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West Coast Toast

evgeni-malkin-011908          Standing at the top of the Atlantic division, The Penguins should feel comfortable with their 12-5 record thus far this season. However, the last four games have been very rough for the Penguins. 

          After a tough 2-1 loss to the Wild on October 31, the Penguins took the long trip to the west coast for a three-game stint taking on Anaheim, L.A. , and San Jose. Seems like a trio of games that the Pens should have at least won two. However, that was not the case.

          The Pens opened the trip with an ugly 4-3 win over the Ducks of Anaheim. Pittsburgh looked skiddish at best, but were saved by the play of Marc-Andre Fleury and a few mistakes by the Anaheim defense. Next they visited the Staples Center to take on the Kings. All was well until the 3rd period, as the Pens allowed four goals and fell to the hands of Kopitar’s Kings by a score of 5-2. For the last game of the west-coast nightmare, the Penguins fell into the shark tank as San Jose took a huge bite out of the Pittsburgh offense with a 5-0 shutout. 

           The team looked terrible and no excuses should be made. However, if blame is to be placed on anything, it should be on the fact that the Pens were without the services of four key players: Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Gonchar, Tyler Kennedy, and Kris Letang. Not to mention a flu bug had been passed around the team during the trip. As it was visibly seen, the Pens truly missed these players offensively and especially on the Power Play. Three out of five spots on the top PP line were not available and they struggled with a man advantage. 

          These players will be back soon and hopefully the wins will follow…..

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