Penguins It’s All About Timing

Penguins . (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Penguins . (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

It’s the Final Countdown for the Pittsburgh Penguins.  The final 20 games are before us and the Penguins are totally in control of their own destiny.

We have entered March, and already you can feel every game seems to matter just a little bit more than it did in February.  That’s because it does.

Every game matters when you are only 3 points ahead of a Buffalo, a Senator, a Capital and a Panther.

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Pittsburgh Penguins as of March 06.2023

31-22-9 = 71 pts

5th  in the Metropolitan Division

7th in the Eastern conference (ties)

13th Tied in the NHL (overall)

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

At this point in time it appears the Pens are all in for the run, rather than entering into the Bedard lottery.  In a way that is to bad.  I just saw the kid light up the #1 ranked Winnipeg Ice on the weekend and he is exactly the kind of spark, that the Black and Gold need at this time.

Regardless, it’s all about the here and now.  Well, the here and now says, that the next 8 games will make or break the Penguins season.  We know life is all about timing, well Penguins, it’s about time you start taking care of business.  Like in these next 8 games.

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Here is the Penguins upcoming schedule.

1.     March 07. Vs CBJ

2.     March 09. Vs NYI

3.     March 11. Vs Phila

4.     March 12. Vs NYR

5.     March 14 vs Montreal

6.     March 16. @ NYR

7.     March 18. @ NYR

8.     March 20. Vs Ottawa

We know the game of hockey is all about timing.

The perfect timing of a huge save at the right time, can change your teams’ attitude or the momentum in a game.

The perfect timing of winning a key faceoff, which leads to a beautiful saucer pass-one-timer, can change the outcome of a game with one shot.

The perfect timing of a stick-check-defensive-play, can save a game for a team, desperate for a win.

The perfect timing of taking a hit to make a play or giving a hit to stop the play from advancing,  can translate into a win.

The perfect timing of reversing the flow, can get the puck out of your own end faster, allowing for a better transition from defense to offense.

The perfect timing of blocking a shot, adds a level of frustration to the opposition.

The perfect timing of understanding when not to retaliate, gives your team the advantage and opportunity to win.

So, it’s a perfect time for the Penguins to win 6 of their next 8 games, in order to put some much needed distance between them and those chasing them in the Wild Card Race.

Trending. If the Penguins Win THEN they will Get In. light

Here are my Pen’s Picks for the next 8 games…and this needs to happen for the penguins to get in.  Colorado, Dallas, Boston, New Jersey and Minny are all still to come, so let’s grab these points asap.

March 07. Vs CBJ

CBJ are last in the Metro and last in the entire NHL.  They are selling assets at the NHL Trade Deadline in an attempt to fall hard for Bedard.  They have some pieces in which they can build around, Gaudreau, Laine, to name a few.  They are in essence trying to lose each game, yet they somehow beat Edmonton on Feb 25th, go figure.  The Penguins need to beat teams below them in the standings, and they will.

Pen’s Pick: Pittsburgh

March 09. Vs NYI

Well, the Islanders got Horvat and this one move changed the entire narrative for them in just one trade.  They have confidence, and are now playing a tight checking, Team D first, Playoff style game.  They chocked out the Jets 4-0, on the road.  Wowza.  The Penguins hung with them for 40 of the 60 minutes, in the two games they played against NYI.  I would like to think the Penguins really want this final meeting and would be willing to play an entire 60 minute game, with huge points on the line as well as playoff positioning.

Pen’s Pick: Pittsburgh

Here is what I wrote in Feb 2023

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 of this game.  He will either be their inspiration or just another lukewarm addition.  The Penguins Need This Game.

Pen’s Pick: Pittsburgh (Actual 5-4 NYI)

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 (Actual 4-2 NYI)

March 11. Vs Phila

Philly has had a tough season.  They are now thinking about falling hard for Bedard.  Torts is asking his players to sacrifice their bodies in order to lose.  Now that is tough sell and a tough ask for anyone.

Pen’s Pick: Pittsburgh

Trending. Penguins Beware the Ides of March. light

March 12.Vs NYR

So, the Rangers loaded up with talent before the Trade Deadline.  They are making another serious run for the cup.  The Penguins have made no major moves to date and the last complete game they played, was a sweet 3-2 win against NYR on Dec 202.22.  Wow, it’s sure been a tough and inconsistent stretch for the Penguins.  These Next 3 Games against the Rangers will determine how the rest of this season plays out.  I think a Penguins win, is a stretch in this one.

Pen’s Pick: NYR

March 14 vs Montreal

Montreal Canadiens are in the conversation about Bedard, however like Philly, they keep winning just enough games to stay out of the bottom 5 teams. I don’t understand why this is the year you want to be sub par Mid?

Pen’s Pick: Pittsburgh

March 16. @ NYR

I really do think that NYR is the better team, at this point in time.  They are younger, faster and have better goaltending.  At the very least, you gotta give them credit, at least they are trying to make their team better and to have a legit shot at the cup, this year.

Pen’s Pick: NYR

March 18. @ NYR

It’s always tough to beat a team 3 times in the same year, let alone over 7 days.  Ya gotta think, Penguin Pride will show up somewhere here in New York, right?  I’ll give an easy lob to Pittsburgh on this one.

Pen’s Pick: Pittsburgh

March 20. Vs Ottawa

They are seriously, oh so close to actually making it into the Wild Card spot, that this game might actually still mean something.  They are only a few pieces away from being a legit playoff team. It’s just not this year.  The Penguins need this one.  The Penguins Must Win This One.  Period.

Pen’s Pick: Pittsburgh

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My View from the Cheap Seats

Section: TV     Row: PVR     Seat: The Couch

If life is all about timing, then it’s about time the Penguins showed up and played the game with the heart, desire and the will to win we all know they have.

It’s now time for Penguin Pride to show up for every game. It’s go time.

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

Quote of the Day:

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

Moliere – Actor / Playwright