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Penguins Quarter Grades: Crosby Dominant, Others Disappoint | PHN+

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Power play
PITTSBURGH, PA - FEBRUARY 14: Pittsburgh Penguins Right Wing Bryan Rust (17) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the first period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals on February 14, 2021, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

The Pittsburgh Penguins are just a couple of points above .500. Or maybe the 7-6-1 Penguins are a few points above because I’m never sure where the .500 line with the loser points lies. One bad game is followed by one good game, followed by another good game, and another bad game.

Through 25% of the NHL season, the Pittsburgh Penguins aren’t a roller coaster. They’re a flawed team with the potential to be either much better or perpetually stuck in the middle until they break up..or down.

The Penguins are in fifth place in the East Division, which means they would not make the playoffs if the season ended today. Worse, the teams ahead of them are good teams and the same teams expected to make the playoffs. There are no Cinderellas or paper tigers ahead of the Penguins, though we’re still unsure how the Philadelphia Flyers do it.

Pittsburgh Penguins Quarter-Season Report Cards

Sidney Crosby: A

“I think they’ve been dominant. They’ve been a threat every time they’ve been on the ice,” head coach Mike Sullivan said of the top line. But that line has been driven by Crosby.

Crosby has 12 points (5g, 7a). He didn’t earn an A+ because he is a minus-1, but the early season jelling seems to have taken place with his “new” line.

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