As a Penguins fan, this news hits a little too close to home. We all know of the Penguins’ struggles as of late. The Pens have lost five in a row, being outscored 20-7 in those 5 games and 12-2 in their last three.
"Certainly if this continues, in short order, we're going to have to make some changes," Rutherford said during a radio interview before the Pens’ 2-1 loss to the Capitals.
Rutherford went on to say that actions speak louder than words, which is why he had decided to call up Zach Aston-Reese and Garrett Wilson from AHL Wilkes-Barre ahead of Wednesday night’s game, “this will be the first move of a few if we don’t get it along.”
The Penguins’ struggles don’t lie in the hands of superstars Crosby, Malkin and Kessel, who are all averaging over a point-per-game. Instead, Rutherford called out a few of the team’s support players, “It’s almost like the guys come to the games and say, ‘let’s let the top guys do it.’”
I’ll be honest - it’s been a little frustrating watching the Penguins over the last few games. With the exception of last night (where I actually thought they played a little better than lately), the Pens have looked lazy. Especially the support cast. Guys like Brassard, Sheahan, Rust, Haggy have what? Like four goals on the year so far COMBINED? What the hell is that? Maybe the Pens should look back into getting Nick Bonino back. Reunite the legendary ‘HBK’ line of the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs.
With the lack of support from the team’s support players paired with inconsistent goaltending, the Penguins are struggling, “They get bigger contracts and they kind of settle in,” Rutherford said, surely speaking of guys like Hornqvist (signing 5-year, $26.5M contract in February).
The former back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions are going to have to prove to their GM (and former GM of the Year) that they still have what it takes to be a contending team. Since getting off to a hot start at the beginning of the season (6-1-2 and getting up to 3rd overall), the pens have fallen off and now sit with a record of 6-5-3.
The Pens hope to bounce back Saturday night at home against the Arizona Coyotes. If they don’t you can bet I’ll be upset. I’ll have a strongly written LETTER (lets call it a love letter) dedicated to the laziness of the Penguins over the last two weeks (with the exception of my boys Phil, Geno and Sid. They’re cool in my books still. Oh - and Tanger.