The halfway point. That’s where we’re at now. Halfway through the season and one point out of last place in the Metropolitan Division.
This morning, Jason Mackey from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette put out his most recent piece, which gives 20 Thoughts on the Penguins right now.
Breaking down and giving my own analysis on some of his thoughts follow:
10. Has Sidney Crosby been frustrated? Have gotten this a lot, so I asked him.
Yes, that’s been the case at times, but it’s hardly unique, Crosby explained Saturday following practice at Little Caesars Arena.
“You get frustrated on the bench pretty often,” Crosby said. “It’s easier to pick it out when you’re losing.
“I think when you’re doing some decent things and can’t convert, when you’re having to chase games to try to get back into it a lot … nobody likes playing like that. That’s the way we’ve had to play here for a bit.”
Fair and accurate points. It’s easy to forget from a press box that these guys are human, and such emotions are natural.
Amen. Amen. Amen. It’s so easy to forget that while these players are being highly paid to play a game, that we all get frustrated in our own lines of work and in our lives. And to a further point, it’s easy to see how the frustration is highlighted so much more when teams are losing. Flash back to the Eastern Conference Final last year when much was made of Phil Kessel upset on the bench. How quickly the narrative can change when he would go on to score the game winning goal and that frustration is put into a positive perspective. A few pucks going in the net can change everything.
13. Rutherford was not pleased at all with the talk of a potential Kris Letang trade circulating.
I can tell you that last Thursday, when rumors really heated up, Rutherford called Letang’s agent, Kent Hughes, simply to make sure everything was cool between the player and team.
Praise the Lord for it appearing that common sense is prevailing from all of this.
18. This is going to sound like the most basic Penguins take ever: They have to score.
I’m not talking about Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel or really any of the top-nine guys. I mean the fourth line of Tom Kuhnhackl, Carter Rowney and Ryan Reaves.
We’ve seen players who are limited offensively come and go quite a bit in Pittsburgh – Zach Sill, Craig Adams, Joe Vitale, etc. It used to be good enough to have a good personality, maybe some leadership qualities, be able to kill penalties or whatever.
It’s not anymore. It’s a four-line game.
I like dealing with all three of those guys, and there are some admirable things about each of their games. But they have to score goals.
In the past three games, they’ve combined for two shot attempts in all situations. They’ve totaled 16 shots on goal over their past 11.
We’re beating a dead horse here, but that simply isn’t enough.
I don’t think it’s beating a dead horse when it’s VERY TRUE. The success we saw over the past two seasons came due to having 4 centers down the middle and depth scoring, whether it be Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino, and Phil Kessel on a 3rd line or whether it be Tom Kuhnhackl and Matt Cullen on the 4th line, the Penguins need someone, anyone to chip in.
To see all 20 of Jason’s thoughts, especially some others about the Penguins goaltending situation right now, be sure to check out his work over at the Post-Gazette. I didn’t want to steal all of his thunder and give analysis on all 20 thoughts, but did want to highlight some of my favorites from the segment.