The Pittsburgh Penguins have had a lackluster first quarter of the season, to say the least.
Pittsburgh is locked in a three-way tie for third in the Metropolitan division with both teams from New York, and sit three points out of a wildcard spot in the east. With a stacked line-up, that is a troubling sight to see.
Things do seem to be looking up though, as they have won four of their last six games, scoring 25 goals throughout the stretch of games. The recent return to success has been led by none other than their two-time Conn Smythe Trophy winner, Sidney Crosby.
Crosby did not start the season all that slow, amassing 14 points in the first 10 games, but the team lacked production from the bottom six. The infection eventually spread to Crosby who went three games without a point at the beginning of November. In the middle of the month, Crosby sat three games with an upper-body injury and returned red hot.
In his first game back from injury, Crosby scored a goal and added two assists in a game that the Penguins defeated the Dallas Stars 5-1.
In the aforementioned six-game stretch in which the Penguins scored 25 goals and won four games, Crosby netted six goals and added four assists for a total of 10 points.
The lack of depth scoring from the team has also taken an upswing as of late. In a game against the Winnipeg Jets that the Penguins won 4-3, three of the Penguins goals came from the bottom six. The other from who else but Sidney Crosby.
Riley Sheahan, the Penguins’ fourth-line center who could be very well playing on any other team’s third-line, has been finding the back of the net. Sheahan has scored three goals in the past five games. Including a beautiful display of hand-eye coordination to bat the puck out of the air right in front of the net to score. Similar to that of many that Crosby himself has scored in his career.
If the depth of the team can continue to find ways to score goals and Crosby and his star brethren can get hot, the Penguins should have no trouble finding their way to a top seed in the postseason. Despite their troubles, they are still only six points away from the top spot in the division held by their rivals, the Washington Capitals.