The above picture so perfectly captures the current situation for the Pittsburgh Penguins. It also embodies all the frustrations the players, along with their fans, are having with this season.
I’m starting to think the jinx with Pittsburgh winning on home ice at the CONSOL Energy Center has returned (remember how they had trouble winning at the CONSOL for the inaugural season?). Let’s hope that it’s not going to rear its ugly head every other season.
For the second consecutive home game, the New York Islanders defeated the Penguins. This time the Penguins didn’t even make it a contest. The Penguins were one goal short of a shutout, losing by a score of 4-1. This is their third loss in four games. Whatever momentum they had from their previous win against the Ottawa Senators has all but disappeared.
What’s wrong with this team and where did the one that won their first two games of the season by dominating their rival opponents go? Simply put, they’ve become sloppy. They’re playing quite poorly and the only good thing about last night’s game was they were somewhat more consistent than they’ve ever been; however, it was because they were consistently bad throughout the entire 60-minute “effort.” They couldn’t keep the puck on their own sticks let alone in their own offensive end. Their execution was non-existent and they played the puck through the neutral zone creating a pile of turnovers instead of just getting the puck up ice into the offense.
It’s highly disappointing to watch them play like this because we all know they’re better. You can see that there’s just something not clicking with them. They look like a young group of newly assembled players that have no idea what they’re doing on the ice. That’s just not the Penguins (not much different than what the teams they’re playing against could be defined as and should look like).
Hopefully last night’s game was embarrassing enough for them to snap out of this slump sooner rather than later. There’s not much time for error in this shortened season.
Penguins fans are notorious for leaving early to beat the traffic, but last night it was so bad that after they “booed” the team off the ice at the end of the second and during the course of some of the third, they began their mass-exodus with 10 minutes left in the game.
As a side note to last night’s game, during the final minutes of the second period, Islanders forward Colin McDonald delivered a hit on Penguins defenseman, Ben Lovejoy, knocking him into the boards. McDonald was assessed a five-minute boarding major as well as a game misconduct. He will be facing the league’s Department of Player Safety later today for possible supplemental discipline. Be sure to check back for new developments.
Stephanie Lewark is a featured Pittsburgh Penguins columnist for RantSports.com. If you enjoy her articles / posts, you can follow her on Twitter (@steelcitysports), check out her personal Facebook page (via Networked Blogs), visit her personal Tumblr page, or stop by her Pinterest page.