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Penguins’ scoring woes continue in loss to Devils

Nov 16, 2013, 11:04 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

It’s become a common theme for the Pittsburgh Penguins of late. And that’s not a good thing.

For the fourth time in their last five games, the Penguins managed only one goal in what was another loss, this time a 4-1 decision to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.

Sandwiched in their recent woes was a four-goal outburst against the Nashville Predators on Friday. But goal scoring of late been an aberration for the Penguins, even with the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Malkin was a minus three in tonight’s loss, with only two shots on goal, while Crosby was a minus one.

Crosby, tied for second in the league in points with John Tavares, has been held in check over his last five games, racking up only one goal and an assist over that time.

The Devils, meanwhile, have won four of their last six games. Martin Brodeur, at the age of 41, pulled off his fourth straight victory – and nearly his third shut out in that span – with a 27-save performance.

It was a night when the veteran players got the job done for New Jersey.

Jaromir Jagr, also at the age of 41, scored twice in the third period. He now has seven goals on the season. Who says he’s too old?

“Great move: spin-o-rama, backhand shot, top shelf. Faked the goalie out. What a great move, what a great deke,” Jagr joked about his second of the night, which was an empty-net goal to secure the win for New Jersey.

It was career goal No. 688 for Jagr.

  1. chill1184 - Nov 16, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Red and Black certainly got a nice confidence booster when beating a good team like the Pens, hopefully they continue it on Wednesday when they take on the Ducks.

  2. devilsarethebest - Nov 16, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Well no ones been able to score on Marty recently but on PHT anything Pens is article worthy.

  3. chanceoffleury - Nov 17, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    My favorite part was, if you were watching the ROOT broadcast, how they went on about how good Malkin and Letang have looked. How Letang’s defense is “so underrated” and Malkin “is racking up the assists” as if there’s no problem with the way they’ve been playing. They have both looked *HORRIBLE*. Yes, there have been bright spots where Letang’s defense looked solid, and Malkin has looked much, much better the last 2 games than the first 18, but for their salary bracket (/at least Letang’s next year) they have been consistently under-performing when you look at their overall game. I know a lot of people say +/- is a dumb statistic, but I think with these two it’s very telling. Horrific turnovers, no puck control, even tonight Letang was lollygagging to get off the ice when finishing his shift and it led to a breakaway. Then they excuse Letang’s mistakes because “he just came back form an injury.” Um, yeah. Like 1 month and 10 games ago. This isn’t his first rodeo. It’s the beginning of the season. Why would he be rushing back without letting it heal. Niskanen, on the contrary, has looked fine and is much improved from last year.

    Ugh, sorry. It is just so frustrating to listen to them. Literally the worst announcers in the league. Usually I listen to Lange and mute Steigerwald and Errey but I didn’t for whatever reason tonight and I thought my head was going to explode listening to them. And the fact that Bylsma will surely change nothing like the previous 1893019 times the Pens got in a funk and he refused to change anything just makes me more mad. Personally I’d start with swapping Dupuis and Bennett to try and get something going. Dupuis has looked good with Sutter the last 2 games (and really hasn’t been that great on Crosby’s line anyway), and anybody who’s watched him play for 5 minutes will tell you Bennett’s career as a third line grinder isn’t going to get him too far. He’s built for the skill and flash of a top line and has got some great hockey IQ. Let him take some top line minutes with Crosby and Kunitz and see if it gets them going. I mean right now the Pens are only scoring a goal per game. The offense situation can’t really get much worse than it is right now. I know it’s only November, but when you’ve got a roster like the Pens’ and the only decent teams you’ve beat are one win each against Boston and Tampa 20 games into the season, you have to start exploring options to shake things up. You can only blame it on a “hot goaltender” so long before you sound like a broken record.

    • drone501 - Nov 17, 2013 at 8:50 AM

      steigerwald is your typical homer. errey may call out a player if he really has to like malkins spin a rama. these guys better realize they are playing for their jobs especially bylsma job. sorry fellow pens fans but i don”t like what im seeing. pens not getting their bang for their bucks.

