The Penguins host the New York Islanders tonight. 

The NHL playoffs start in less than three weeks. 

The Penguins have lost five of six, six of eight, and eight of 11. They look awful. 

It’s a stink sandwich. The Penguins keep taking more bites. 

The only thing left to do is play better. 

We keep hearing the mantra: “Play the game right way.” OK. Put that into effect. 

Switching lines around won’t help, and hasn’t. There’s nobody new to dress. There’s no one scapegoat. There’s no one problem. There’s no adjustment to be made. (Coach Mike Sullivan won't so much as tweak the Penguins' style, anyway.)

The only thing left to do is play better. 

You keep seeing and hearing suggestions. Put Ricard Rakell with Sidney Crosby. Put Bryan Rust with Evgeni Malkin (when the latter finishes his four-game suspension). 

But what’s the difference? It’s all the same players. There’s no magic formula. We overcomplicate. There’s nothing the Penguins could “try.” 

Just play better, and soon.

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