Right now the Penguins are like that family member of yours who’s in a dark place, that one person who everyone knows is headed for disaster, but no one talks about it because they don’t want to look like a dick. Some days he or she looks great, but other times you get a true look into the hell that is coming. You’re waiting for the phone call announcing a DUI, drug overdose, jail time, or that they watch “Supernatural.”
It seems downright illogical to be doom-and-gloom about a team that is essentially the number-2 seed in the East and who will have home-ice advantage through the first two rounds of the playoffs. But there are problems creeping up as the games have gotten tighter since the Olympic break.
- Injuries. Nothing anyone can do. In this game, Marcel Goc’s ankle turned upward at a right angle. Not a good time.
- An organizational failure to identify depth at forward. The scouting department should be gutted after the season. Also, the Pens’ most promising forward in the bottom six, Megna, apparently hasn’t done enough to get a free pass like Gibbons and Vitale.
- Unwillingness to adjust a game plan. With the Penguins’ opening-night roster, Dan Bylsma’s system was effective. With half a roster of AHL-caliber players and then Brian Gibbons, no, it doesn’t work. With opposing teams playing tighter, no, it doesn’t work.
- The Pens need the power play to click. They’ve relied on it all year long, and when they’re putting up an 0-for-7, they’re gonna have a bad time. If the Pens can get the PP buzzing again in time for the playoffs, it could get interesting.
- The lineup for this game will look nothing like the lineup that will dress for the eventual Game 1 of the first round. Malkin, Martin, Letang, Bennett are some big names coming back. That’s got to be worth something.
The Pens are back at it tonight in what should be a playoff-like atmosphere in Columbus. The Blue Jackets are in a dogfight for a wild-card spot. And if you bet the Jackets and Penguins will play in the first round, it wouldn’t be a waste of money.
- What are we supposed to do with the information that Taylor Pyatt has scored a goal in 2 straight games? Even though his goal in this one was an awful play by the Kings’ goalie? Dejan had a great quote in his blog this morning:
“There is nothing I like about Taylor Pyatt’s game as it relates to what the Penguins need from their third and fourth lines.”
- Why does Ryan Mill wait like 10 minutes to announce goals?
- What’s the takeaway from Kunitz-Crosby-Megna scoring a goal?
- Why is Steve Kozari allowed to ref?
- What exactly does Megna have to do to earn a stay in Pittsburgh?
- When are Beau Bennett and Kris Letang returning to the lineup? Interesting read from the PG on Letang. Including this baffling quote:
“They said maybe you’re going to feel good for two weeks and, after that, have another [decline]. Everyone is different on how they recover from that. They said I will [most likely] recover 100 percent, but they’re not sure about it.”
“They said I will recover 100 percent, but they’re not sure about it??????” Hopefully Letang does the smart thing and doesn’t rush back.
- Penguins need to rethink the exiting strategy of the top bowl in Consol. 10-15 minutes wait. Can’t happen.
- Even if the Penguins lost the rest of their game, they’d still have a 42% chance of finishing in second in the East. Source: Sportsclubstats