There's No Panic From The Penguins

But should they be more concerned about their losing streak?

The Fan Morning Show
March 21, 2019 - 11:16 am
Matt Murray allows goal vs. CAR

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- The Penguins head into Nashville Thursday night with a three-game losing streak to snap, but according to 93.7 The Fan's Penguins insider Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the team isn't all that concerned about it.

Mackey joined The Fan Morning Show Thursday to discuss. 

"I think the concern that [fans] should have is probably greater than the concern that exists inside the dressing room. I'm not saying that to say that I think they're not taking this seriously. I think they're just looking at this like, 'We still have time. We played well. We need to take the good things we did out of this game.' I don't know if I agree with it," said Mackey.

"I mean, to me, it's getting pretty dark here. Yes, they're in a playoff spot but they might not be if they lose tonight and some stuff falls the right way I do believe. If it's not tonight then it's very much in doubt heading to Dallas. They need to pick it up. They need to be playing better than they are. Teams can flip a switch but I'm not sure I'm going to look at this team and say that they automatically can, they need to find some level of consistency here." 

Jason says there isn't a lot of news about the Penguins injuries at this point, but he doesn't expect Evgeni Malkin to play on this road trip which includes Nashville Thursday, Dallas Saturday and NY Rangers Monday. He does think they expect him back before the end of the regular season. Olli Maatta skated in a non-contact capacity in Raleigh and he thinks Maatta might get back to playing at some point this road trip. 

Related: Malkin Out 'Week-to-Week' with Upper Body Injury

There have been a fair share of blown leads late in games that have lead to losses lately and Jason commented on what the goaltender situation might look like in the near future. 

"If they win and Murray plays well, I'd have no problem going with Murray Saturday in Dallas and you finish the trip with [Casey] DeSmith in Manhattan (Monday against the Rangers). I think that's probably ideally what you would do. But yeah if they lose again and god forbid there's another late goal, which has been a thing for Murray and if you think about what it would be like after that happens, I mean, that's certainly concerning. I would try to get him out of there."

"Casey played very well his last time out, I do think they'd like him to get a start on this road trip. They're playing a really tough Nashville team tonight too, I think that's maybe one part we're overlooking. This is one of the best teams in the entire league." 

The Penguins have run into some high level goaltending with the performances of Jordan Binnington of the Blues, Carter Hart of the Flyers and Petr Mrazek of the Hurricanes. 

But...

"They've had opportunities to win these games. You get a powerplay late in the third period or even midway through the third period, you have to do something with it. That powerplay has been non-functional for the past three games," said Mackey. "You have a lot of guys right now like Patric Hornqvist, Phil Kessel, even strength not scoring. I understand them banking on doing some things well and feeling like, 'OK we played mostly the way he want to play' but sooner or later you have to score goals. The reality is there isn't much time left and a lot of teams are competing for the same four playoff spots. It doesn't matter if you did some good things, that's a line that sells in December. You need to score goals and win games." 

Do you think all is well with the Pens or are you concerned about their playoff positioning and even their playoff chances? 

You can listen to the entire interview with Penguins insider Jason Mackey on The Fan Morning Show below.        

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