    • jpelle82 - Nov 17, 2013 at 8:52 AM

      they’re terrible, i try to watch to the away broadcasters on center ice when i can…didnt have that option last night and heard the same garbage you did. its like someone said hey bob, letang’s -7 in 11 games…”oh well he’s underrated defensively though, look at that he just stopped the puck just then, so silky smooth”. hey staggy, malkin hasnt scored in 12 games…”oh well he’s in another world right now with his skating, look at that! and he’s piling up assists”. they are terrible, and they must think we are idiots too which makes it even worse. i can say i’m at least grateful i dont have to listen to jack edwards though, dont know how boston fans deal with that.

    • joey4id - Nov 17, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      i don’t get the 5 thumbs down chance. great post. you should contribute more often. bylsma is going to coach himself out of a job if he doesn’t change things to bet the boys back on track.

    • burgh916 - Nov 17, 2013 at 12:10 PM

      Great post, agree with everything you said. I’ve been saying the same thing for the past 2 (maybe more) seasons about them guys. Sid works hard every single shift, nothing irks me more with how Letang/Malkin/Neal play… Half speed – half caring… “I’ll get there when I get there.” Mentality. It’s got to change, unfortunately Bylsma promotes this, just as much as he promotes Letang going behind the opposing net, and half a*sedly backchecking, or the no look blind passes Malkin/Neal turnover constantly. I could go on – it’s extremely pathetic and irritating.
      The announcing team as well. I only like Stagy/Bob because they have fun. Everything else though is HORRIBLE. The fact that a lot of the misinformed fans get their info from them boggles my mind, they just listen to the media and that’s that. As a die hard Pens fan I almost hope they don’t do well for once, because then A LOT will get changed, stuff that should have been seasons ago.

  4. pitpenguinsrulez - Nov 17, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    Seriously where in the hell has Malkin been? Let me get this straight…were gonna pay him $9.5 Million to do what? Not score goals and play without motivation<—could go to the rest of team. It literally drives me bonkers with Malkin. Ever since we won the Stanley Cup in 2009, Malkin has literally been non existent…yeah he had a great 2011-12 season but lets not forget that Crosby was out for most of the season. Unless Malkin steps it up and starts playing for what he's worth then #tradegeno and #trademalkin will continue to exist/trend locally and sometimes nationally on Twitter. Tho Malkins abysmal attempt to keep the puck in on the powerplay in the third just fits the stereotype of "Lazy Russian Hockey."

    As for Disco Dan, it gets old hearing the same BS from him after every loss. Although I like how tonight he said "We need to stop passing up shots" Oh wow Dan aren't you the head coach? Shouldn't you make more of an effort to tell them don't pass up a shot and that the pretty play can wait. One too many times does the team go for the pretty play and not the dirty one. A dirty goal is just as good as a pretty one. The top 6 not producing really shows at how bad out bottom six lack scoring depth. Atleast when we had Staal Cooke Kennedy they could atleast produce/score when the top weren't. Yeah you don't win the cup in November but you can lose points that could be valuable when trying to into the playoffs/locking up a good spot.

    • jpelle82 - Nov 17, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      malkin has been everywhere. he just has been snake bitten lately. he’s had enough chances to satisfy any superstar, he just hasnt converted. my question is with his recent drought, why are they keeping him high on the point during the pp and keep dropping letang into the shooting position instead? they need to get the monkey off his back and everything will open up for him, moving him on the pp will help.

    • burgh916 - Nov 17, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      Agreed. Other than Crosby, our best players are on the 4th line.
      It’s funny Bylsma talks about shots, and Letang in the shooting position, because I’ve never seen anyone miss the net so much, if he doesn’t shoot it straight into the goalie first. A lot has needed changed for a long time, hopefully it will happen this season or after.

