Yeah, I get it, the Pens are the most injured team in the NHL, and that continued with the news that Olli Maata and Jussi Jokinen joined the ranked of injured Penguins players. I also fully understand that the Penguins are post season bound, locked into the #2 seed in east, winning the ridiculously-named Metropolitan division.
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BUT..... There is absolutely no excuse for the way the Penguins have sleep-walked through the post Olympic portion of the NHL's regular season. There was still a lot on the line. Home ice through the East, for example, was eminently attainable when play resumed, even with Boston's outstanding run. As it stands now, there are at least 5 and likely 6 teams from the West that will have higher point totals than the Penguins, which only comes into play should they reach the Cup Final. But to get there, the Penguins must exhibit a level of play not reached in these parts since 2009.
For the Pens to get there, they need to begin playing a defensively responsible style, AND their coaching staff needs to start doing things like matching-lines and demanding accountability. O, did I mention it would help if they got healthy? But even without total health, the Pens are talented enough to make a run. But as longtime Pens fans know, teams cant just flip a switch and suddenly become playoff material. If the teams of Mario Lemieux in the 90's couldnt flip that switch, what makes anyone think that the current Penguins can flip the switch and transform into a stingy, gritty playoff caliber team?
The time is now. Start playing as if the games actually matter. Because in less than 2 weeks, they do. Show us something other than malaise, lethargy, and sleep walking. Give us a reason to think you might actually do something with the talent you have there. You can't win every year, but with the talent the Pens have, they should have at least come closer in the last 5 springs... The time is now....
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