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Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins: New Year Opens With Losing Streak

Pittsburgh PenguinsThe Penguins are in the middle of their worst slump in the season. They have lost the last 5 games gaining zero points and have won one out of the last seven games. Players and fans a like are looking for answers. Who or what can be blamed for this pathetic showing?

I witnessed first hand how bad this team looked when they took on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. While watching the Penguins on the power play it was obvious to me why they are the worst team in the league when on the power play. Many people are asking how can that be possible with the likes of Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, and Sergei Gonchar all on the ice at the same time. Not sure, but it is happening. I witnessed a team that refused to put the puck on the net. Sergei Gonchar was out for the game (and the one after that against the Florida Panthers as well) but regardless it seemed almost like the players kept passing waiting for the perfect opportunity to shoot it. Now, I understand the purpose and reasoning behind passing on the power play. You want to create chances and opportunities, but at some point the puck needs to go towards the net. When all you see is pass, pass, pass, fake shot, pass, pass, and then the puck is cleared, it’s aggravating. I am by no means anywhere near being a fraction of a percentage qualified to coach hockey, but it’s just my basic observation.

The power play struggles have existed all season long and are just now even more glaring because of the current losing streak. Obviously, the Penguins only possible change would be getting rid of assistant coach Mike Yeo who heads up the power play. Is that really the problem though? It’s really difficult to say, but there is no chance of anyone else moving other than Yeo. The Penguins have been preaching that they are going back to the basics. We will see tonight when they take on the Atlanta Thrashers who are on their own losing streak.

Of course, if the Pens listen to Scott Burnside of ESPN, they might as well give up because the New Jersey Devils are the winners of the Atlantic this year. I know that ESPN is one of the worst NHL news sites, but I figured it would be worth a mention regardless. Below is the link to the article.


http://espn.go.com/nhl/notebook/_/page/burnside_powerplay100104/nhl-why-new-jersey-devils-give-stranglehold-atlantic-division-lead

Tonight and Thursday night offers the Penguins a huge chance to get back in to the winner groove. As mentioned above, they take on the struggling Thrashers tonight and Thursday night they take on their arch nemesis the Philadelphia Flyers. I hope that the New Year begins to improve tonight with a win at home against Atlanta.

Let’s Go Pens!

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Discussion

3 comments for “Pittsburgh Penguins: New Year Opens With Losing Streak”

  1. I’m no coaching expert either, but here’s what I think. On the power play, if you take a shot and it doesn’t go in you obviously have to chase down the puck. If you’re tired, do you really want to be chasing down that puck? The ‘lazy’ way to play it is to just pass it around hoping for that ‘perfect’ opening. I see the Sharks do this all the time - so that’s my 2 cents…

    Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | January 5, 2010, 10:07 am
  2. sharksfan - That is a good point, but it simply drives me crazy. I understand that once you get it in the zone and are able to rotate the puck effectively it provides excellent opportunities, but if only one shot is taken I feel like it’s a waste of time. I am hoping something changes soon as before the Penguins were winning without the power play but now they are losing because of the power play.

    Posted by pittpenNo Gravatar | January 5, 2010, 10:59 am
  3. This just in, Chris Kunitz will be out 4 - 6 weeks with an abdominal tear and Lucas Caputi was called up from Wilkes-Barre.

    I am curious to see if Caputi can bring some more energy to this squad.

    Posted by pittpenNo Gravatar | January 5, 2010, 11:01 am

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