It’s true the Penguins are 0-3 heading into Thursdays game against the Ottawa Senators, It’s true the Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby has no points so far this season, and it is true that this team, with the crazy amount of offensive power they have, has only scored 3 goals in three games. So, is now the time to panic?
I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I was nearly pressing the panic button during Tuesdays tilt against the Canadiens. Once again the team came out of the gate with a lack-luster effort only to take control in the second period then lose their way come the third.
Playing only one full 20 minute period will not win Hockey Games, not in todays NHL. So the Penguins have to find consistency, Head Coach Mike Johnston has acknowledged this fact.
“Just to be honest, every game has been so different, players have been in and out (effective and ineffective) during different games. For 80 percent of the game tonight, I liked the contribution from our best players.”
As you see the staff and I would assume the players are aware of their inconsistent play. And acknowledging you have a problem is the first step to recovery…..right?
Obviously the above statement doesn’t do a lot to sway anyone from panicking, but maybe looking at the Division Standings will help a bit.
Besides the Rangers starting off pretty strong many of the other teams within the division have also had a difficult time early on this year. Now this doesn’t excuse the poor performances the Penguins have displayed, but it does lessen the blow. The Penguins are not getting buried in the standings and still have some time to right the ship.
I have talked to quite a few people closer to the organization than myself and I have not heard a single person bring up the idea of moving on from Head Coach Mike Johnston. They are giving him the chance to fix the current debacle, and rightfully so.
However I do not expect them (Penguins management) to allow this to get out of hand. If there isn’t any signs of this team coming together by the end of the current Home-stand you best believe change will be coming.
Things haven’t been what we all expected when the season began. The acquisition of players like Kessel, Bonino and Plotnikov set the bar pretty high. It’s no wonder that so many are upset about the poor start of the year. But panic is something we shouldn’t do. The Penguins are a World Class organization and within it’s ranks are some of the brightest hockey minds to ever be a part of the game.
Three losses in the beginning of the season looks a lot worse than three losses in January for sure, but every team hits those types of bumps in the road all the time.
The fans know what type of team they have in Pittsburgh as does the organization. While speculating on new coaches or possible trade scenarios can be fun maybe it’s best we all sit back and trust that Owner Mario Lemieux and Gm Jim Rutherford can rectify the issues.
We know the team should be playing better, the team knows it should be playing better, but after three games and a rough stretch, panicking isn’t what should be happening right now.
– Robert Slavinsky