  5. thomasvanek - Nov 17, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    Well on the up side Steen once again passed Crosby in the scoring race. Actually the is also on the down side for Pens fans…sorry rough times

  6. mcphillthy - Nov 17, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    Flyers fan here. Usually I would enjoy watching you guys suffer. I promise I do. But you guys have nothing to worry about. You’re too talented of a team to stay in a funk for too long. Giroux had his drought and now Malkin has his. It’ll end. The talent is there. This might be the only time I ever say nice things about Pitt ever again. Just wait it out. That’s what we are doing on the other side of the state with our team.

    • drone501 - Nov 17, 2013 at 8:56 AM

      easy for you to say. lol. we knew the flyers were going to come out of it because of the style they play. this is an extention of the bruins series from last year. i hope bylsma makes some moves soon or shere will.. long time pens fan. was at the game when holmgren punched the linesman. funny as hell.

      • jimeejohnson - Nov 17, 2013 at 8:51 PM

        Your comments remind me of a cheesesteak with cole slaw and fries on top.

  7. hazlydose - Nov 17, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    Right now this team has no desire to do anything other than fling the puck east-west across the ice and hope it lands on a teammates stick. No center lane drive, no screens, no deflections. Kunitz was the only player that got into the dirty areas tonight.

  8. lenapedevil - Nov 17, 2013 at 5:31 AM

    Great game by Brodeur and Jagr! Great team effort by the Devils!

  9. timmons94 - Nov 17, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    Mcphilfy. Same for flyers to me . That being said flyers playing good hockey. Will make playoffs IMO

  10. steelers88 - Nov 17, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    Has anyone ever given the though that maybe it’s not the players but the system their playing in that’s screwing up? I think the Penguins system has been figured out by the NHL, I think the system has become stale to the players. Another month of this crap and say hello to head coach Jaques Martin.

    • killerpgh - Nov 17, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      If and that’s a big IF the Penguins decide to change coaches I don’t see it happening until after the Olympics (2nd week of Feb – March). With Shero being an assistant GM of Team USA and Bylsma being the head coach of Team USA I can’t see it happening before than. I personally see him being safe for this whole season as long as the Pens stay in playoff position. If the post season ends in a bad way again I would expect some changes (players and coaching staff). It’s not Stanley Cup or bust to me. But if they get smoked in any round like they did against the Bruins than changes have to be made. Bylsma is/can be a good coach. And if the Pens fired him he wouldn’t be out of work long. The problem is he is a players coach. He is just so stubborn. He refuses to change things when than aren’t working because they have worked in the past and will work again in the future. His worst coaching ability is his in game adjustments, imo. I’m sure he knows how or else he wouldn’t have made it to the NHL as a player and coach using different systems. But he refuses to do any in game adjustments. 99% of the time he won’t even match lines when he has the last change. He wants “his” way to work all the time.

  11. steelers88 - Nov 17, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Can we please put Mike Lange back on tv please!!!!

    • drone501 - Nov 17, 2013 at 8:19 PM

      think stigerwald has some dirt on a few root executives. this guy is brutal. he”s killing me.

  12. steelers88 - Nov 17, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    I just feel like Byslma is so stubborn obviously the system is not working so why does he insist to keep going with it and not change anything?

  13. amityvillefun - Nov 17, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Glad to see a big win for the Devils and more points for #68. I hope New Jersey can get it going and make the playoffs.

  14. drone501 - Nov 17, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    steigy hasn’t been the same since a tv monitor fell on his head a few years ago.

  15. steelers88 - Nov 17, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    I also have a problem with GM Ray Shero I know his one of the top gm’s in the NHL but his to loyal to his players and his head coach. Why would you resign Kris Letang to a long term contract? His so overrated. I don’t mind the Malkin contract. I was one of the few Penguins fans who had a problem with the trades last year they got 3 renta players for some good young forward prospects. The Penguins are so depleted in their farm system of forwards. I think this is another problem the Penguins look old and slow they don’t have enough young talented forwards on the NHL club or in the organization.

    • jimeejohnson - Nov 17, 2013 at 8:53 PM

      Where is that guy who kept raving about going to the Penguins Stanley Cup victory parade? I think he was lying.

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