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Weekly Penguins Stock Report: Tristan Jarry keeps rolling

Tristan Jarry continues his great season for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Seattle Kraken v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Harrison Barden/Getty Images

It has been a light week of work for the Pittsburgh Penguins as they have not played since their Monday afternoon win against the Seattle Kraken. They still have another day off before returning to action on Saturday night against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Vegas Golden Knights. It will be another big test and another huge game for a Penguins team that has done a lot of things right over the past two months to get themselves back into the Stanley Cup Playoff race.

Sidney Crosby, Tristan Jarry, Drew O’Connor and the return of Bryan Rust to the lineup have all been big recent developments for them in that quiet. We take a look at all of them and more in this week’s edition of the Weekly Penguins Stock Report.

Stock up

Tristan Jarry. Jarry continues to be one of the biggest positive surprises on the Penguins roster this season and recorded his league-leading fifth shutout of the season on Monday afternoon when he stopped all 22 shots he faced against the Seattle Kraken, putting a stop to their nine-game winning streak. That leaves him with a .916 save percentage for the season, while he has a .948 mark over his past three appearances. He gave the Penguins a chance to get a point against Vancouver when he came on in relief of Alex Nedeljkovic, helped them get another point in an overtime loss in Carolina, and then shut out the Kraken. His strong play is one of the reason the Penguins should consider themselves buyers at the moment because if he can maintain this level of play into the postseason there is no reason why the Penguins would not have a chance for success.

Sidney Crosby. The captain just keeps on going, With 26 goals in his first 46 games this season he is on pace for more than 46 goals this season at the age of 36. He has four goals over the past three games, while also recording 15 shots on goals in those games. He almost single-handedly willed them to a point against the Canucks and then scored two more goals against the Kraken. He remains a marvel for how consistent and dominant he has played at this stage of his career, continuing to make a mockery of everything we know about aging curves in the NHL. He is not going to win the NHL MVP this season, but he has at least earned a spot in the discussion.

Bryan Rust. Getting Rust back has been a significant development and he is now up to five points in seven games since making his return to the lineup. His most impactful game on the stat sheet came on Saturday night in Carolina when he recorded two third period points, including a late game-tying goal, to help the Penguins erase an early 2-0 deficit and at least have a chance to steal a point. With Reilly Smith being out of the lineup, and being a non-factor prior to that, getting Rust back has been huge for the Penguins’ top-six forward group.

Drew O’Connor. The continued strong play of O’Connor has also been a big development for the top-six as he continues to make the most of his opportunity. He opened the scoring on Monday with a goal and has had eight shots on goal over the past two games. Whether it is in the top-six or bottom-six getting production out of him is exactly what the Penguins needed this season.

Stock down

Radim Zohorna. He had such a strong start. That has been the trend for Zohorna throughout his career, both in Pittsburgh and elsewhere, where he makes an early and immediate impact upon his recall to the NHL before rapidly fading. That staying power and consistency is what separates the fringe NHLers from the established NHLers, and Zohorna just seems to be lacking that. He was placed on waivers this week and went unclaimed. He had just one goal and one assist (two total points) in his past 22 games prior to being waived.

Valtteri Puustinen. Unfortunately things seem to be trending in a similar direction for Puustinen as he has not maintained the early production we saw from him when he first arrived in the NHL this season. He has not scored a goal in nine consecutive games and has just a single assist during that stretch. He was a pleasant surprise with a goal and six total points in his first eight games, but has noticeably cooled off since then.

Overtime play. This continues to be a problem for the Penguins as they have lost two of their past three games in overtime and are just 3-6 this season in games that have gone beyond regulation. Of those three wins, two of them came in shootouts. In games that are decided during the 3-on-3 portion of extra time the Penguins are just 1-5 on the season. Even worse than the record is the fact the Penguins still seem to have no idea how to play the 3-on-3 period. They take bad shots, they lose assignments, and they just flat out look disjointed. It remains a baffling development as the two areas you would expect a talent team to excel — 3-on-3 hockey and the power play — continue to be the two biggest things hurting their chances this season. If they do miss the playoffs for a second year in a row those two areas will be the biggest reasons for it by a wide margin.