Except for one of the first 10 Pittsburgh Penguins games, Kapseri Kapanen has not wasted much ink on the scoring sheet. Kapanen is one of the few Penguins top players to hang around and play in all of the first 10 games, but the team needs more.
His productivity and activity have drawn some self-criticism and agreement from head coach Mike Sullivan. Kapanen was shaking his head until he laid waste to his slump with a hat trick on Saturday.
Despite the Kapanen ghosting and a smaller vanishing act from top-liner Jake Guentzel, the Pittsburgh Penguins are still above water, barely. The 4-3-3 Penguins managed to keep up in the Metro Division even if they’re on the bottom end looking up.
The first 10 games are often a honeymoon phase. GMs don’t use single games, but the totality to begin judging their team.
The Penguins have been a mixed bag of performances as fan favs, and fan goats have made headlines. The special teams and power-less power play will be the next set of headlines. And eventually, maybe, possibly, the Penguins will get healthy.
Of course, the Penguins are not close to healthy. Evgeni Malkin is a month or more from return. Sidney Crosby has played just one game. Jeff Carter, Kris Letang and more spent 10 days in COVID protocol.