3 Pittsburgh Penguins to blame for season-opening loss to Blackhawks

The Pittsburgh Penguins 2023-24 season started just how their previous campaign left off -- blowing a late third-period lead to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Chicago Blackhawks v Pittsburgh Penguins
Chicago Blackhawks v Pittsburgh Penguins / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
2 of 3

Pittsburgh Penguins to blame: Tristan Jarry

Tristan Jarry will be asked to do a lot this season. Both Karlsson and Kris Letang aren't elite defensive players on the back end, which will force Jarry into some difficult situations. On Tuesday night, he was not up to the task. Jarry allowed three goals on 35 shots, good for a .914 save percentage. That does not look bad on paper, but some of those goals frankly should have been stopped.

There is no question that Jarry has the physical ability to be one of the best goalies in the sport. The Penguins sure pay him as if he's already accomplished that. Yet, what separates Jarry from the greats is his mental makeup, and his late-game save percentage, which shrinks in big moments.

The Pens defense did not put him in a position to succeed, and we'll get to that. It's something the Pens will have to work on moving forward. But, Jarry signed on for this challenge. It's a long season, and Jarry should have time to redeem himself. Tuesday was another breakdown, and Pittsburgh isn't young nor talented enough to afford those in a postseason chase that technically started today.