Gameday 53: tick. tock. tick. tock.

After all the pomp and circumstance to celebrate the retirement of Jaromir Jagr’s jersey number, the Pittsburgh Penguins took all the inspiration from those years of high-scoring, high-octane hockey and…mustered just one goal in their 2-1 loss on Sunday against the Los Angeles Kings. But hey, at least the one goal they scored was a power play goal by Sidney Crosby! (And who else would it be? No, really, that wasn’t a rhetorical question. Will anyone else score some goals for once?)

And so the Penguins continue to waste time and points in their ostensible quest to win the Stanley Cup again before the retirements of Messrs. Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang in the next five years or so. With the trade deadline now two weeks from Friday, the time for general manager Kyle Dubas to do something to change the direction of this team is rapidly approaching. However, all he seems content to do is snatch up some waiver wire chattel every week or so, and not buy big, nor sell big, seemingly waiting until the last minute to make that decision. Until that does happen, Pittsburgh seems stuck in the status quo of mediocrity and, as I’ve harped on numerous times before, that’s not a good way to be.

“You just kinda wasted my precious time…”

It’s hard not to look at this moment in time, still with thirty games left to play, and consider it a wasted season, but it certainly has been disappointing nonetheless. The core three haven’t missed a single game, nor have Erik Karlsson or Marcus Pettersson, and the goaltending has been remarkably good. Until a couple of games ago the said could have been said of Jake Guentzel too. Very little else has been worth lauding, and this was supposed to be a turnaround year after the Penguins missed the playoffs by one point last season. Right now it would almost be an achievement if they were that close to a playoff spot.

Jagr’s number retirement ceremony is probably the most exciting thing that has happened for this franchise this season. I’m afraid it might be the last most exciting thing as well.