June 24, 2024

In the third period, the Pittsburgh Penguins had an opportunity to level the game during an Arizona Coyotes power play, but the ensuing events served as a reflection of the mounting frustrations in their season. Despite chances arising, the Penguins frequently find themselves undermined by self-destructive actions. In a scenario where they trailed by a single goal, Kris Letang nonchalantly delivered a pass towards the vacant net for Evgeni Malkin, who redirected it into the open goal.

The Penguins found themselves dealing with a detrimental own goal, with Kris Letang inadvertently putting the puck into their own net for a pivotal score.

Letang commented on the incident, stating, “Well, if you look at it, my pass was going in the corner, not in the net. But I should know better. I should not go backward when there’s no goalie.” Evgeni Malkin opted not to provide a statement post-game.

Expressing frustration, Lars Eller summed it up by saying, “S— happens,” referring to both the own goal and the overall team effort. Instead of bouncing back, the Penguins struggled, playing an even more error-prone and sloppy version of their game, leading to another breakaway goal, this time scored by Nick Bjugstad.

In a candid assessment of the team’s performance, Letang bluntly stated the biggest indictment:

Kris Letang expressed dissatisfaction, stating, “It doesn’t feel good. I don’t think we came in with the right attitude to take the momentum of the game on our side and apply pressure. We let them play, and they have tons of skill. So eventually, they make you pay.”

The Penguins, despite making strides in the playoff race, faltered by dropping two games on their recent road trip. Their initial setback involved squandering a 2-0 lead against the Vegas Golden Knights, particularly struggling in the third period.

Lars Eller commented on the attitude issue, saying, “On this trip, that Vegas game really bothers me more because we had a good game, and when you’re playing well, you’ve got to win those. We did for two periods, and then we didn’t today. There were too many things that weren’t there. Attitude and execution are everything.”

The Pittsburgh Penguins faced setbacks, managing to tie the game twice against Arizona only to surrender crucial points due to perplexing mistakes.

Adding to the disappointment, the Penguins’ performance resembled a flatline on a heart monitor for a significant portion of the game. Despite playing in a familiar environment with predominantly Penguins fans, the team appeared sloppy, disorganized, and lacking emotional engagement.

Their play lacked a consistent rhythm, and even the line featuring Sidney Crosby made regrettable mistakes. Despite the frustration of losing to Vegas on Saturday, the Penguins didn’t display the expected anger, starting the game with a tepid performance at best.

The paramount question looming over the Pittsburgh Penguins is a straightforward one: Do they genuinely desire it? Is there a deep-seated willingness to go above and beyond, to secure victories, make the playoffs, and test the limits of their potential success?

With the All-Star break on the horizon, it marks a crucial point for Kyle Dubas, the president of hockey operations and GM, to assess the team’s performance. Despite taking a significant step forward, two disappointing games have reversed some of their progress. The Penguins, during pivotal moments this season, have relinquished opportunities when they should have capitalized, sending a less-than-positive message to Dubas.

Penguins Grades: Self-Destructive Pens; Big Questions Looming

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *