ShareThis Page
Penguins

Win over Colorado gives Penguins another chance to turn in right direction

Jonathan Bombulie
| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, 3:30 p.m.
The Penguins celebrate with Derick Brassard after Brassard scored a goal to make it 3-0 against the Avalanche’s in the first period Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins celebrate with Derick Brassard after Brassard scored a goal to make it 3-0 against the Avalanche’s in the first period Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.

There’s a malady the Pittsburgh Penguins have to kick before they can rejoin the ranks of Eastern Conference contenders after an underwhelming start to the season.

They have to shed their allergy to prosperity.

It’s a trend that started the first week of the season. They followed a rousing overtime win over Washington in the opener with a dud of a 5-1 loss to Montreal.

After ripping through Canada on a 4-0 road trip, they returned home to lose five in row.

Solid back-to-back wins over Columbus and Winnipeg were followed by deflating losses to Colorado and Philadelphia.

Now, with an 11-10-5 record in tow, the Penguins are coming off perhaps their most impressive victory of the season.

Colorado came into PPG Paints Arena on a 9-0-2 run Tuesday night and left with a 6-3 loss thanks to a third-period hat trick by Patric Hornqvist.

The real trick, of course, is not slipping back into mediocrity when the New York Islanders come to town Thursday night. A win could vault the Penguins back into a playoff spot in the conference.

“You have to be able to follow it up,” captain Sidney Crosby said. “It feels good when you put one together, but it doesn’t guarantee you’re going to get the next one. Just because you played that way doesn’t mean it’s automatic. I still feel, last game, there are some things we can build up. It wasn’t a perfect game, but it’s nice to get two points and you try to ride that.”

In the long run, the win over Colorado might be most beneficial to the Penguins if it gets a couple of key contributors going.

Evgeni Malkin scored his first even-strength goal in 15 games in the first period. Derick Brassard broke a six-game points drought with a goal. Casey DeSmith settled in after Colorado erased a three-goal Penguins lead in the second period.

“Time will tell, but I certainly think that with some of the performances last night, it should give certain guys a little bit more confidence, take a little bit of pressure off,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “You know no one puts more pressure on these guys than themselves. They’re a proud group and they all have high expectations of themselves. They all want to do well. They want to help the team win.

“After a game like last night, we got some big plays at key times from players that are important players for us. Hopefully that will give them all a boost of confidence moving forward.”

Follow the Pittsburgh Penguins all season long.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan at jbombulie@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me