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Thursday, March 30, 2017

What's up with Phil Kessel? by @evil_shero

2:16:00 PM 0


As we all know, Phil Kessel has only scored 1 goal in March. Phil has also tallied 9 points in the 15 games in March. For a regular player that's really good, however for Phil, that's not up to his usual standard.


  • Oct - 1.0 PTS/GM
  • Nov - .85 PTS/GM
  • Dec - .88 PTS/GM
  • Jan - .81 PTS/GM
  • Feb - .75 PTS/GM
  • Mar - .60 PTS/GM

It's been a slow and steady decline for our beloved Phil. The fact that we are missing half of our team to injury hasn't made things much better. Phil has taken roles on the 2nd and 3rd line regardless of available staff. Voided of usual linemates, playing a more defensive role, and other complications when playing with a depleted roster.

The popular eye-test assessment is: Phil isn't shooting as much as he used to.

  • Oct - 2.22 SH/GM
  • Nov - 2.79 SH/GM
  • Dec - 2.93 SH/GM
  • Jan - 3.09 SH/GM
  • Feb - 2.75 SH/GM
  • Mar - 2.67 SH/GM

That's not really a huge decline.

One thing sticks out like a boner in church is Phil's Shot %. Check this out.


Phil's shot % comes out to 3% in March. 40 shots, 1 goal. What is Kessel doing?

He's definitely trying harder: (5v5 + blocked)


Is he facing amazing goaltenders? Nah, not really.

  • 3/1/17 - Crawford .973%
  • 3/3/17 - Budaj - .882%
  • 3/5/17 - Nilsson - .911%
  • 3/8/17 - Hutchinson .882% / Hellebuyck .667%
  • 3/10/17 - Talbot .933%
  • 3/11/17 - Miller .957%
  • 3/13/17 - Elliott .914%
  • 3/15/17 - Mason 1.000%
  • 3/17/17 - (Kessel 1 goal) Kinkaid .881%
  • 3/19/17 - Reimer .857%
  • 3/21/17 - Lehner .912%
  • 3/23/17 - Condon .971%
  • 3/24/17 - Halak .925%
  • 3/26/17 - Mason .926%
  • 3/29/17 - Crawford .969%

Let's see how Phil is shooting in March:


via xtrahockeystats.com

Let's see how Phil shot in December in which he had the most goals (6) in the month.

via xtrahockeystats.com
How did The Red Panda shoot before March?

via xtrahockeystats.com

The argument that Phil is taking more low % shots in March is not invalid. As you can see as the RED splotches Phil is not getting in front of the net like in previous games. In March his only goal against the Devils came from between the two center hatches right outside the high % zone.

My final dig was Kessel's production on the power play. Out of Kessel's 65 points, this year 28 are on the powerplay. That's 43%. That's most on the team, although Letang is close to 41%. 

  • Oct - 3.78 Calls per Game
  • Nov - 3.15 Calls per Game
  • Dec - 3.64 Calls per Game
  • Jan -  3.30 Calls per Game
  • Feb-  3.00 Calls per Game
  • Mar - 2.87 Calls per Game

After looking at all of these factors, I believe that a combination of fewer powerplay chances bundled with taking low % shots and that intangible "bad luck" that hits a player from time-to-time equals a slumping Phil. 

I'm not worried as I look back to playoff Phil and smile.






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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Best Leader in the NHL to be in Pittsburgh Wednesday Night

12:00:00 PM 1
The Chicago Blackhawks captain, Jonathan Toews.
On Wednesday Rivalry Night on NBCSN at 8PM EST the Chicago Blackhawks come to town to square off against the Penguins and the best leader in the NHL, Sidney Crosby.

Here's a list of players with more goals than Jonathan Toews this season (the "leader" of the list, ironically is also the best leader in the NHL):


