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Molinari: Time for ‘Leadership Group’ to Show the Way (+)



Pittsburgh Penguins Evgeni Malkin celebrates with Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ season has been rife with inconsistencies, which is a big part of the reason they are in such a precarious position in the Eastern Conference playoff race as the NHL’s regular season enters its final 2 1/2 months.

Indeed, perhaps the only thing that can be counted on, game-in and game-out, is that if something positive happens for the Penguins, Mike Sullivan will steer at least some of the credit for it to his team’s leadership group.

Play a solid two-way game against a quality opponent? That’s the influence of the leadership group.

Overcome one of their many sluggish starts to earn a victory? There’s your leadership group at work.

Have a particularly good pregame meal at the team hotel? Can’t overlook the role the leadership group played in that. (OK, maybe the kitchen’s leadership group merits a little praise, too.)

Now, there’s nothing wrong with saying nice things about your club’s leaders — in the Penguins’ case, a group presumably headlined by Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang and including a few other long-established veterans — but what about the other side of the equation?

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