3 Penguins players who must bring their A-Game to lift the team down the stretch

The Pittsburgh Penguins are floundering in 2023-24, but they aren’t quite out of it yet, especially if a few players step up in February and beyond.
Feb 9, 2024; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates a
Feb 9, 2024; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates a / Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports
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While the Pittsburgh Penguins are nowhere near where they need to be and are in danger of missing the playoffs for the second straight season, you can’t count out a team that has a few future Hall of Famers in the lineup. Since those future Hall of Famers are still playing at a high level, the Penguins, despite being an aging team, can get hot at any time. 

For them to reach that threshold, Pittsburgh must turn to their best playmakers to at least put themselves in position to steal a wild card spot. And as the Florida Panthers proved last season, you only need to sneak into the playoffs to do some damage, and a group as talented and experienced as the Penguins can easily be that team. 

Sidney Crosby must put himself in position to take over games 

Sidney Crosby has been the face of the Penguins franchise since Mario Lemieux retired, and even in his advanced age, he’s still one of the better players in the league. With 52 points, Crosby is once again pacing the Penguins, and his 28 goals in 175 shots on goal has given him a shooting percentage of 16.0. 

In short, the Penguins must find ways to give Crobsy the puck, especially at even strength, where he’s scored 40 of those 52 points. When a team has a player like Crosby who can continue to produce at a high level even at age 36 and 19 years into his NHL career, they have no choice but to utilize him. 

If the Penguins want to consistently gain points, Crosby must be the go-to from here on out. However, it doesn’t mean other big-name players can put their play into cruise control, and one particular player was brought in to take Pittsburgh’s scoring to another level.