Injuries or no injuries, the Pens need to play smarter hockey. Actually when you are short bodies, the simple approach is better. Clear the zone, get through the middle, shoot the puck in, and go get it — create opportunities with hard work. The Penguins have not done these things over the last four games. It is not the players who are out of the lineup who are responsible for this losing streak — it is the ones who are playing.
The new forwards have done nothing to earn a continued spot in the lineup. Chris Bourque may have some speed, but he has shown little else. His size is against him – a strong wind would knock him off of the puck. Chris Connor has not added much to the picture either. Even though they have not been a positive factor, the responsibility to turn this around falls to the veterans. Many of them have hit dry spells as well through this period. In fact they weren’t scoring much even while winning. Marc Andre Fleury’s brilliance in net was the main reason for many of the victories. Of all the guys not playing well, Bill Guerin is at the top of the list. Last night’s penalty in the offensive zone after misfiring on another shot was the icing on the cake. This penalty led to New Jersey’s game-winning powerplay goal. I am not using Guerin as a scapegoat – just saying if he had anything left, now would be the time to use some of it. I never expected Guerin to have a big regular season — his true value will come in the playoffs. The mistakes being made by him right now appear to be because his hands are failing him. Giveaways galore and his failure to capitalize on scoring opportunities are hurting the team. Come on, Billy — Be a veteran leader and step to the plate while we wait for our team to get healthy starting against the Bruins!! That’s the view from E-11.
Note — Fire Steigerwald. I’m tired of watching the away games muted. I can only tolerate listening to him for about half a period. Then it’s the mute button. His inane, junior high approach to broadcasting is an insult to the Penguin viewers and all junior high students.