playoff Cut Line….right now, they have a 57% chance of making it into the dance…enjoy the bumpy ride.

Pittsburgh Penguins as of Feb 01.2023

24-16-9 = 57 pts

Pen’s Picks Total : 32-19=64 Pts 

(who would have guessed the Pens would lose 9 games on OT…24+9=33 wins…lol)

Pens Picks: February 2023

7 Wins

4 Losses

Pens Picks: January 2023

9 Wins

4 Losses

Penguins Actual Record was (5-8)

Pens Picks: December 2022

7 Wins

6 Losses

Penguins Actual Record was (8-5)

Pens Picks: November 2022

9 Wins

3 Losses

Penguins Actual Record was (7-7)

Pens Picks: October 2022

7 Wins

2 Losses

Penguins Actual Record was (4-5)

My Overall Pens Picks Record in 2021-22 were:

22 Wins

10 Losses

Nov 15.21 Penguins Enter Canada with a Free Trade Agreement: 6 Wins 3 Losses

Dec 06.21 Pens vs Eastern Conference – Part 1: 7 Wins 3 Losses

Jan 27.21 Pens vs Eastern Conference – Part 2: 9 Wins 4 Losses

May 02.22 Penguins vs Rangers 2022 Playoff Preview: I called it going 7 games.

Quote of the Day:

“It infuriates me to be wrong when I know I’m right“

Moliere – Actor / Playwright