Penguins looking for answers

Can anyone explain what’s wrong with the Pittsburgh Penguins?

Just over six months removed from an appearance in the Stanley Cup finals, the Pens lately look nothing like a championship-caliber club.

A 5-3 loss to Colorado on Saturday was Pittsburgh’s seventh in eight games. Despite having All-Star starters Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, there could be some self-doubt creeping in among the Penguins.

“It’s been a different thing each time. We’ve got to put it together,” Crosby said. “Sometimes our special teams has hurt us, sometimes even strength we haven’t been sharp.”

After winning their first division title in a decade and reaching the Cup finals for the first time since the Mario Lemieux-Jaromir Jagr glory days in 1992, maybe the Penguins thought they simply belonged among the league’s elite.

Crosby seemed to indicate that better preparation is needed.

“You have to be prepared, especially after the season we had last year, for teams to get up for those games,” he said. “It’s no secret when we play teams it brings out the best in them.”

Michel Therrien’s club won season-high six straight over the first two weeks of November, but have gone 9-14-2 since then, and have failed to put together two straight wins at any point.

“It is tough. We’ve got to hang in there and keep our heads up and make sure we’re working hard,” Therrien said. “Eventually, if we get the right approach we’ll get out of this.”

He’d better hope so. The Penguins have a better road record (11-10-2) than at home (9-9-2) and are currently in 10th place in the Eastern Conference.

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