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Sunday Morning Quick Hits

The Penguins practice this morning at 11:30 a.m. Although the Penguins are coming off of an embarrassing 6-1 loss to the Panthers and are in the midst of a four game losing streak, don’t expect the Penguins to endure a long grueling practice this morning. The team has four games this week.
Miroslav Satan has four goals in his last 26 games and has been non-existent during that stretch. Satan was dropped to the fourth line on Saturday. Therrien has proved in the past that he won’t play players in roles that they were brought in for, if they are not producing. Nils Ekman is a good example of that. Therrien’s hand has been forced in regards to Satan but it’s only a matter of time until Therrien takes Satan completely off of the top two lines. When that happens how can you even consider keeping him around?
It became evident that the Penguins reliance on Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby to produce night in and night out was going to backfire. A 7-12-1 run in their last twenty games will prove that point.
Sidney Crosby failed to pick up a point for the seventh time in 12 games Saturday and has only two goals in his last 16 games. Evgeni Malkin has gone eight games without a goal and hasn’t had a multi point game since December 22nd. Both players are bound to go scoreless for a few games but when a team is plummeting in the standings like the Penguins are, it is up to your $8.7 million a year players to take the team on their backs. This will be a crucial week for Malkin and Crosby to set the tone and make an attempt to right the ship
A source tells me Evgeni Malkin has a minor hand injury that has bothered him since mid November. One of those nagging injuries that just keep popping up. This has affected his shot a bit.

Nick Boyton‚Äôs comments on Sidney Crosby: You don’t jump a guy while his head’s down taking a faceoff,” Boynton said. “That’s pretty immature and childish.
“That’s not what the game needs, you know what I mean? But whatever. We beat them where it counted, and that’s all that matters. We needed those points.”
What I have found interesting in the past couple weeks is how the national media and even some fans are sort of turning on Crosby. Crosby’s lack of scoring ability has come to the forefront. Will touch base on this sometime during the week but I’ve heard that people close to Crosby believe that the scrutiny from the some of the national media figures has affected Crosby’s play and he is trying too hard to make plays
Coaching Staff talk: Michel Therrien’s job is safe for now. Any coaching change would have to be approved by ownership and Lemieux & Co remain high on Therrien. If the Penguins were to ever make a coaching change this season, Andre Savard would get the interim tag and then the Penguins would go through a long extensive search in the summer. Pat Quinn would not be at the top of the Penguins wishlist.
At this moment the only scenario I could see happening is the front office relieving Mike Yeo of his duties. Could see him taking the fall for the Penguins power play woes but this is not based on any inside information…. just my opinion…. it is rare to see moves like that in Hockey.
The Penguins are 8-9-1 at home this season and 2-7-1 in their last 10 games.
Practice Report later in the afternoon.

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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