Penguins Need More Motivation

Penguins (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Penguins (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

The Penguins have entered into the most crucial part of their schedule.  8 key match ups against Eastern Conference foes; Columbus, NYI, Phila, Montreal, NYR and Ottawa, occur over the next 14 days.

The Penguins started off this great adventure, by squeaking out a W against a very inspired and motivated Columbus Team, say what?   (Aren’t they trying to fall hard for Bedard?  Aren’t they literally in Last Place of the entire NHL?  Well, yes, yes, they are actually….Yikes.)

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Next up, is another try at the Islanders.  Remember the Feb17.23 game, in which the Penguins dominated until mid way through the third period, and lost?  Or how about the Feb 20th game where they rarely won a draw and turned the puck over like they were giving away Free Pancakes, and lost that one too?

So here we stand at the edge of the abyss.  When we look up, we see an Islander 1 point ahead of us.  When we look down, we see a Panther just 3 points behind us.  I’m motivated, aren’t you?

Can you say the Penguins just might be Motivated to get a Win, in this Key Upcoming Game?

Pittsburgh Penguins as of March 08.2023

32-22-9 = 73 pts

5th  in the Metropolitan Division

8th in the Eastern conference

13th Tied in the NHL (overall)

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

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Motivation is defined as, forces acting either on or within a person to initiate behaviour. The word is derived from the Latin term motivus (“a moving cause”), which suggests the activating properties of the processes involved in psychological motivation.

Here are the Penguins upcoming 8-game 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

Real Personal Motivation comes naturally through your Peers, the Tasks of your Job, Your Coach/Manager, your Environment, and an overall Hunger to Prove or to Win.

The hard part is to show up and produce at your peak level each and every day, when one of these aspects is not running at it’s peak level.

Another way to look at it is, a lack of motivation means there is something lacking in one of these areas; Peer Cohesion, Trust, Overall System, Faith in Management, Faith in System, Poor Environment, a lack of Hunger to Prove or to Win.

The real question is why?  What has caused this lack of…?

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Here are my Pen’s Picks for the next 8 games…and this needs to happen for the penguins to get in.

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 (Actual: Pit Won 5-4 in OT)

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

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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

I think it’s time to play with heart from the opening faceoff until the final whistle, from here on out.

I think it’s time to play with a Will To Win each game, from here on out.

I think it’s time for each Penguin to get Motivated, play solid Team D, stop Turning Over the Puck and just be the very best they can be for each and every game, from here on out.

My question to the Penguins right here, right now would be, “with what’s at stake, how can you not be motivated to perform at your peak level, game in and game out?”  If these upcoming games don’t get you “Jacked Up” to play, then I really don’t know what will.  It’s Time.

Penguin Pride means it’s time to get motivated and it’s time to win by playing The Penguin Way.

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 or other key injuries exist.

Quote of the Day:

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

Moliere – Actor / Playwright