The Pittsburgh Penguins have lost their last five consecutive games after losing in the Winter Classic at Fenway Park against the Boston Bruins 2-1 on Monday afternoon. That game took place in Boston, Massachusetts. This is the second time this season Pittsburgh has suffered a losing streak. They are one of the streakiest teams in the entire NFL.
The Penguins need to make a massive shakeup to this roster in a hurry. Pittsburgh plays in the toughest division in the NHL. Most likely five teams will make it to the playoffs from that division, but six are qualified enough to get there. One will be left out and the Pittsburgh Penguins could be the one if they are not careful.
Head coach Mike Sullivan rolled out 11 forwards and seven defensemen in the game on Monday. Sullivan received a ton of eye rolls from the Pittsburgh Penguins fanbase. He has been rolling out a lot of things lately and expecting them just to click and it hasn't happened. This also falls on the feet of general manager Ron Hextall as well.
Hextall deserves to be fired for making this roster old and slow. Trading away defenseman Mike Matheson and John Marino during the offseason and getting Jeff Petry and Jan Rutta has actually made this blueline worse and into swiss cheese. They should have kept those two, to begin with, and they are much younger.
For some reason, this organization hates younger players, but it is essential at this point. Brian Dumoulin is the worst defenseman on this hockey team and he needs to be scratched until further notice. His contract expires at the end of the regular season and they shouldn't bring him back. It would be a start to not get him in the lineup or traded.
Jeff Carter is another player that needs to be traded as also Kasperi Kapanen. They need third-line help and blue-line help. Pittsburgh needs to find young players, but it also takes two to tango and they are very tight with the cap. If no changes are made, Ron Hextall should be fired at the season's end, and Mike Sullivan as well.
The top six is fine but Rickard Rakell, Sidney Crosby, and Jake Guentzel should be the top line and they are all in a funk currently. Line two should be Jason Zucker, Evgeni Malkin, and Bryan Rust.
Teddy Blueger should be the third-line centerman until further notice. Danton Heinen needs to be one winger and figure out another winger on the third line like a Max Domi. On the fourth line, Ryan Poehlig, Brock McGinn, and Josh Archibald should be on it. Poehlig and Archibald are out due to injury,
Drew O'Connor needs to see the lineup but Sullivan does not like young players for some odd reason.
Kris Letang is currently out with a lower-body injury and he needs to play better. Letang has also dealt with a stroke this season as well. He needs to be paired with Marcus Pettersson.
Pierre-Olivier Joseph deserves to be one of the pairings on the second blue line. Jeff Petry for better or worse needs to be on the second pairing. For the third pairing, Jan Rutta and Ty Smith need to be the pairing.
Smith needs to play because of the John Marino trade that has blown up in Hextall's face. Brian Dumoulin, Chad Ruhwedel, and Mark Freidman need to be watching from the press box or trade one or two of those defensemen or others for another defenseman that is better, younger, and faster.
Tristan Jarry left the game with a lower-body injury and he didn't return. Casey DeSmith played well in the net despite the loss. DeSmith gave up two goals in the third period and that was because of the defense. Dustin Tokarski is expected to be called up from the AHL (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins) to be Casey DeSmith's backup goalie for the time being.