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Thursday, January 23, 2014

News, Thoughts, and Stats about the Pittsburgh Penguins by @griffTHW


After an uninspiring road trip through Western Canada and a brutal home loss to the lowly Florida Panthers, the Penguins responded Wednesday night with an impressive effort against Montreal.  From the stars shining to superior special teams to Marc-Andre Fleury's solid play in net, there wasn't much for a Pens' fan to complain about.

Below, we provide, in particular order, several observations following Pittsburgh's 5-1 triumph over the Canadians:


  • -After opening the scoring for the first time in three games, the Pens are now 26-2-1 when scoring the contest's initial marker; they're 9-11-1 when surrendering that first tally.  Think scoring first proves important in the NHL?

  • -Last month, we wrote about Matt Niskanen's versatility playing a significant role in holding the Pens' blue line together when the injury bug ravaged the club.  Now that the squad is finally returning to health, Nisky continues to excel.  With 15 points (six goals and nine assists) in 15 games, Niskanen just keeps building on what is quickly turning into his finest season.  And, as a result, he's setting himself up for a significant raise as he approaches free agency this summer.  

  • -After burying two more markers Wednesday night, Jussi Jokinen has produced six goals and 13 points in his last 11 games.  His current 59 point pace would result in the second most productive campaign of his career (65 in 2009-'10).  And he's doing it all with Carolina still on the hook for 30% of his $3 million salary.

  • -While the Penguins boast the circuit's top penalty killing unit, the group hasn't displayed much of an offensive threat this year.  In fact, their two short handed tallies rank 21 in the league.  Perhaps that's why Coach Bylsma deployed Sidney Crosby more on the penalty kill against Montreal last night.  The new look didn't result in any real opportunities against Montreal but, moving forward, the threat of turning the puck over to the world's best player will likely strike fear into virtually any power play.

  • -The Penguins busted out of an 0 for 10 slump with the man advantage last night, connecting on two of their five opportunities.  Finally resembling the unit that has paced the league for much of the season, Pittsburgh received power play goals from Sidney Crosby and Taylor Pyatt.

  • -Speaking of Pyatt, the recent addition continues to look more and more comfortable in a Penguins' jersey.  Not only has he produced two goals in three games but Pyatt's big frame provides an ideal net front presence.  With each passing game, he becomes more noticeable creating havoc in front of opposing goaltenders.

  • -Evgeni Malkin put on a show last night, picking defenders' pockets, galloping around opponents and producing highlight-reel goals.  The effort produced Geno's 50th point of the campaign despite the fact he's only dressed in 39 games (1.28 points/game).





1 comment:

  1. Pyatt's progress is encouraging. I'm extremely interested in seeing how an increasingly competitive Metro Division will affect this team's efforts.

    ReplyDelete

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