Yes, the Penguins are on a four game winning streak. Yes, they've also won nine of their last twelve games. Crosby is playing out of this world, returning to pre-concussion status on the ice. This team leads the NHL in goals scored with 91. Five Penguins sit in the top 25 players leading the NHL in points. Yes, the Penguins are rolling right now.
They're rolling, right now.
Eventually, I'm not hoping for it to happen but you have to think it's somewhat inevitable, the Penguins scoring faucet will begin to trickle. And if you're not scoring goals, you better have goaltending and a solid blue line to keep pucks out of your own net.
The Penguins are lacking immensely in this department.
Take a look at the goals against in the Eastern Conference:
The Pens are giving up the most goals among current Eastern Conference playoff teams. In the last six games, the Pens have given up three goals or less only once. That's ugly.
Rask in Boston just got his second shutout. Craig Anderson was on fire earlier this season. Henrik Lundqvist is being Henrik Lundqvist. I'm not trying to leave Marc-Andre Fleury and Tomas Vokoun out to dry. Yes, the goaltending in Boston, Ottawa and New York is solid but so is their defense.
The Pens' defense as a whole has just been on an island recently. Mostly by the team's alternate captain Brooks Orpik. Last night is a prime example. He gets out of position by trying to get hits, and ends up taking a penalty the Leafs score on. I can't blame the youth on the blue line. Simon Despres continues to look like a seasoned veteran (when he isn't a healthy scratch) making smart plays. The PK doesn't look strong. When they're down a man, they're playing like they're down two guys. Just a bunch of blue line blunders.
Inconsistent play in the Pens' zone will catch up with this team. And when it does, Penguins fans will put their cross hairs squarely on Disco Dan.
During the four game winning streak, the Pens have allowed 17 goals. But they just keep on winning, don't they?
How far will these defensive inconsistencies take the Pens in the Stanley Cup playoffs?