“I don’t think he [Antti Niemi] really had to battle to see pucks. We didn’t have much of a net-front presence. They block shots when they need to and when we get some through, he saw most of them. We’ve got to make it tougher on goalies.”

Those were Sidney Crosby’s comments following Thursday’s 4-1 loss.

Basically those are Sidney Crosby’s comments after a lot of games……

Until the Penguins start becoming a team that consistently provides a net presence, changing lines isn’t going to do much.

Pascal Dupuis is already playing on the first line by default and it’s going to be the same story with Eric Fehr. The Penguins plan to use Fehr at left wing in upcoming practices to see how the transition goes.

— Saying the Sidney Crosby – Phil Kessel experiment was a failure is off-base. It was more of a left wing problem than anything. Will probably be the case for Kessel and Malkin with Sergei Plotnikov over there on the left side.

James Neal has 5 goals and 3 assists on the season and observers say he looks a lot more comfortable this season in Nashville compared to his first year. Patric Hornqvist is great in the room, type of player the Penguins needed, but at the expense of a 40 goal scorer in his prime? Neal became the scapegoat when Jim Rutherford took the job as Rutherford was told by his bosses to move Neal that summer. The next couple years will show how low the Penguins sold on Neal. 40 Goal wingers are tough to find.

— One scouts observation of the Penguins personnel upfront: “Low energy, lethargic group.”

To outsiders the Penguins look like a team that only cares to show up to the rink everyday because it’s their job. I’ve heard this from multiple NHL types.

It’s hard to argue with that as they still lack a critical element on their roster — Young Forwards who just love to be in the NHL and are playing on an adrenaline rush almost every night —

— On the youth argument, was bringing in a near 40 year old Matt Cullen necessary?

— Jim Rutherford during his exit meeting with David Perron last season told the Penguins winger he had to get faster over the summer. Perron went through a strenuous training regiment during the summer but the problem is Perron built his legs up so much it made him lose some quickness, the Penguins feel. He looks like he’s skating in quick-sand.

Derrick Pouliot trade talk. Some chatter in league circles about the Penguins being potential match for Columbus left winger To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!