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Sunday Pens Points: Still left to pick up the pieces

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News and notes around the Penguins as they deal with the fallout of losing on Friday

Pittsburgh Penguins v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images

A look at why poor play and bad game management is why the Penguins and Oilers are not advancing to the first round of the playoffs, and not the qualifying format. While the first part is true, the second part doesn’t make sense. The Pens had a 99+% chance of making the playoffs and Montreal had a 0.1% chance in March. The qualifying format is precisely why the Canadiens are in and the Pens are out. [Habs Eyes on the Prize]

Carey Price’s puckhandling made a big difference in the series. Also the Pens never adjusting and trying cross-ice dump ins and instead futility rimming the puck around behind the net for Price to get back and stop. [EOTP]

Seth gives his take on what went wrong for the Pens. [Tribune Review]

And a very nice, in-depth review of a post-mortem of the Pens’ series from an analytical perspective. Well worth the time and you’ll learn something here. [JFresh]

Geoff joins the fray with an article appropriately titled “Avoidable Mistakes and Crushing Defeats: The 2020 Penguins”. Can’t say it much better than that. [The Pensblog]

Josh Yohe grades each individual player out, with several deserved F’s making appearances. [The Athletic $]

Angie Carducci also sorts through the rubble of the Pens’ surprising series loss. [InsideHockey.com]

Positive vibes only for Monday’s lottery draft. The Pens have a 1-in-8 (12.5%) chance of winning the first pick. Former NHL GM and prospect expert Craig Button thinks Alexis Lafreniere could be a 60-70 point player as a rookie in the right situation. Pittsburgh would be a good spot for that! [The Athletic]

And around the league...

Vegas vs. Chicago is set for next round, which now looks really regrettable for the Blackhawks having traded goalie Robin Lehner to Vegas at the deadline in February. [Second City Hockey]

Five reasons why Minnesota couldn’t pull out the series win over Vancouver. [Hockey Wilderness]

Wild fans also coming to terms with likely not getting Pittsburgh’s first round pick until 2021. The Pens have a week after the draft to make it known if they’ll retain their first round pick for 2020 by not qualifying for the full NHL playoffs. As mentioned, 12.5% chance of picking first, but if another team wins (87.5% chance) then Pittsburgh will be slotted into the 15th pick automatically. That would still be the highest natural pick the Pens have had since 2006, so yeah, they’re probably not giving it up. [Hockey Wilderness]

Nashville also in post-mortem mode after their series loss to Arizona. The Predators seem as lost as the Pens and are spinning their wheels now too. The two best teams in 2017 are completely off the radar as far as being elite teams now in 2020. It goes fast, you guys. (And at least the Pens got the banner out of it). [On the Forecheck]

Also, interestingly enough, 2019 Stanley Cup finalists Boston and St. Louis are also struggling in round robin competition and both looking for their first wins today to avoid being seeded fourth and lowest in their respective conferences among the top teams. [NHL.com]

Phil Kessel, with four points in four play-in games, will be looking ahead to a series against the Colorado Avalanche in Round 1 out west. This piece is more about the teams than Phil, but just wanted to throw in his strong playoff performance so far. [Five For Howling]

Speaking of Arizona, the league is expected to issue a ruling and possible penalties (fines, loss of draft picks) for breaking rules on pre-draft screenings in the past. [TSN.ca]

A team of castoffs and misfits just a few years ago, the #1 seeded Vegas Golden Knights have become instant contenders right from Jump St. [Sportsnet]