Sagging penalty-kill concerns Penguins
By Josh Yohe, MCKEESPORT DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The Penguins still lead the league in penalty killing but have slipped in recent games, looking vulnerable in the area that has been their greatest strength.
Ordinary short-handed play for these Penguins simply won't do, which is precisely why a meeting was called Monday.
The league's top penalty-killing unit looks to get on track tonight in Toronto, knowing full well it must excel for the Penguins to maintain their grip on the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.
"There are a lot of factors right now," left wing Matt Cooke said. "There are areas we've been so good at all year that have fallen off. We just need to refocus and get on the same page."
The Penguins' penalty-killing unit has dealt with adversity all season:
• Jordan Staal, one of the league's premier penalty killers, missed the season's first 39 games.
• The Penguins have been among the league's most penalized teams virtually all season.
• Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin, two of the team's best defensemen, have missed recent games because of injuries.
• Cooke, another of the league's best penalty killers, was recently suspended for four games.
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