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Rutherford: Yoda, he is not

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Pens are no longer class of NHL under GM Jim Rutherford.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

When Penguins CEO David Morehouse announced the hiring of Jim Rutherford as the team's next General Manager, it generated plenty of buzz for the wrong reasons.

Rutherford said he was looking at two or three years and would mentor Jason Botterill, Bill Guerin and Tom Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald left to go work with Ray Shero in New Jersey leaving Botterill and Guerin as his pupils.

Rutherford is old but Yoda, he is not.

Botterill and Guerin are learning what not to do as a General Manager in the NHL.

Now after firing Mike Johnston and replacing him with Mike Sullivan, team has gone 0-4.

Tank for Auston

How bad are the Penguins right now?

The team is closer to last place in the NHL than they are to first place.

Coming into the game, Penguins were 6 points ahead of Toronto and Columbus with 33 points.

Toronto blasted the Kings 5-0 and Columbus, the Penguins opponent on Monday, had 3-2 shootout win over Philadelphia to also draw the Penguins closer to last place. Both teams now have 29 points.

Conor Sheary

While there's much to like about Sheary on Crosby's line due to his offensive skill, he's not going to last long if he can't stay on his skates. The young winger isn't just falling down as he's being engaged along the board, he's falling down trying to make cuts on the ice. Let's hope he can cut down on the snow angels because I like him when he's got both skates on the ice.

Get to the Middle

Sullivan wanted to see more action down the middle of the ice. The key to pushing the ice in the middle starts with the defensive zone breakouts. Far too often, there's two defensemen down low losing battles along the boards, which is forcing the center to come down low to support the boards.

This basically eliminates the ability to push the middle of the ice as the two wingers are stationed on the boards.

When you cut the middle as an option, it allows the opposition to press the boards and pinch the clearing attempts.

When the wingers are able to capture the puck, they have no option but to try to skate the puck up the ice slowly as there's no option to hit a man cutting through the neutral zone. This is why the winger thinks his only option is to go to chip and chase but all that does is give the opposition what they want because there's no one charging into the offensive zone to chase and support.

The Penguins must address the problem on defense, otherwise, there's nothing their centers can do to address the center of the ice.