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.