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Insider Only Bruins defeat Penguins 5-2; Penguins hold players only meeting following game

Post – Game Thoughts
The Penguins lost to the Boston Bruins 5-2 at Mellon Arena Tuesday night and are now 2-6 in their last 8 home games. Following tonight’s 5-2 loss, the Penguins players held a players only meeting.
The Bruins were convincing tonight winning their ninth straight game as they continue their climb in the Standings. Boston 60 pts – Pittsburgh 42 pts
In Sidney Crosby‚Äôs post game remarks he said he isn‚Äôt ready concede that the Bruins are the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. Crosby said ‚ÄúThere’s not much separating each team, they’re disciplined in the way they play and capitalized on the chances they got, and that’s what good teams do,” “But it’s not a matter of them being way ahead of us.” Crosby is a competitor and you can‚Äôt blame him for trying to say the Bruins aren‚Äôt way ahead of the Penguins but they are.
This year’s Bruins team sort of reminds me of the Penguins team in the playoffs last season. Not as much top tier talent that the Penguins had (Crosby, Malkin, Hossa) but more depth and they can beat you by playing a skilled game or they can beat you by playing a physical game just like the Penguins could last spring.
Against a team playing at the level the Bruins are playing at, you have to capitalize on the power play. Once again the Penguins didn’t (0-3) . The coaching staff gets a lot of blame for the Penguins power play but some of the blame has to go on the players for their inconsistencies on the man advantage. Sidney Crosby has one power play goal in 29 games and Evgeni Malkin the NHL’s points leader has zero power play goals in his last 20 games. The Penguins just don’t have the physical presence in the front of the net to cause havoc and win battles in the corners. That’s the main problem right now on the power play.
Phil Kessel scored his 23rd goal of the season in the second period. Kessel has scored a goal in 11 of his last 16 games (Source ESPN research). The debate of whether Phil Kessel would be a better fit for the Penguins than Jordan Staal is has finally gone away. Kessel also had 8 shots on goal.
The Penguins got goals tonight from Petr Sykora and Pascal Dupuis. A turning point in the game was in the third period when Jordan Staal missed a wide open net on a 2-on-1 when the Bruins led 3-2. The Bruins deserved the “W” Tuesday night but Staal has to make that play.
Dustin Jeffrey showed some improvement in the faceoff department tonight. Jeffrey had 7 wins and 8 losses. Jordan Staal was awful on draws winning 7 faceoffs out of 22
The way the Penguins are currently constructed they are a mediocre 7th-8th seed playoff team. They have major matchup problems against teams like Boston and Philadelphia who are skilled and physical. A power forward is a must and as I’ve been saying for a weeks that is the front offices top priority as the trade deadline is only a little more than two months away.
Starting the game with Alex Goligoski on wing was a joke. The reasoning was because the coaching staff wasn’t sure Hal Gill was 100%. My take on that is don’t play him until he is. I hate seeing a defenseman play wing on the fourth line.
One scenario the Penguins should explore is what the Flyers did with Brendan Shanahan. The Flyers were struggling and publically made it known that they had interest in Shanahan. The Flyers might have had some interest in Shanahan but they weren’t actually going to bring him in. The speculation of adding another forward lit a fire under some players and the Flyers turned it around.
Tim Wallace has been one of the rare callups that has played with some passion.
The Penguins went 5-8-1 December.
Miroslav Satan has 4 goals in his last 24 games and Michel Therrien’s patience is growing thin. Is waivers a possibility in the future?.

Placing Miroslav Satan on waivers is not out of question. If Michel Therrien had his way, he would be already. Therrien is losing his patience with Satan and has been ready to pull him off of Crosby’s line since the Devils game. If Therrien finally makes the decision that Satan is not a fit with Malkin or Crosby, then Satan could be placed on waivers to light a fire under him or the best case scenario would be for a team to grab him. If the front office and the coaching staff come to an agreement that Satan has no place with this team then St.Louis is the first team the Penguins will look to in a trade according to sources. It does not appear Shero is at the point that Therrien is with Satan. His hand may be forced to keep playing him.
This has to be from a player but I was told from a friend in the media that in the 2nd period Therrien yelled to Mike Yeo to get Satan off of the bleeping ice when he turned the puck over in the neutral zone. Just thought it was funny. Satan only saw 10:15 of ice time.
From the players meeting, I was told the vibe coming out of the locker room was Crosby, Orpik and Matt Cooke did a lot of talking. A few players were called out in front of the team. The team is just calling for the players to come together and play with more desperation.
Therrien really looking for Sidney Crosby to take control of the situation.
There has been some friction with Jordan Staal getting an “A” this month. Some of the veteran players were not happy with it and feel it was time for Therrien to name the other (full-time) assistants until Gonchar returns. We could see that this month.
more to come

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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