Key Observations Heading Into Game 22 Between the Penguins and Blue Jackets


By: Gemma Fagan (@gcfagan86)

It’s been two weeks to the day since the Penguins last locked horns with the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on November 13th.

On that occasion the Blue Jackets where able to stake an early claim on the game going up 2-0 in the second period and unfortunately for the Pens despite staging a come back late in the third period it wasn’t enough to overcome the home team and they skated away with a 2-1 lose.

The off ice saga continues for the Pens, first suggestions of a rift between the teams’ players thanks to Alternate Captain Evgeni Malkin’s “mad at each other” comments after being spanked 4-0 by New Jersey Devils and now speculation is rife that Captain Sidney Crosby has had a falling out with his once landlord Pens owner Mario Lemieux.

How long is this circus act going to continue for before enough is enough? It doesn’t matter how much the team dismisses all these claims as false, because everyone knows where there is smoke there is fire or at least smoldering embers.

This team is in need of a reality check, bickering and in fighting isn’t going to help the situation they are currently in, they are going to have to put their big boy skates on and play through their differences until management can figure out a solution to their issues.

In recent seasons Lumbus have become quite the thorn in the Pens side, they have lost 4 out of their last 5 regulation games to the blue jackets and not to mention they gave the Pens a run for their money in the first round of the 2013-14 playoffs.

This time around shouldn’t be any different, both teams are coming into the match up with 3 wins out of their last 5 starts and the Special teams are running on similar courses at the moment as well, Lumbus hold the upper hand on the PP stats however they haven’t been able to register a PP goal in their last 5 games which is good news for the Pens PK unit which currently holding down a 83.6% success rate.

Either way the Pens are going to have to do a better job at focusing on their on ice efforts because that’s all that really matter at this point, they need to start stringing together wins if they want any chance at turning this ship around. Here’s to hoping #LetsGoPens