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***Post-Game Thoughts and Analysis on the Penguins now being 5-6-2 since their 12 game winning streak, inability to close out games, Dustin Jeffrey, Alex Goligoski and more tidbits***
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**The Penguins won’t have much time to dwell on tonight’s third period collapse against the Boston Bruins as the Penguins will travel to Montreal tomorrow afternoon for another road game Wednesday night against the Canadiens and then get another shot at the Bruins Saturday afternoon in Boston.
Expect them to move on from this game pretty quickly but there’s a few things to take out of tonight’s loss and one of them is the Penguins being undisciplined. It’s something that’s been an issue for several weeks but has been overlooked due to the Penguins winning and their No. 1 PK unit bailing them out on most night’s.
Tonight was a situation where the PK had an off night as the Bruins scored power play goals off a boarding penalty by Brooks Orpik that jumpstarted the Bruins rally and a Jordan Staal holding penalty that led to Recchi’s game winning goal with less than one minute to play.
The Marchand goal to tie the game at 2-2 was inexcusable as the Penguins got caught standing around and Chris Kunitz lost his man who broke towards the net and the Penguins still have issues of closing out games which was uttered by defenseman Zbynek Michalek after the game.
Pittsburgh has now lost 5 of 6 and are 5-6-2 since their 12 game winning streak. Pittsburgh is 0-2-1 without Sidney Crosby and the shame of Crosby’s injury is not being able to fully evaluate this team (healthy) now that the schedule is getting more difficult after a favorable schedule against non-playoff teams in December.

**Dustin Jeffrey did not get to participate in the morning skate which might have played a factor in his limited ice time (6:08) but it was disappointing not to see the coaching staff get him in situations off the 4th line.
In his limited ice time, Jeffrey was extremely effective with his wall play despite taking an offensive zone penalty on his third shift of the game.
Jeffrey played wing for the most part and he continues to show that his skating is much improved from last season. What I’ve been impressed with him is that he gets himself in scoring areas and his wall play again using his size and reach caught my attention tonight.
** The knock on Alex Goligoski is that he’s unable to build off of strong performances. Goligoski’s 4 point night in Pittsburgh’s 8-1 win against Tampa Bay last week is now an afterthought.
Goligoski has followed that performance with horrendous performances in 2 of his past 3 games.
A major knock on Goligoski is his passing ability where he seems to move the puck so slowly at times. The Penguins want Goligoski’s first shoot mentality on the 1st power play unit but with Letang becoming a serious threat with his shot from the left point, Martin may end up being the best answer due to his command and ability to distribute the puck.
**Those I’ve spoken with are not surprised by any means that head coach Dan Bylsma has gone back to the Cooke-Staal-Kennedy unit.
One team source told me Bylsma is drawn to that line and there’s concerns even when Crosby gets healthy that Bylsma has the patience to stick with Staal and Malkn together (The so-called long-term plan). That’s going to be something to watch over the next two weeks.

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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