Pittsburgh Penguins: Going for a Walk?

Charlie Hines@CharlieHines1Contributor IJanuary 12, 2009

It's been said that a leader with no one following them is not leading at all, they are just out for a walk. I say, "A leader casting vision without a plan is simply daydreaming."

Okay, let's get one thing straight: This is my team. I'll take my Penguins good or bad. 

What drives me crazy is politically correct Penguins. Remember I'm a pastor so I'll try not to lose my faith in this team. Pastors often say "extend some grace." Seriously, after the December butt kicking the Pens have been taking, grace extended is quickly becoming incompetence tolerated. 

I keep reading about how Michel Therrien feels, and comments from players on how they feel. Today I read about how the players think the coach feels. This is NHL Hockey, does anyone care how you feel?  Play the game! Start to disect the problem.

However no one seems to know what the problem is. So rather than taking a page from history and doing what other great cup teams did in a slump, the Penguins seem to want to reinvent the wheel. 

One player was quoted as saying they needed to find a different way to win.  Are you kidding me, seriously? Let me get this straight, score more points than the other team and you win.

I love my team but they are truly beginning to show their age. What worked last year was obviously not enough to bring home Lord Stanley's Cup. So trying only to recapture what they had last year should result in the same disappointment.

The Penguins act like they are playing to the trade deadline as if there will be some magical winger and defensemen available that will solidify the entire team. Sure, in the past the Pens have been one of the best teams in the league after the all-star break.  But we are still putting the team together and we are heading into crunch time.

Is Malkin Crosby's wing-man or not? If so, then move on and start looking at the second line center. Is that Staal? We have already sealed the deal on his contract, now tell him which line to play on. 

If Crosby needs a winger, then find one at the trade deadline, or buy one. This team is comfortably under the cap. Rumors of Jagr's return create a potential publicity zoo for the team. We passed on a thirty year-old winger when we let Paul Kyria walk on to land Sykora. I'd say that worked out pretty nicely for us. 

This is exactly what I said in my last article, we are always waiting for what's next rather then playing the now! We are not the same team as last year. We are just the only team in the league that doesn't know it.

The Eastern Conference teams are playing us like we're the defending Conference Champions...oh we are. The Western conference teams are playing us as if we are the team to beat if they want to win the cup...oh we are.

Or are we?

Is this team having an identity crisis?  It's Marcus Buckingham who says "There is no 'I' in team, but there is in win." Buckingham says you need the unbalanced greatness of a player to contribute to the balanced whole of a team. 

I don't see this approach being taken. Crosby is a goal scorer but he is settling for the assist king of the NHL. We are losing leadership quickly, while the leaders on the team are waiting for someone to step up and become one. We have a coach, we have a captain, but do we have a leader?

Taking bad penalties is not leadership. Going one on four to the net is not leadership, it does however communicate desperation.

I miss Recchi and Roberts, and the guys that weren't sexy but just played the game from lockeroom to center ice and back. We're looking at the AHL to solve our problems. 

This is the NHL, cowboy up! I love this team, but this year this team has to grow up in a hurry!