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Insider Only Crosby, Penguins surging as defending champs have won 8 of 10

Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins are surging, winning 8 of 10 but Crosby still sees room for improvement from a injury riddled squad that is off to a 20-9 start.
Great teams always look to improve in certain areas and there is still over 50 games remaining in the regular season.
The coaching staff and the front office will continue to look for ways to put the Penguins in the best position to defend their title.
Malkin’s return from injury has impacted Crosby greatly
Sidney Crosby’s surge offensively has sparked the Penguins 8-2 run as the Penguins have rebounded from a 5 game losing streak in mid-November.
Crosby has 11 points in his last three games, including 19 points in his last 10 games.
A player who deserves a ton of credit for Crosby’s recent surge is Evgeni Malkin. During a 6 game stretch from OCT 31 – NOV 12 when Malkin was sidelined with a shoulder injury, the Penguins were 1-5 and Crosby had 1 point during that stretch.
Malkin returned to the lineup November 14th against Boston playing on a line with Crosby. Crosby broke out offensively with a 3 point night against Boston which has started a streak of 9 out of 10 games for Crosby in which he has recorded at least a point.

Malkin enjoys taking a backseat to Crosby and Pittsburgh has a perfect situation on their hands in Malkin playing under the radar, if you can say that.
Malkin had a three point night against Colorado and look for his game to take off when he starts putting the puck in the net. He’s looking to pass first and isn’t showing much confidence in his shot right now. That should change soon.
Letang lacks confidence on the power play
Pittsburgh’s power play delivered Thursday night with a big goal in the third period as the Penguins prevailed 4-1 against the Colorado Avalanche.
The Penguins came into the game with the NHL’s 28th ranked power play and it’s been a rare occasion that the power play has delivered in a big way this season.
Not trying to rain on the party but Kris Letang is not playing with the confidence that the Penguins need out of one of their pointmen.
Letang is not moving the puck quick enough and still looks tentative at times. Although the Penguins like a right handed shot at the left point, that’s Alex Goligoski’s spot when healthy.
Bylsma losing confidence in Chris Bourque
Chris Bourque had 4:26 of ice time and only 8 shifts against Colorado. That’s the same amount of shifts as Eric Godard. Clearly Dan Bylsma is losing confidence in Bourque and the Bourque experiment has been a dud.

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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