Pittsburgh Penguins: Road Trip Providing Much Needed Wins
The Pittsburgh Penguins have had trouble in the months of December and January the past couple of years and this year appears to be no different. They have played sloppy, unmotivated hockey which had them on a 5 game losing streak in early January. Maybe the shortened schedule because of the Olympics are wearing on the Penguins? After all, they have played the most games in the Eastern Conference thus far with 49 games. Excuses? Probably.
For the Penguins what can be one of the best cures for bad play and unmotivated hockey? How about a 5 game road trip? Let’s think back to last year after Dan Bylsma took over for Michel Therrien and they went 5-0 on 5 game road trip which turned the tide of losing and in the end brought Lord Stanley back to Pittsburgh.
This road trip provided an opportunity and so far the Pens have done well beating Toronto, Calgary, and Edmonton with a loss to Minnesota as well. Tomorrow night the Penguins will be taking on Vancouver in the last game of their road trip. Another win could bring the Penguins back to life when they return to Mellon Arena on Tuesday.
On the injury report, Brooks Orpik should be back soon as he is back skating. The hits recorded for Pittsburgh since his injury have dropped drastically and it will be nice to get his physical presence back out on defense for the Pens.
When Brooks Orpik does return the question will be who is going to be sent down? Martin Skoula has been in the dog house recently and has been a healthy scratch for a while now. Ben Lovejoy was called up and has played solid hockey. Both of these players would have to pass through waivers before making it to Wilkes-Barre. Most players who are brought up from the minor league always hope in the back of their mind that they will be staying up with the big club, but rarely does that happen.
For Ben Lovejoy, I could definitely see this happening. If I had to choose between Lovejoy or Skoula, I would go with Lovejoy. Skoula played solid hockey for the first two months but after that his play had greatly deteriorated. Chances are that Lovejoy could be sticking around with the big club for the rest of the year. It will be interesting to see what GM Ray Shero decides to do.
That’s all for now.
Let’s Go Pens!