PenguinsExperience.com - A Pittsburgh Penguins Blog © 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009

Reasons for the Pittsburgh Penguins' Struggles

Everyone has an opinion.

Today we're going to take a look around the Internet and see why people think the Penguins are losing. Remember, if it's on the Internet, it must be true.

"Urgency and bruised confidence don't go too well together. That's what the Penguins are dealing with in the midst of a horrific slump." - Tricia Lafferty, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

"There are many possible reasons for their slump. The fatigue of playing so many games in two seasons. The goaltending that doesn't rival that of the last two seasons. There has been little offence outside of Malkin and Crosby." - TSN.ca/The Canadian Press

"I think the boys are just going to have to find a way to get along and play as a team, rather than to try and reignite the kinships that were obvious on last years team." - Matt Trevors, Bleacher Report

"an anemic power play... has been a major reason they have fallen to fourth place in the Atlantic Division" - Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"The Penguins showed that lack of game-to-game focus recently by losing five times during a 15-game span to teams that were .500 or below. Among the defeats was a 2-0 loss at home on Dec. 23 to Tampa, which had the league's second-worst record at the time. It hasn't helped that the Penguins haven't had the 20 players they expected to have. Defenceman Sergei Gonchar, the key to their power play the last two seasons, has been out all season with a dislocated shoulder and may not return until March." - The Canadian Press

"The biggest reason for Pittsburgh’s dropoff this season is that they have not done as well keeping the puck out of their net. That problem almost always starts with goaltending. Marc-Andre Fleury is not playing as well this season as he did the year before... Their defence has taken a large hit from injuries." - The Puck Stops Here, Kuklas Korner

"The problems with the power play stem from the loss of defenseman Sergei Gonchar. The veteran back liner has missed the entire season so far because he underwent shoulder surgery in late September. He’s not expected back until February but his presence has been missed with the man advantage because he plays the point so well... Marc-Andre Fleury is the owner of a $35 million dollar contract yet he also owns one of the worst save percentages (.905) in the National Hockey League. The back up, Dany Sabourin is no better. (.902)" - Howie Karpin, Suite101

"It's not that the Penguins aren't willing to pay the price—hey, every NHL player has already paid a physical price just to play the game—it's just that they don't seem to have any players who are good at that part of the game." - Richard Newpol, Bleacher Report


Perhaps the reason the Penguins are finding it so hard to get out of this slump is because no one is quite sure what is causing it.

Unfortunately, the Penguins troubles are a combination of everything listed above and more.

The coaching methods are suspect, the injuries are mounting up, the team has lost a lot of character, the players are not working hard enough, the power play is failing, the goaltending is inconsistent, there is no secondary scoring.

These problems are not easy to solve.

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