Pens Should Blame Themselves If They Don’t Make the Playoffs

The Penguins have two games left in their regular season, and for the first time since Sidney Crosby was a rookie, it doesn’t look like this team is going to the postseason. If they want to make the playoffs, they need the Florida Panthers or New York Islanders to lose one of their last two games.

The Panthers play the Toronto Maple Leafs for the fourth time tonight, in which the Panthers are 1-1-1 against them so far this season, and then the Carolina Hurricanes for the third time this season on Thursday, in which they are 1-1-0 against them so far.

The New York Islanders take on the Washington Capitals tonight for the fourth time this season. The Isles are 1-1-1 against the Caps so far. The Isles end their season on Wednesday against the Montreal Canadiens. They are 1-0-1 this season against the Habs so far.

As much as these may seem like promising numbers, the Panthers and Isles seem to keep winning when the Pens don’t need them to.

Even though the Pens took care of business the past two games, beating the talented Wild on Thursday 4-1 and dominating the Red Wings 5-1 on Saturday, they still couldn’t get help from the Isles or Panthers. On Thursday, the Panthers killed the Ottawa Senators 7-2, and the Isles killed the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-1. On Saturday, the Panthers scored late to take the lead against the Capitals and then scored an empty-net goal to secure a 4-2 win. The Islanders dominated the Flyers 4-0.

The Penguins are now 4-2-0 in their last six games, which has been impressive for the team lately. The problem is that the Florida Panthers have won their last six games, and the Islanders are also 4-2-0 in their last six. No matter how hard the Penguins try to have the edge, they can’t seem to get ahead of either team.

The Penguins have lacked a solid third period all season. From the 5-4 overtime loss after leading 4-0 against the RED WINGS, a depressing loss against the Habs on March 14th, losses from the New York Rangers on March 16th AND March 18th, and even last Tuesday against the Devils in that sucky showing. All of these games are games the Penguins should have won and blew in the third period or games they didn’t look interested in. The Pens, however, have NO excuses for missing the playoffs because of that.

The Penguins’ biggest and most costly problems are simply blowing third-period leads. The Penguins have lost a whopping nine games when leading after two periods. In two of those nine games, the Penguins led by THREE goals, and six of them were the Penguins winning by two goals. Only the Arizona Coyotes, Vancouver Canucks, and San Jose Sharks have blown more two-goal leads, and none are in the playoffs this year.

Just think, ONE of those NINE games could be why this team doesn’t make the playoffs. Pick any game and change the result to a win, and this team is likely heading to Carolina or New Jersey in Round 1.

The Penguins allowing third-period goals and blowing leads will be why this team makes or misses the playoffs. We can’t be mad at the Panthers or Islanders for winning and putting themselves in the playoffs. Only the Pens can blame themselves for the position they’ve put themselves in.

Stanley Cup Aspirations Cue’ the Duck Boats Pod

The boys are back after a long break but have plenty to talk about as the playoffs are in full swing. We go series by series, looking at how teams have fared so far and who will come out on top. Thanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Stanley Cup Aspirations
  2. The Final Countdown
  3. Here Come the Playoffs
  4. Home Stretch
  5. Kevy Cooks

Nik Shermeto

PT ‘23 | 🇺🇸/🇨🇦 | Penguins writer for Inside The Rink | Thoughts are my own.

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