The Penguins have been on a tear to say the least for the past 25 games. Things looked to be turning around for them with the hiring of new interim head coach Dan Bylsma, and the acquisition of forwards Bill Guerin, Chris Kunitz, and Craig Adams.
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has been lights out as well. He completely turned his game around from earlier in the year, where he was inconsistent and could not put together a good stretch of play.
This weekend though, the Penguins seemed to have hit a slight bump in the road. The Penguins were only able to get one point out of a possible four, and were unable to clinch a playoff spot.
The Penguins played relatively well this weekend, but for some reason they just came out flat, and could not get the offense on the move like they have in previous weeks.
The Penguins are most likely going to still make the playoffs, even if they fall down to the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, unless Buffalo wins out and the Penguins lose out, but that is highly unlikely I believe.
Even though the Penguins will most likely be playing come Apr. 15, this is no time to hit a dry spell for the team. The Penguins need to finish the season hard, just not to finish with a higher seed, but to also keep the team confidence up as well.
Like all sports, how a team finishes the season is a good indicator of how they will begin the playoffs. If the Penguins go out in the next three games and only get two points and play lackluster hockey, us Penguin fans are in for a long first-round series (or maybe very short.)
Dan Bylsma needs to keep his team on their toes and ready to play these last three games as if they were Florida or Buffalo struggling to make it into that last playoff position.
If they can turn around from this weekend and play hard, they will take that mentality and type of play right into the playoffs, and use that to their advantage throughout.