For just the fourth time in Penguin history, the Pens have started the season 0-3 at home. The other three times that happened, it was somewhat expected. This year in the brand new CEC it was not. All three losses have been earned in basically the same fashion — poor passing, poor puck management, poor powerplays, and poor goaltending. Even in the one win that they have, only one of these items was different — Brent Johnson. I said before the New Jersey game that Johnson needs to play until he loses. Coach Bylsma did not go with that decision. He went right back to Fleury, and Mark let the team down. The Penguins do not need Fleury to win games for them on most nights. They just need him not to be one of the reasons for the losses. He needs to know if he doesn’t play well, that he will not be playing. I’m not sure what happened to his focus, for he had an excellent pre-season, but something is wrong right now. Bylsma needs to push the right buttons with his goalies. If that means using Johnson a little more than originally planned, so be it. The Eastern Conference playoff race is going to be very competitive again this year. Getting too far behind early in the season will not be a recipe for success. That’s the view from 207.
Note — I know there are plenty of injuries right now. Our depth is supposed to be a strength. Let’s hope that is true.
Note — Along with the other problems that the Penguins have right now, Crosby and Malkin are on pace for 20-goal seasons. I know it is only four games, but that certainly needs to change. They make $8.7 million each. Eric Goddard has NO value. He only dressed for one game in the first four, and then played only three minutes. This is a waste of a roster spot.
Note — Martin, Goligoski and Letang played too many minutes against Toronto. You have to trust the abilities of Lovejoy, Engelland, and Hutchinson.