SportsPulse: NHL insider Kevin Allen looks at the teams that should be concerned with their play early in the season.
USA TODAY Sports
The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins rank 30th with a 3.85 goals-against average and their minus-14 goal-differential is worst in the Metropolitan Division.
At 7-5-1, the Pens aren’t playing like a team that won 98 regular-season games over the past two seasons.
“Everyone has to get back to playing their A game,” Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford told USA TODAY Sports on Monday. “We get into games where I think some of the team thinks the other half of the team will get it done that night and they will get it done the next night. When it doesn’t go that way, by the time we (figure it out), it’s too late.”
The Penguins, led by Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, have been outscored 38-17 in five-on-five play. Kris Letang, one of the league’s top defenders, has a plus-minus of minus-14.