The past few weeks the Pittsburgh Penguins have either looked very good in hockey games or have looked like a high school junior varsity team.
They’ve won some beautiful games against some very good teams but then have lost games to non-playoffs teams such as Florida, Dallas and Edmonton. If they are to keep rolling to the top spot in the Eastern Conference, they are going to need to be playing at the level that Anaheim and Chicago have been reaching.
Pittsburgh is currently 39-15-2 this season and has a 15 point lead in the Metropolitan division over the New York Rangers and they are currently the No. 1 seed in the East. That’s not what I’m worried about. They need to start playing like they are, though.
This team can’t go into the playoffs playing like this or else teams such as Boston, New York or even Philadelphia may give them a very tough time in the playoffs.
Pittsburgh has two more games before the long Olympic break and they are against two New York teams. On Wednesday night they travel to Buffalo, the last place team in the East that has had their struggles this season. Then they come back home to Consol Energy Center on Friday to host the New York Rangers in their fourth matchup in the season.
If they can win these final remaining games and go 41-15-2 into the break, that will give them a lot of momentum going into the final stages of the season.
The Penguins aren’t playing their best hockey but it’s been good enough to win some of these games. They’re going to go on a very long winning streak very soon and lock up the East in mid-March, I’d guess.
I really think the Penguins can turn this around and I believe they will.
Hunter Hodies is a staff writer for City of Champions. Follow him on Twitter @HHodiesNHL.