Hurricanes put on dominating performance against listless Pens
The Penguins 4-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes tonight will surely be another wake-up call for Penguins GM Jim Rutherford that banking on this particular group needs a shakeup.
Tonight’s loss wasn’t a situation where the Penguins can sit back and say they ran into a hot goaltender.
For the second time in less than a week, Carolina exposed the Penguins in similar areas as they did this past Friday night.
Pittsburgh was atrocious again in defending the Hurricanes in transition and it’s more than just a lack of focus from the Penguins end. Skilled teams with the type of quickness the Hurricanes have continue to be major headaches for the Penguins with side-to-side puck movement.
From mental breakdowns to losing a number of 1-on-1 plays defensively, the Penguins put a ton on tape of what’s wrong with this team defensively as they did Friday night vs Carolina and Sunday night vs Detroit.
And maybe most strikingly tonight was how Carolina stifled the Penguins on the breakout. Pittsburgh had a great deal of trouble in breaking the puck out cleanly. Kris Letang and Justin Schultz were both in the lineup so Pittsburgh can’t use the injury excuse there.
More concerning for the Penguins, the high-danger chances again were strongly in the Canes favor, 17-7 in all situations and 16-6 during 5 vs 5 play. The Hurricanes are +15 in high-danger chances over the past two meetings.
You take away the names on the back of the jerseys and Pittsburgh being back-to-back Stanley Cup Champs, the takeaway from these two meetings in six days is that the Hurricanes are a superior hockey team right now than the Penguins.
Some can argue that things are trending in the direction where the Penguins should be getting close to reaching the conclusion that this will be a lost season from the standpoint of not missing the playoffs but being a legitimate threat for a third Stanley Cup and maybe the thinking process should be staying away from the impact rental market and not putting any of their high-picks in play.
But, the mindset of the Penguins brass is more in-tune to do everything they can to put this club in the best position to three peat.
Everything is about the short-term for this group and among the reasons why Jim Rutherford has been willing to discuss significant players on this roster in trade talks.
What Penguin management doesn’t want to happen is it become too late to help this team in the short-term.
Everyone knows the Penguins are in the impact forward market, whether it’s a player with term or a rental.
The Big Three on the forward market widely available for significantly high prices are Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"
In recent weeks the Penguins have significant trade talks with the Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"