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Pens Points: Bye Week Blues

With the players on vacation, news is quiet surrounding the Penguins. Crosby finds new set of “kids” on his line. League leading power play remains insanely hot. Too early to bury Pens despite struggles and lineup holes. Onus on Rutherford to improve team.

Boston Bruins v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Matt Kincaid/Getty Images

While the team is on a bye, stay informed with your Tuesday edition of Pens Points...

Inconsistent play has plagued Sidney Crosby this season but the Penguins’ captain started 2018 on the right foot and was named the NHL’s third star of the week for his efforts. Crosby’s eight points (1G-7A) was tied for the league lead as he helped the Penguins win three of four to open the new year. [Pensburgh]

Another two power play goals on Sunday night against the Boston Bruins kept the Penguins’ power play clicking at a league leading 26.6%, an absurd conversion rate currently a whole 1.6% higher than the next closest team. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Sitting on the playoff bubble is hardly the place the Penguins want or expected to be entering their bye week just over the halfway point of the season. While it’s apparent there are holes to be filled, it is still way too early to bury this Penguins team. [Toronto Star]

Last season it was Conor Sheary and Jake Guentzel who flourished alongside Sidney Crosby to help push the Pens to another Stanley Cup. Now this season, struggling and looking for answers, Crosby has paired up with Daniel Sprong and Dominik Simon in hopes of turning the team around. [Pens Labyrinth]

With his overtime winner on Sunday night against the Bruins, Evgeni Malkin now holds sole possession of the franchise record for overtime goals with 12. [NHL]

Last week, the NHL announced its captains for the 2018 All-Star Game set for the end of the month in Tampa Bay. Alex Ovechkin will captain the Metropolitan team much to the chagrin of Penguins’ fans who voted for Crosby. Though Crosby could still be named to the team, the Penguins’ star doesn’t believe he’s played to an all-star level this season. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Once the Penguins return from their bye week they will begin their final push to make the playoffs and defend their crown. If they are to get there, it will be up to general manager Jim Rutherford to push the right buttons and assemble the best lineup possible to make another run. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

News and notes from around the NHL...

The NHL’s decision to forgo the 2018 Winter Olympics angered many players who hoped to represent their countries in South Korea. Although they may be angry, don’t expect players to take a stand against the NHL. [The Hockey News]

Safe to say the San Jose Sharks will not be spending their bye weeks in Winnipeg after ripping the city during a road stop to play the Jets. [Yahoo! Sports]