It is Tristan Jarry’s world right now and everyone else is just living in it.
He continued his incredible season on Thursday by recording his third shutout in four games to help a fraction of the Penguins’ roster pick up two more important points in a 1-0 overtime win against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Every point the Penguins can get right now is important given the lineup they have been forced to use on most nights, and they just keep getting them.
Jarry once again leads the way in this week’s Penguins Stock Report as he continues to make the case to keep getting starts.
Time to check in with the rest of the Penguins over the past week.
Who is Hot
Tristan Jarry — I mean, obviously. There is really nothing else to say at this point regarding his play. His al situations save percentage and even-strength save percentage are both tops in the NHL among goalies with at least 10 starts, he has three shutouts in four starts, and even though the team in front of him has played well defensively he has been money when called on to make a big save (like he did on two different breakaways against Columbus on Thursday). Matt Murray is still the long-term starter in Pittsburgh, but Jarry is doing his best to at least make everyone think about starting the discussion.
Jake Guentzel — You have to go all the way back to Dick Tarnstrom during the 2003-04 season to find the last time a player not named Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin was the Penguins’ leading scorer. Guentzel has a chance to do it this season. Malkin is definitely starting to gain on him (Guentzel has a six-point lead as of Friday with 12 more games played) but you have to love what Guentzel has been able to do this season. He is on track for another 40-goal season, is showing he is not just a creation of playing next to Crosby, and has been their rock this season through all of the injuries. He even took over top-line center duties on Thursday.
Mike Sullivan — He just keeps pushing all of the right buttons and has his team playing like a Stanley Cup contender even though on any given night he has $25-30 million in salary cap space sitting out of the lineup (on Thursday night it was $35 million). Credit to him for sticking with Jarry, and still finding ways to get the most out of this team. He was without Crosby, Malkin, Patric Hornqvist, Nick Bjugstad, and Brian Dumoulin (basically his team’s top-three centers, No. 2 defenseman, and a top-nine winger) on Thursday and his team held another NHL team to zero goals and 17 shots on goal. That is crazy.
Who Is Not
Matt Murray — He picked up his first win in a month on Saturday night in Detroit, but it was not a particularly pretty performance that ended up becoming way more difficult than it needed to be. Not sure what the problem is here, but he just looks off. Every shot against him seems like it is a challenge and the overall production is just bad. This might be the worst stretch of hockey he has played in his career. In his past seven appearances he has managed only a 1-2-3 record, was benched mid-game once, and has an .858 save percentage. Only once during that stretch has his save percentage topped .900, while it has never been higher than .905 in any one game.
Jared McCann — He is still going to be a big part of the Penguins this season and in the future, but a cold streak for him was inevitable. He has now hit one. He has not scored a goal in eight games, is a minus-5 during that stretch with only two assists, and perhaps most concerning has just 10 shots on goal. In the eight games prior to this recent stretch he had four goals, two assists, and 22 shots on goal. He was a question mark for me before the season but he has shown me enough to make me believe he will get through this and get back on track.
Justin Schultz — Honestly, I hate putting any defensemen on the team in the “not” section right now given the way they have played defensively this season (and especially lately with three shutouts in four games) but this has been a really disappointing season for Schultz, especially for him personally as he plays in a contract year. He and Jack Johnson needed to start paying rent in the defensive zone after all of the time they spent living there on Thursday night against Columbus, while Schultz’s offensive game has just completely disappeared this season. That is where he has to make his impact and it has simply not been there this season, and especially recently. He has just one point in his past 10 games and has been held off the scoresheet entirely in seven consecutive games.