Now that the curtain has closed on the regular season, a new season begins just as spring reaches full bloom around the country. For the Pittsburgh Penguins, this new season couldn’t come at a better time.
The waning months of the regular season were none too kind to the Pens, as they have had only 8 wins since March 1st, and an unlucky 13 losses in that same time frame. Looking at the start of the season, by the time the Pens entered December, they carried a 16-5-2 record.
Those early season wins certainly were valuable this season.
What Went Wrong?
Well, injuries is the easy answer and it’s been written about ad nauseum.
— Angie (@acarducci) April 12, 2015
It has become a yearly frustration that no matter who the Pens have on their roster, they get injured. This year has been no different as Olli Maatta, Kris Letang, Christian Ehrhoff and Pascal Dupuis have all missed extended time. Usually reliable guys like Chris Kunitz have showed their age. Guys like David Perron, who were brought in to add offense, have instead added their own slumps to the lineup.
Penguins Pessimist or Penguins Optimist?
How can we look at the upcoming series versus the New York Rangers with anything but pessimism? The team has been slumping for a long time now and are about to confront a Rangers team that enters the playoffs having won 6 or their last 7 games – if that’s a 7-game series, that a victory and then some. There was also the season series, which does not bode will for the Pens:
To be an optimist, one needs only ignore the past. Teams and players that slump generally come out of the slump at some point. Why not now?
Because of the injuries?
Well, it would not be the first time in recorded sports history where injury replacements stepped up at the most critical times. It’s just a matter of mixing low expectations with a little faith, knowing that this 2nd NHL season can turn out completely different than the one the preceded it.
It has happened before and it can happen again.
Why not now?
Lee is a contributor here at The Hockey Writers as well as at Pens Initiative. A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, he worked an internship at VH1 Radio in NYC and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Penn State – New Kensington campus student newspaper, The Nittany Pride. You can visit Lee’s website here: leecjsobotka.com.