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Penguins’ Martin: Sometimes we’ve lacked desperation

Apr 20, 2014, 1:11 PM EDT

PITTSBURGH, PA - FEBRUARY 03: Paul Martin #7 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the Ottawa Senators during the game at Consol Energy Center on February 3, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins had the inexperienced Columbus Blue Jackets against the ropes with a 3-1 lead in Game 2 on Saturday. Now Pittsburgh is left looking for answers after Columbus rallied from behind to earn a 4-3 double-overtime victory and even the series at 1-1.

“At times we’ve lacked some desperation that we’ve needed,” defenseman Paul Martin suggested, per the team’s Twitter account. He added that the team’s work ethic has been where it needs to be.

Desperation isn’t something that should be in short supply for Pittsburgh in the playoffs, especially given how many times the team has fallen short of expectations in recent years. The Penguins have a loaded team, but since winning the Stanley Cup in 2009, they’ve allowed 3.2 goals per game in the playoffs, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe.

A lot of the blame for that has been put on Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, but he isn’t solely responsible for it either.

All the same, the Penguins can’t be written off over their past struggles. They lost their home ice advantage and Game 2 raised some points of concern, including their arguably overly aggressive play with the lead, but their fate is far from determined. They remain a serious contender for the Cup.


Pittsburgh columnist: Penguins’ narcissism, arrogance led to Game 2 defeat

  1. claudegirwho - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Where has Neal been this series? He needs to start showing up and scoring some goals

    • 19to77 - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      Or Malkin… or Letang… or Kunitz… the four have combined for one assist so far this series, and that was Malkin. The rest are, fittingly, pointless. In a lot more ways than one.

    • hockey412 - Apr 21, 2014 at 8:26 AM

      He’s somewhere in the background, trying his best to play emotionless hockey. Bylsma is trying his best to instill discipline, in the only way he knows how…and it’s 100% wrong. He is making the mistake of thinking that taking the ’emotion’ out of the game will remove the discipline problem. So wrong. The Pens need the emotion back in their game…if these guys can’t play with emotion and control themselves, trade them.

      HOWEVER, this isn’t solely a matter of the Pens playing bad, though the turnovers are horrible. The Blue Jackets are a damn good team – even on here no one is giving them credit there. Everyone says the regular season doesn’t mean jack in the playoffs…but do they mean it? The series is tied, 1-1. And it’s been 2 great games.

  2. 19to77 - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    “Effort.” “Effort” was the word you were looking for, Paul. “Desperation” is reserved for people who were already trying hard, but just couldn’t find that extra gear to push a little harder. Your team’s problem is, you can’t even be assed to show up and do the “trying” thing in the first place.

  3. capsrockva - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    I love it when PIT loses, anytime I despise them Go Jackets

    • claudegirwho - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      At least I get to enjoy some playoff hockey. You should get used to your season ending early it’s gonna be a while till the caps get back to the playoffs. No more free division ride.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        One look at the Penguins cap situation for 2014-15 and going forward would probably tell you that the good times (in the regular season that is) look to be in jeopardy, I wonder if Pens fans will still think of Ray Shero as a genius while he’s disassembling this underachieving team?

      • killerpgh - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:38 PM

        So after losing 1 games (in double overtime no less) so far in the playoffs you are already assuming (I’m guessing more likely hoping) they underachieve this season. To be determined….

        Shero doesn’t have to disassemble the team because of cap issues for next season. If he feels the need to shake up the roster he will do that. But It’s not that hard to fit a similar roster that they currently have.

        A 23 man roster with a 68.3 cap hit. No Orpik or Niskanen. So if the Cap max ends up being 71.1 million like the NHL first said they have over 2.7 million in cap space and might do something a little different with a forward to try and keep Niskanen. If the Canadian dollar does have the negative effect like they are speculating now then they should still be good with letting Orpik and Niskanen walk and bringing up and using some of there depth on the back end.

  4. steelcity333 - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Hasn’t this team been saying the same thing for well over a month now? Getting tired of hearing it. These games aren’t meaningless anymore like they were for the last month of the regular season. Let’s get it going.

  5. khar9 - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    Like disco in the 70’s , Dan’s era is over

  6. whiskytango333 - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    #firebylsma #tradeletang

  7. penguins87and71 - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    The point is the Penguins are playing like crap for the 1st two games of the Playoffs, in fact they have played terrible since the Olympic break. I wish the “Best player in hockey, Sidney Crosby would show up”. If the Penguins lose in the 1st round, the team has to be shaken up and Dan Byslma has to be fired. They have lacked desperation, heart, and fire since they won the cup in 2009.

  8. 950003cups - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    Paul Martin sucks. Nobody wants to hear his opinion.

    • c9castine - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:13 PM

      lol bitter are you?

  9. whammy71 - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    It’s not lack of effort or desperation……it’s lack of leadership and it starts with the Captain. Just cause you are the best player on the ice….doesn’t automatically make you a leader or Captain.

    If this team had any real leadership….lack of effort or lack of desperation wouldn’t happen.

    Dey soff –

  10. penguins87and71 - Apr 20, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    I think the Penguins need a coach that is going to show some tough love, they need a coach that is going to get in their face when they do something wrong, not s coach that is going to be buddy, buddy.

    • killerpgh - Apr 20, 2014 at 6:03 PM

      Rumor is if the Penguins fall apart it Bylsma ending up in Nashville and Barry Trotz hired by the Penguins. I think part of the rumor has to do with the fact the Shero was the assist GM for the Preds for 8 years before taking over in Pittsburgh.

  11. rushledger - Apr 20, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    Bylsma won’t change anything on defense. Bortuzzo should draw in but he won’t because he is only allowed to play when there are injuries. Bylsma logic is the top six paid d men should play end of story.

    • blynasty - Apr 20, 2014 at 5:50 PM

      Scuderi would be the D man to sit and Dan is not going to start a right handed defenseman to play along side a struggling Letang. My guess is Despres would be called up if they wanted to shake up the defense, but I don’t see Bortuzzo playing barring an injury to Letang Niskanen Martin or Orpik.

    • c9castine - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:17 PM

      yeah i will admit i dont like that…rob scuderi has been worthless all year. its time to just admit we made a mistake signing him and buy out his contract.

  12. c9castine - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    ive been around pittsburgh sports long enough to know when things are great, they are never good enough and when they are bad the world is ending. everybody sucks and the team should be blown up.

    its 1-1 everybody.

  13. evgenishrek - Apr 21, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    Only thing we desperate for Paul, is for you to find a different team and our fans don’t jump off bandwagon.

  14. lp0320 - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    I’ve watched this team all season long and despite everything, they have the talent to blow things open at any given time. This second game is not on Fleury – he made some amazing saves – LETANG HAS TO SIT!!!! He was a liability before his stroke, and he’s liability now. Columbus is playing great, they are hitting us hard and they are knocking us off the puck. Bortuzzo needs to be in the line up. No question about it.

    Crosby, Malkin and Neal have to show up. Otherwise, we’ll be one and done again.

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