Things are starting to get pretty ugly for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The perennially scary hockey club frankly hasn’t looked all that frightening over the last few weeks, dropping five games in a row while scoring just seven games over that stretch. General manager Jim Rutherford is now in his fourth season with the franchise and after winning two Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017, he’s not taking his team’s poor start too well. While addressing the topic on his weekly radio show through 105.9 FM, the 69-year-old questioned whether the team has been together too long and threatened to make changes to the roster.
The following is an excerpt from Trib Live:
“Has this team been together too long? It’s something I always have to watch for,” Rutherford said. “When do you have to make those changes? The players are doing everything they can to tell me now’s the time.”
“At a young age, guys win Stanley Cups and a lot of guys go their whole career and they don’t even get close to it,” Rutherford said. “We’ve got some young guys that won a couple, then they get bigger contracts and then they kind of settle in. They forget what got them to where they are today.”
“Maybe they change their game,” he said. “Maybe they think scoring more goals or getting more points is what’s going to get them more money. So they get away from their game, what their role is.”
Tell us how you really feel Jim!
He then addressed the Penguins’ relatively weak goaltending situation this season.
“The two years we won the Cup, we were playing at times the way we’re playing now, but between (Marc-Andre) Fleury and (Matt) Murray, they were phenomenal in goal and they were hard to score against,” Rutherford said. “That’s not what we’re getting now. We’re getting inconsistent goaltending.”
Okay, so things are clearly going a bit differently this year but there’s plenty of time to turn things around. The Pens still sit above .500 with a 6-5-3 record and rank 11th in goals with 47. So things could definitely be worse at the moment.
Pittsburgh has been arguably the most dominant team in the league over the past ten years so change could be on the horizon if things don’t turn around soon.
(H/T Trib Live)