The Penguins were completely dominated from the onset of the game getting outshot 34-11. The bright spot for the Penguins was the performance of backup goaltender Dany Sabourin who kept the Penguins in the game making big save after big save. The Penguins are now 5-3-2 but have only scored 24 goals in 10 games. Is it time to worry about the lack of production upfront?
The issue for the Penguins creating offense is not only because they have a subpar group of wingers, but the main issue is the lack of puck moving defensemen to break the puck out. After the first period teams are starting to realize, you can limit the Penguins by being aggressive on the fore check due to the absence of Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney. That was the story out of the Rangers locker room regarding how to beat the Penguins. It seems like teams are catching on after the first or second period.
At this moment I am still for the Penguins keeping Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby together but Malkin needs to shoot the puck more. We all know Crosby won‚Äôt and Malkin only has two shots in his last two games. Matt Cooke has showed he deserves more ice time. The Penguins need to use him in a situational role giving him a few shifts from time to time with the first or second line.
I came away very impressed with the Sharks depth upfront. They have a great mix of forwards and their blue line is now among one of the league‚Äôs best. Rob Blake is in a perfect role as a 3rd or 4th defenseman.
The Penguins are expected to practice today in San Jose before departing for Phoenix. Expect to see some line changes. Ruslan Fedotenko played well in the third period with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and there‚Äôs a strong chance those three will play together Thursday night
As expected Petr Sykora‚Äôs play has suffered since the Penguins have re-united Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Sykora only played 10:44 against the Sharks
Sound off in the comments Box
This is not a knock on Jordan Staal, (for you Jordan Staal supporters don‚Äôt take it the wrong way) but Is it time for the Penguins to come to the realization that Jordan Staal may not become the scorer they think he will?
Photo courtesy of Dan4th