The Pittsburgh Penguins had a terrible weekend and a lot of it had to do with their power play struggles. Pittsburgh lost both of their games by falling to the Washington Capitals by a score of 5-2 on Saturday afternoon before falling to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday, 6-2.
Pittsburgh had a 2-1 lead in the game against Carolina and should have put this game to bed early, but they didn’t. The reason why is because the power play is putrid and it is led by Mark Recchi.
Before Tuesday’s game against the New Jersey Devils, Recchi should be fired and a strong message needs to be sent to this hockey team. Mike Sullivan, however, shall not be fired any time soon as he is a solid head coach.
The problem with this hockey team right now is that the power play is broken and the team feels broken, as well. The power play went one-for-seven on Sunday. That is inexcusable when you have players like Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Patric Hornqvist, Jared McCann and Kris Letang on the roster.
Of course, Jake Guentzel is hurt, but this team is still talented from to bottom. Firing Recchi would be the best thing for the Penguins because he doesn’t push his players like Rick Tocchet once did.
General manager Jim Rutherford should have never let Tocchet go in the first place and it has shown in the past couple of years. Tocchet is now the head coach with the Arizona Coyotes which is one of the reasons why Phil Kessel wanted to be traded in the offseason.
Speaking of which, who can blame Kessel? Who wants to play for Recchi on this power play right now? The answer is nobody. It seems like the players tune him out every single time and it isn’t working.
The power play was also horrendous against Washington. They were one-for-five on the power play in that game which is utterly ridiculous.
It is worth noting that the defense on this team is a major problem and they should probably bench Jack Johnson and Justin Schultz, but the power play is also an important part of every game.
Pittsburgh is ranked 16th in the NHL on the power play at 20.5 percent, but they should really be much better than that.
Pittsburgh is 2-8 in their last 10 games, good for the No. 3 seed in the Metropolitan Division with a 39-23-6 record and 84 points so far this season. The Penguins are five points back of the Philadelphia Flyers (41-20-7 with 89 points) and the Washington Capitals (41-20-7 with 89 points).
If the season ended today, Pittsburgh would face Philadelphia in the first round of the playoffs. This would be the second time in three seasons that these two teams would play each other in the first round of the playoffs; the Penguins beat them in six games back in 2018.
It remains to be seen what happens with this hockey team, but they need to start playing better.
It is unacceptable for this kind of bad play to happen this late in the regular season, especially when the playoffs are right around the corner.