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Insider Only Critical mistakes at key moments leading to losses

An interesting dynamic has come out of the Penguins 4-3 shootout loss Wednesday night against the Washington Capitals.
From one standpoint, the Penguins battled hard to gain a valuable point without two of their top players and the game is seen as a momentum builder for a team moving forward that has appeared lifeless at times over the past week.
From the other side of the argument, costly mistakes were critical once again to the Penguins blowing a third period lead and expectations have been built by the Penguins success that there are no morale victories in the Penguins locker room.
Brooks Orpik and head coach Dan Bylsma appear to have two different takes on what to take out of last night’s game.
Brooks Orpik is taking the latter, expressing his displeasure with the loss and the continued costly mistakes that are leading to losses.
“The frustrating part is you make the same mistakes over and over again and you don’t learn from them. It’s not like we’re getting behind… we’re blowing leads, ” Orpik said in his post game comments.
Meanwhile head coach Dan Bylsma had a different take than Orpik last night, indicating he would like to be 3-0 against Washington but was pleased with the way his team played last night. “I also like the way we played and I like the way we’ve gone to overtime now twice {against Washington}, ” Bylsma said. That’s the way we need to play.”
Being the defending Stanley Cup champions and regarded as a championship caliber team, are expectations at the point where last night’s loss can’t be viewed as a momentum builder moving forward

Prospect Watch
Boston College which earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Championship by capturing its record ninth league tournament title with a 7-6 overtime win over Maine last night, has earned one of four No. 1 regional seeds in the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Tournament and will face Alaska-Fairbanks in first-round action in the Northeast Regional at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass., on Saturday, March 27 at 1:30 p.m.
Boston College features two Penguins draft picks in 2006 2nd round pick Carl Sneep and 2009 2nd round pick Philip Samuelsson. Both players will be among our updated Top 10 Penguins prospects list which will be released next week.
Philip Samuelsson, the son of Ulf Samuelsson has appeared in 38 games as a freshman, recording a goal and 12 assists.
Samuelsson who was regarded as a major reach in the second round, has had a strong season for BC. An evaluator in the program told me Samuelsson has exceeded expectations in his freshman season and continues to get better as the season plays on.
He’s benefited from the emphasis on practices in college hockey compared to the USHL when teams are on the road often.
Doesn’t play a nasty game like his father but is starting to play with more of a physical game in a controlled way, according to the evaluator. A strong penalty killer who has good position for a young defenseman.
One source in the Penguins organization called him one of their top-5 prospects. The Penguins had him much more highly rated than others as Samuelsson was seen as a 4th round value.
Sneep, a 6-foot-3, 212-pound defenseman, is the team’s top scoring defenseman. He has registered 26 points – ten goals and 16 assists – in 36 games, including 15 points – five goals and 10 assists – in 27 Hockey East contests. The Nisswa, Minn., native has scored five power-play goals, one game-winning goal and one shorthanded goal.
Sneep has recorded 60 career points – 16 goals and 46 assists – in 153 games. Sneep received honorable mention last week for first team Hockey East honors.
Sneep is highly regarded around the league but there remains to be concerns inside the Penguins organization if Sneep will sign with Pittsburgh, following  BC’s NCAA Tournament run.

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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