Being a sports fan is a tough thing to do. Even when you live in a city like Pittsburgh where there is a wealth of success there is still that rollercoaster from game to game and week to week depending on how your team is doing. Right now this feels like the Penguins are on the Pitfall at Kennywood. Just really bad times. The Penguins dropped its second game in eight days to the Devils and after scoring the first goal they got beat pretty badly in the 3-1 loss.
Really just looked like the Pens had nothing to give tonight and after the Devils go their second goal on a Ilya Kovalchuk power play goal to give them a 2-1 lead you just knew the Penguins weren’t going to be able to climb out of that. Even though that goal came early in the second period this just smelled like the game last night against the Rangers and it pretty much became a carbon copy of that.
What is so hard about this is when the Penguins get down they don’t seem to make any adjustments. The Penguins system is really good when you are even with a team and when you are ahead but when they get behind you can’t just continue to grind teams down. It hasn’t been working lately and it is frustrating.
The Penguins outshot the Devils 42-27 and like last night got some pretty good opportunities but they just couldn’t find the back of the net. They won 34 of the 55 face offs but couldn’t get anything generated. The first goal from Evgeni Malkin was nice but that was pretty early in the first period and another was nowhere to be found.
Ben Lovejoy continues to play some pretty damn good hockey and Matt Niskanen played pretty well but it was really just a meh performance all the way around. I don’t have much else to say about it, but that is that. I don’t think anyone played particularly bad tonight but there just wasn’t that spark that this team needs to get things on a roll. The Penguins have not been good against top competition the past month and that has to turn around if they want to dig themselves out of this.
All that being said we are not even half way through the season. The Penguins are still in the playoffs as of today, albeit right at the edge, but this is far from full on panic mode. Teams go through bad streaks through the season and while this one is a little longer than we might like it happens to every team. There are no excuses here, the Penguins are playing bad hockey, they just have to get their minds right and get that one win and go from there. One game at a time, one period at a time. I know people say that we aren’t healthy, but that is no excuse. Does it suck? Yea, it does suck but it happens. You have to be able to overcome. This is not the end of the season. The season is so far from over it isn’t even funny.
Everyone just calm down a little bit and step down from the ledges. It isn’t fun to watch but it can’t get much worse than this. A lot of season left. Buckle up.