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Sid vs the Flyers, same as it ever was

February 26, 2024, 3:55 PM ET [214 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Penguins last hope this season is being able to turn some of these games in hand into victories. Today’s wild 7-6 victory of the Flyers in regulation is a necessary step towards that goal. They are nine points back of the Tampa Bay Lightning with five games in hand. The task remains a tall one. The room for error at this point is slim to none. The road ahead sees them traveling out west to face Vancouver, Seattle, Calgary, and Edmonton.

It’s a good thing they have Sidney Crosby. He’s the only reason they are a longshot for the playoffs. He led the way, yet again. He finished the afternoon with a goal and three assists against the Flyers. This is par for the course as Crosby now has more goals, assists, and points against the Flyers than any other player in league history.

Bryan Rust was also a key contributor in yesterday’s victory.

He *was* a key contributor until he left the came with an upper body injury and didn’t return. The team cannot afford to lose Rust at this point with Guentzel already injured and likely on the move via trade. The longshot becomes an impossibility without him.

The news about him traveling with the team is encouraging as long as it remains true. If he were to stay back in Pittsburgh that would be a huge blow moving forward. Sid is unbelievable, but he needs some help and Rust has been providing it.

Newcomer Emil Bemstrom made his presence felt. He scored in his debut game with the Penguins on the power play. While it is great to see the new acquisition score so soon it would be hard to ignore the fact that if he scores five more times the Penguins will owe a third round draft pick to the Blue Jackets. I remain skeptical any goals he scores the rest of the season are going to matter in the big picture. Outside of the goal Bemstrom was on the ice for 11 shot attempts for and only 4 against in his 8 minutes of 5v5 ice time. He finished with an xGF% of 52.46. All in all a good start for Bemstrom. I still worry about him shooting 20% and hitting those six goals for the trade escalator. It is what it is.

Now we wait for a Bryan Rust injury update.

Thanks for reading!
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