Three Ways Penguins Improve Against Capitals

Penguins (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Penguins (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Penguins Improvement Is A Must

In the season opener against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Pittsburgh Penguins looked like the same Penguins of last season as they blew a 2-0 lead and lost 4-2. Last season, the Penguins lost so many games due to blowing leads. If the Penguins improve from their last game, they can bounce back and defeat the Washington Capitals.

1. Mike Sullivan

One area the Penguins need to improve is with their coaching staff. Mike Sullivan did not motivate the team, outside of the first line.  The team looked flat and simply did not have the same energy as the young and hungry Blackhawks. The season opener was a revenge tour after missing the playoffs for the first time in 16 years, but none of the Penguins showed any signs of life.

Sullivan and the team must be fired up against a very tough division opponent in the Washington Capitals. A win at Washington would be a crucial two points especially against a Metropolitan Division Rival.

Another issue with Sullivan is the defensive pairings as new addition Erik Karlsson is one of the best offensive defenseman in the league. However, his defense is abysmal and he should have been paired with an elite defensive defenseman in Ryan Graves to counteract each other. Karlsson was on the ice for one of the Penguins goals however, he was also on the ice for two of the Blackhawk goals.

2. Tristan Jarry

Tristan Jarry was flat out overpaid this past summer as he earned five-year $26,875,000 contract extension. There were no issues with Jarry coming back as he was the most realistic and best goalie on the market this past summer. However, due to being undersized and dealing with injuries he was overpaid.

As per usual, Jarry still struggles with the shot at his glove side above his shoulder as the Blackhawks were able to score twice on that side. Jarry needs to improve and get better defending those type of shots otherwise he may have a long season ahead of him.

3. Where Is The Bottom Six?

One of the biggest weaknesses of the team last year was little to no contributions from the bottom six. The Penguins spent the offseason retooling their bottom-six bringing in guys such as Jansen Harkins, Lars Eller, Matt Nieto, and Noel Acciari. However, the bottom-six was blanked on the score sheet as they did not register a point and had six total shots.

Plain and simple the bottom six needs to contribute. If the Penguins improve on those three things, they will see themselves with a record of 1-1.

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