It’s been another full week of Pittsburgh Penguins hockey and there are yet to find another victory.
The Penguins closed off their road trip and returned home but were unable to find a win and continued disappointing play.
It may be tough to find positives, but these are this weeks winners and losers in Penguins hockey.
When a team is on a long losing streak, it’s hard to find positives; that’s why the main winners this week have to be anyone the Penguins played against.
The Vancouver Canucks, Seattle Kraken, and Boston Bruins all picked up victories over the Penguins in the past week and made the Pens look out of place.
Unable to maintain their lead against the Kraken and Bruins, the Penguins beat themselves by giving up opportunities and not capitalizing on their own.
There doesn’t need to be too much detail, here; if you’re a team playing the Penguins right now, you have a good chance of winning.
It’s not easy finding real winners in the Penguins lineup right now, but Marcus Pettersson has looked outstanding.
It can be argued that Pettersson has been the Penguins best defender so far this season; and looking at all of the details, he pretty much has been.
He doesn’t need to put up offensive numbers, but Pettersson looked to have gained a level of constancy and speed not seen from him before.
Averaging just under 19 minutes per game, Pettersson has answered the call in terms of stepping up his game.
For a long time, Pettersson was top of mind for trade talks in Pittsburgh, but his growth on the blue line has made him a steady member of the team.
The regression of Brian Dumoulin has been concerning, and with every passing game his decline becomes more evident.
Once one of the most consistent stay at home defenders in a Penguins uniform, Dumoulin is close to becoming a defensive liability on the ice.
Through the first 10 games, Dumoulin has been on the ice for 19 goals against; at one point that was the most in the NHL.
Head coach Mike Sullivan may say that Dumoulin “competes hard,” but it has been costing the team.
If the Penguins want to find any form of success, either Dumoulin needs to find his old game or the coaching staff has to maneuver the lineup to shelter his minutes.
Mike Sullivan is one of the best coaches in the NHL, there is no doubt about it, but it is fair to question some of the moves he’s made recently.
For starters, why has Rickard Rakell been taken off of the top line? Rakell has been playing great with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel.
What about personnel deployment in certain situations? Despite injuries to centers, Ryan Poehling shouldn’t be playing during 3-on-3 overtime.
These are moves that didn’t necessarily cost the Penguins games, but they sure didn’t improve upon the outcomes.
At the end of the day it’s up to the players to make the plays and win the games, but they can’t be held back by questionable decisions.
The Penguins hope they can get back on the right track quickly before things get out of hand.
They played better against the Bruins, but now they have to lock games down and walk away with victories.
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