It must be a Burgh thing (Pens/Steelers playing up/down to level of the competition)
What doomed the Steelers season was losses to teams like Oakland, Tennessee, Cleveland, etc. The Penguins so far this season have been following a similar pattern of playing up to good teams, and unfortunately, playing down to bad teams. Being able to beat good teams shows that this team should fare well in the playoffs, where they are playing only good teams, but in a shortened 48 game schedule, every point matters, and losing games that you should win could easily cost you a spot in the playoffs if you aren't careful.
So far the Penguins have played 8 games. Five games were against teams that made the playoffs last year (Rangers twice, Flyers, Senators, and Devils) and we are 5-0 in those games. Three games were against teams that didn't make the playoffs last year (Leafs, Jets, and Islanders) and we are 0-3 in those games. You gotta admit, that's pretty odd. Also, we finally won our first game on home ice yesterday afternoon, making our home record 1-2, and our away record 4-1. Also somewhat odd.
I do like the recent tweaks that they made to their power play that went freezing cold after a hot start to the season. Neal is better down low (where he lead the entire NHL in power play goals last season) than at the point (where Geno can feed Letang, Sid, and Neal for one-timers).
I like the acquisition of Boychuk. We tried Tangradi, Glass, Kennedy, and Jeffrey with Malkin and Neal, and no one seemed to fit in. Yesterday was a small sample size, but it certainly seemed like the kid offered a more dynamic option out there. Sure, he's not a mucker or grinder, but he has the speed and skill of someone who was drafted in the mid-first round. Personally, I would rather try out Boychuk with Sid and Dupuis (that's a lot of speed for teams to try to deal with on the ice at once) and move Kunitz back with Malkin and Neal (after all, they did score 50 and 40 goals, respectively, last season with Kunitz on their line).
Final Ruthless Mock:
1.22 CB Marcus Peters, 6'0" 197 lbs., Washington
2.56 FS Damarious Randall, 5'11" 196 lbs., Arizona State
3.87 TE Clive Walford, 6'4" 251 lbs., Miami
4.121 DE Henry Anderson, 6'6" 294 lbs., Stanford
5.160 WR Titus Davis, 6'1" 196 lbs., Central Michigan
6.199 OLB Kyle Emanuel, 6'3" 255 lbs., North Dakota State
6.212c OLB Max Valles, 6'5" 251 lbs., Virginia
7.239 RB John Crockett, 6'0" 217 lbs., North Dakota State