Pens pointers #5

Anthony Desimone, Staff Reporter

The Pittsburgh Penguins managed to grind out a win against the Carolina Hurricanes this past Saturday to end the month of November on a winning note.
The Pens finished with a record of (10-3-1) in the month of November, which improves their overall record to (16-5-2). This strong start to the season has given the Penguins 34 points and has them in a six-way tie for first place in the league as of Monday. They are tied with the Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning, St. Louis Blues, New York Islanders, and Montreal Canadiens.
So far there are not that many issues that Penguins fans should have with the team’s performance so far this season. The majority of the issues that the Penguins have had are due to either unfortunate injuries or medical conditions that have arisen. These circumstances have led to line adjustments and a strain on the team’s morale.
As for the on-ice performances of the Penguins, head coach Mike Johnston has done a fine job in grooming his players to be efficient, smart, and fast athletes. His coaching tactics are the reason the Pens have been able to maintain their goal scoring abilities and instill fear in their opponents when they are on the power play.
The only concern that I see in the Penguins this season is their inefficiency in back-to-back games this season. So far the team is (3-3-2) when they play back-to-back games. The issue that seems to arise during their play in back-to-back games is they seem to not be as sharp or fast. The passing seems to be just a hair off and they do not seem as aggressive compared to when they play one game and have a break.
For now, this is not affecting the Penguins too seriously.

However, they still have 12 sets of back-to-back games left this season. If they cannot find a way to play at their best in these situations, the Penguins will find themselves in trouble when the push for the playoffs come around.
They recently split a two game home-at-home series this past weekend against the Carolina Hurricanes. They had lost the first game at home 4-2, but were able to rebound and win in Carolina the following night 3-2. Even though they split the series, the Penguins did not seem to be playing at their best this weekend.
In fact, a fellow reporter from the Sentry and diehard Carolina fan who shall not be named said that the hurricanes had “creamed the Penguins this weekend!”
Regardless, the Penguins have another matchup tonight as they are facing the New Jersey Devils back home at CONSOL Energy Center. The Devils currently sit in fifth place in the Metropolitan Division with a record of (9-11-4).
The last time these two teams met was on October 28. That matchup featured a seven goal rally by the Penguins as they tore apart the Devils defense in the second and third periods and cruised to an 8-3 victory.
As for tonight’s game, the player to watch will be Chris Kunitz as he is only one point away from reaching the 300-point milestone as a member of the Penguins. Kunitz has 299 points (135G, 164A) in 367 games with the Penguins.