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Mark Madden

HUMILIATED & EMBARRASSED

 
HUMILIATED & EMBARRASSED

The Penguins’ 5-1 loss at Chicago’s Soldier Field Saturday night could be good. Hopefully, it will serve as a wake-up call.
 
The Penguins were thoroughly humiliated and embarrassed in front of 63,000-plus and a huge national television audience.
 
The locker room was funereal after. The game was a blowout, and the Penguins certainly knew it. The Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews was dominant. The Penguins’ stars were impotent.
 
The Penguins’ 40-16-4 record flatters to deceive. Saturday night showed the Penguins are on the fringe of being Stanley Cup contenders. No better.
 
It is not a team of great character. A team of great character does not shrink from that occasion to that degree.
 
The Penguins never seemed to figure out that they were playing in a blizzard. They kept making cute 15-foot passes in the neutral zone. Dan Bylsma must think he can out-coach Mother Nature. The Blackhawks just fired the puck in deep and made the Penguins (literally) dig their way out.
 
The Penguins need a shakeup. They need a kick up the backside. One problem: No one in that organization will provide that. It’s the get-along gang.
 
If the Penguins acquire Vancouver center Ryan Kesler, that helps. He’s an excellent player.
 
But the Penguins’ biggest shortcoming is lack of depth at forward. Kesler replacing Brandon Sutter would be an upgrade at third-line center, but the paucity of depth will remain.


Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

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