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Watch: Penguins Analysis, Examining Mike Sullivan by 3 Criteria



As the Pittsburgh Penguins sink further into the abyss of mediocrity and the playoff trail grows cold with mounting losses, many by their own doing, there is a growing segment of Penguins fans pointing fingers directly at coach Mike Sullivan.

Sullivan is in his ninth season as the Penguins bench boss and the second longest-tenured coach in the NHL behind Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper. Sullivan is the longest-tenured Penguins coach in franchise history and has amassed a pair of Stanley Cup wins — the only coach to win multiple with the franchise that has five trophies to its credit.

However, NHL coaches are hired to be fired. The Penguins’ results are noteworthy because of the talent amassed last summer by president of hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas, including reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson.

Ryan Graves, Reilly Smith, Lars Eller, and Noel Acciari are the other big-name additions. The Penguins are eight and nine points out of the wild card and third place, respectively.

We put Sulllivan’s job this season under scrutiny using three criteria. Players and the coach have repeatedly talked about being more consistent and decried the inconsistency that has pervaded the Penguins’ game.

Can the coach fix that? Has Sullivan made worthwhile changes? After the Penguins’ 5-4 overtime loss to the New York Islanders, we put the coach’s job under careful examination.