In a season of highs and lows, the Penguins have found themselves somewhere in the middle. When offense is up and scoring goals, defense struggles and gives up just as many or vice versa. With the season winding down, there’s a greater need to make the intensity equal.
“The situation we’re in now really comes down to mentality. It has to be more of a short term mentality that each game is its own entity and there’s a certain level of intensity that we need to play with. We have to win certain games and to do that we have to be in the right mental state,” said head coach John Hynes.
“Every game is big and there’s a lot of teams in our conference that are fighting for a spot so every night is important and every point in every game is extra important this time of year,” said winger Paul Thompson.
The Penguins have struggled in their division and only have less than a dozen games left in the regular season, half of them against division teams. Wins are as important as ever if they want to continue on comfortably towards playoffs.
“We play the same teams a lot and they know our tendencies and we know theirs and for some reason this year we haven’t been able to capitalize on other teams weaknesses, so I don’t think it’s an X’s and O’s issue, we just need to come out, compete, and I like our chances,” said defenseman Joey Mormina.
“We have a great division, no question about it. There’s a lot of good teams in the division if you look at the standings. Obviously Binghamton and Syracuse are up there, Norfolk’s been climbing and Hershey is always a battle when we play Hershey, so we’ve got a good division but I don’t think we approach it any differently,” said defenseman Dylan Reese.
The team isn’t comfortable sitting just above the cutoff for playoffs, so it’s important for the Pens to gain momentum and peak at the right time.
Mormina continued, “We’re in a position now where every win is important and you can’t take any games for granted. We want to be able to compete for a Calder Cup.”