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Molinari: These Two Wins Are a Start … But That’s All (+)



Pittsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin, Mike Sullivan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — When the Pittsburgh Penguins have gone through tough times this season — and there has been no shortage of those — a segment of the fan base has had a pretty good idea of what needed to be done.

Basically, fire everyone in the organization who isn’t a player, trade everyone who is, and deport anyone who’s still hanging around after all the others have been removed. Even if those people are from the U.S.


The decibel level on such talk presumably has dropped a bit in the wake of their weekend victories over St. Louis and Tampa Bay — especially the latter, since the Lightning have had a standing reservation in the Stanley Cup final for the past three years — but it’s important to keep the true impact and significance of those four points in perspective.

Sure, they were critical, because they¬†stanched the Penguins’ bleeding in the multi-team fight for a wild-card playoff berth in the Eastern Conference., but they hardly are cause for irrational exuberance.

While the importance of the boost they should have given to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ collective confidence can’t be overstated, it remains that they haven’t won more than two games in a row since running off seven consecutive victories Dec. 1-15.

If the Penguins lurch through their remaining 23 regular-season games the way they have most of the first 59, beating the Blues and Lightning likely will go down as nothing more than a two-day respite in a generally exasperating 2022-23 season.

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