The Pens snagged a point from the depths. When this long season reaches those final days in early April, remember this point.
Meanwhile, the Pens still have some bad habits. Hopefully, in April, we’ll remember these, too, and not still be talking about them.
1. Giveaways in the last 9 games.
Pens have 72 giveaways in the last 9 games. That is a massive issue.
2. The Dark Cloud
When the third or fourth line comes onto the ice it is like a dark cloud floating into your area, like one of those summer thunderstorms that ruins a delicious picnic. Sutter, Vitale, Adams, Gibbons, D'Agostini, Sill, etc. Are Gibbons and Vitale the same person? Although we’ll say it again: Gibbons is showing signs of something different than these guys.
3. Why does Dan Bylsma refuse to play Robert Bortuzzo?
The stats show it. The play shows it, but Dan Bylsma and the coaching staff refuse to play Robert Bortuzzo. It is actually unbelievable.
4. Kris Letang
People can bag on Malkin or Crosby, but remember: starting next season, Letang will be the Penguins’ third-highest-paid player. Even though he’s been removed from the power play, he still played 25 minutes against the Bruins. In other news, he led the Penguins with four turnovers. Where is the accountability? Do people notice when Letang tries to enter the zone, loses the puck, falls, then yells at the ref looking for a penalty? Bruins defenseman Torey Krug, who won the game for the Bruins, has 7 goals and 8 assists. Letang has 4 goals and 1 assist. Kris Letang has played 10 less games, but given his pedigree, his numbers should be closer to Krug’s anyway.
If your rebuttal contains the thought, “Well, Scuderi is out, so…," just stop. You are wrong. $8.5 million.
When Malkin and Crosby are clicking (and, Jesus, have they turned it on), problems can get masked. And right now some problems are getting masked. And the Pens’ schedule still isn’t getting easier. Toronto at home on Wednesday, then they head to Florida for the double-header over the weekend.