Penguins Not as Good as it Seems
November 29, 2008 by Big Tony
The Pittsburgh Penguins are off to a very good start on paper. Stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are at or near the top of the scoring list and they are in good shape in the standings. However, their 4-1 win against New Jersey Saturday night was a performance that has become a rarity for the Penguins this year. Many times they have had to come from behind to win or have built big leads and struggled to hold on to them if they were able to hold on at all. Also, the Power Play has not been as good to them this year as in the past, in fact it has been very average overall thus far. The power play has resulted in one too many short-handed goals and their five-on-five defense has failed them on many occasions which is part of the reason they have such a hard time keeping big leads. The return of Ryan Whitney and Sergei Gonchar will no doubt improve the defense as well as the power play when Gonchar fulfills his role at the point which has been lacking to date. However, with both men returning from a serious injury there is no guarantee they will be able to play at a high level right away if at all this season. Bottom line, if the Penguins want to return to the finals and ultimately win the Stanley Cup they will have to play more consistently on the power play and defensively 5-on-5, otherwise it will be a long off-season of “what ifs” in Pittsburgh.