Pittsburgh, We Have A Problem
Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray (30) replaces goaltender Tristan Jarry (35) during the second period of a regular season game against the Florida Panthers on Saturday Feb. 24, 2018.
SOURCE: TRIB LIVE
The Pittsburgh Penguins are currently on a six-game losing streak. The losing streak started on Thursday, February 20, when they lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 4-0. After that loss, they have lost to the Buffalo Sabres (5-2), Washington Capitals (5-3), Los Angeles Kings (2-1), Anaheim Ducks (3-2), and the San Jose Sharks (5-0). The Penguins next game is on Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators at PPG Paints Arena.
What I have noticed about the Penguins six straight losses is the fact that the Penguins have given up at least four goals in four of those six games and have given up five goals in three of those six games. As a Penguins fan, this is becoming scary to watch. The Philadelphia Flyers have won six straight games and they are now ahead of the Penguins in the Metropolitan Division with 83 points; the Penguins have 80 points.
The two teams directly behind of the Penguins in the Metropolitan Division standings are the New York Islanders and the Columbus Blue Jackets; they both have 78 points. If the Penguins do not get their act together, they might find themselves in either a Wild Card spot, or maybe not see themselves in the playoffs. Since the Penguins acquired Patrick Marleau, Conor Sheary, and Evan Rodrigues, they are 0-3. The Penguins acquired all three players last Monday when it was the final day to trade players in the NHL.
The Penguins score all of the goals that they can, the problem right now is that Jarry and Murray need to focus and start to play better. What also bothers me on the Penguins most recent west coast road trip is that all the three teams that they played and lost to in the Kings, Ducks, and Sharks are all the three worst ranked teams in the Western Conference. You see if the Penguins last three losses were against the three best teams in the Western Conference in St. Louis, Colorado, or Dallas then maybe I would have not have to worry as much, but the idea that the Penguins lost to the three worst teams in the west, all in a row, just makes me worry.
A month ago, any Penguins fans that looked at the teams that they had to face in the final week of February probably felt that they were going to get at least three wins. That did not happen. Now, Mike Sullivan is a good coach that has the capability to bring this team back up. So, don't worry; I am not saying that the season is over and the Penguins chances of winning the Stanley Cup are over. It's just that I don't want to start the month of March thinking to myself that there is a possibility that the Penguins might not make the playoffs.
Like, why can't the Penguins not beat the Sabres at home? They lost to the Sabres in the Home Opener on October 3, 2019 by a score of 3-1 and lost to them on February 22th by a score of 5-2. In the two games that the Penguins have played Buffalo, both at PPG Paints Arena, they have been outscored by a total of 8-3. Some of my friends tell me how it would be cool the Buffalo would get into the playoffs. I just tell them there is no way that I want to see the Sabres in the playoffs, and if we have to face them in the playoffs, all I can say is, "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen."
April can be a really fun month if the Penguins make the playoffs and if they make a deep run in the postseason, that means more big screens and more Bucs and Pens doubleheaders in the month of April and maybe perhaps in May. All I have to say now is, "Let's Go Pens!"
Brentaro Yamane: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @BYHilton13