Another week of Pittsburgh Penguins hockey has come and gone and with a pair of games played, the losing streak extended to seven.
Not only did the Penguins lose their two games, they again blew leads making the defeats feel even harder.
While the list of winners continues to grow slim, there is still a couple of bright spots that deserve to be highlighted.
Top Six Forwards
People can toss blame wherever they want when it comes to the Penguins losing streak, but they can’t fault the group of top six forwards.
The group of Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, Bryan Rust, Evgeni Malkin, Jason Zucker, and Rickard Rakell have all done everything they can to help the team win.
Crosby and Malkin lead the team in points with 14 and 12 respectively, while Guentzel is tied for the lead in goals with six.
Regardless of opinions of Rust or Rakell on the top line, both are useful tools and can play just fine wherever.
And after a pair of disappointing seasons, Zucker seems to have found some improvement to his game making him look like one of the best payers on the team analytically.
It's a short list of winners, but if you really think about it, it's actually a lot longer than normal.
Like mentioned before, the Penguins have lost multiple games in a row where they had a lead, but let the other team crawl back in.
All of the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, and Seattle Kraken took come from behind victories from the Penguins in their last three games.
The team remains confident in themselves and their abilities, but they know they need to do a better job of closing out games and hold onto the leads they gain.
“Look at the game as a whole, we did a lot of good things,” Crosby said following the loss to Seattle. “We’re making a few mistakes. And when you’re losing that’s magnified even more.”
For the second straight week, Brian Dumoulin is looked at as a loser and his recent demotion all but solidified his spot.
Dumoulin continues to be on the ice for goals against forcing him to be a focal point in the losses.
In practices leading up to their game in Washington, the Penguins ran drills with Dumoulin on the third defensive pairing, possibly signaling that he will be moved in the lineup.
With any luck, the demotion will have a positive impact on the veteran’s game, but for now, he has to hold another spot on the loser board.
You can tell the Penguins have a skilled team, they can win games if they get the proper help they need and can find ways to shut the door on teams.
They have their first golden opportunity as they take on a bruised and sluggish Capitals team.
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