Rk Player Tm GP G A
1 Sidney Crosby PIT 69 42 40
2 Nikita Kucherov TBL 68 38 42
3 Brad Marchand BOS 75 37 43
4 Vladimir Tarasenko STL 75 35 33
5 Patrick Kane CHI 76 34 48
6 Patrik Laine WPG 67 34 27
7 Auston Matthews TOR 74 34 27
8 Evgeni Malkin PIT 62 33 39
9 Max Pacioretty MTL 75 33 28
10 Cam Atkinson CBJ 74 33 27
11 David Pastrnak BOS 68 32 32
12 Rickard Rakell ANA 64 32 14
13 Jeff Carter LAK 74 31 30
14 Jeff Skinner CAR 71 31 24
15 Alex Ovechkin WSH 74 30 32
16 Nazem Kadri TOR 74 30 25
17 T.J. Oshie WSH 61 30 21
18 Mark Scheifele WPG 73 29 47
19 Viktor Arvidsson NSH 73 29 27
20 Filip Forsberg NSH 75 29 26
21 Jon Marchessault FLA 68 29 20
22 Wayne Simmonds PHI 75 29 20
23 John Tavares NYI 75 28 37
24 Joe Pavelski SJS 75 28 36
25 Anders Lee NYI 74 28 17
26 Brent Burns SJS 75 27 45
27 Leon Draisaitl EDM 75 27 43
28 Patrick Eaves TOT 72 27 18
29 Michael Grabner NYR 70 27 12
30 Connor McDavid EDM 75 26 62
31 Eric Staal MIN 75 26 32
32 Sean Monahan CGY 76 26 30
33 Chris Kreider NYR 70 26 24
34 Patrick Marleau SJS 75 26 18
35 Evander Kane BUF 64 26 14
36 Tyler Seguin DAL 75 25 45
37 Jamie Benn DAL 70 25 42
38 Artemi Panarin CHI 76 25 42
39 Mikael Granlund MIN 75 25 41
40 Logan Couture SJS 73 25 27
41 Kyle Palmieri NJD 73 25 25
42 Kyle Turris OTT 71 25 24
43 Patrick Maroon EDM 75 25 14
44 Nick Foligno CBJ 71 24 24
45 Marian Hossa CHI 68 24 18
46 Jack Eichel BUF 55 23 32
47 James van Riemsdyk TOR 74 23 32
48 Sebastian Aho CAR 74 23 23
49 Tanner Pearson LAK 72 23 19
50 Tomas Tatar DET 75 23 18
51 James Neal NSH 66 23 17
52 Nicklas Backstrom WSH 74 22 57
53 Blake Wheeler WPG 76 22 44
54 Phil Kessel PIT 75 22 43
55 Nikolaj Ehlers WPG 76 22 36
56 Mike Hoffman OTT 67 22 33
57 Vincent Trocheck FLA 75 22 30
58 Mark Stone OTT 64 22 28
59 Brayden Schenn PHI 72 22 27
60 Marcus Johansson WSH 74 22 26
61 Artem Anisimov CHI 64 22 23
62 Rick Nash NYR 63 22 15
63 William Nylander TOR 73 21 36
64 Ryan Kesler ANA 75 21 32
65 Aleksander Barkov FLA 60 21 30
66 Mikael Backlund CGY 76 21 29
67 David Krejci BOS 75 21 29
68 Conor Sheary PIT 55 21 29
69 Brandon Saad CBJ 74 21 28
70 Jason Zucker MIN 75 21 25
71 Jakob Silfverberg ANA 72 21 23
72 Richard Panik CHI 76 21 20
73 Justin Williams WSH 73 21 20
74 Patrik Berglund STL 75 21 10
75 Jonathan Toews CHI 67 20 35
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Monday, March 27, 2017

Top 10 Pittsburgh Penguins of All-Time by @msteiner90

12:00:00 PM 6
The Pittsburgh Penguins have came a long way in their first fifty years in the National Hockey League.  All season the Penguins have had their immaculate history on display, either through documentaries, pre-game introduction videos, and "class" reunions with Penguins' teams of old prior to home games.

The Penguins have played in two arenas, hoisted four Stanley Cups, and played for 50 seasons in arguably the best sports league in the world in the best sports town in the world.  A few players have their their mark on the hearts and minds of Pittsburgh Penguins fans all over the world.

There may be some argument to the numbering, or men on the list - but that's part of the fun of any list.

Let's begin by rustling a few jimmies.

1. Sidney Crosby
Sidney Crosby after his 1000th point celebration.
I don't need to present to you Sidney Crosby's resume.  Just last week you saw Sid list a backhanded shot, with one hand, and shelf it over the goaltender.  You counted him out last year.  The media said his career was over and Sid just had one too many concussions, and Sid led his team to another Stanley Cup.  Sidney Crosby is at the top of his game.  The old-timers will tell you that Mario Lemieux was better.  I've seen them both play, and without any hesitation I will tell you that with both players in their prime - Sidney Crosby runs circles around Mario Lemieux.  Sidney Crosby has finally crossed the threshold, he is the best Penguin of all time.


2. Mario Lemieux
Mario Lemieux wearing the 25th Anniversary jersey, and one of the most iconic jersey styles in Pittsburgh Penguins' history.
I won't even bother explaining this one.  It's Mario.  You probably thought he should be the top of this list.  He put the Penguins on the map.  If it wasn't for him, you might not even be a fan of the Penguins right now, because they'd probably be in another city.  After he retired, they tried to move again and he bought the team and kept them here.

If we're counting front office work and work on the ice, Mario is clearly number one.  But for just on ice accolades, he's earned his spot at number one - but Sid stole the show.


3. Jaromir Jagr
Jaromir Jagr wearing the always iconic Jofa bucket and the Robo-Penguin jersey.
You've cheered him, you've booed him.  Love him or hate him, everyone has their opinion on Jaromir Jagr.  He's the second highest scorer in NHL history, and a lot of his history (and his only Stanley Cup history) is with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  For a lot of the 90's, especially when Mario had health issues, Jaromir Jagr was the one-man band that led the Penguins to an almost guaranteed playoff entry.  If you don't like Jagr, you probably just don't understand him.  He's a true mercenary, and just goes for the highest pay.  That's probably why he has the highest cumulative earnings of any professional hockey player ever - a stat that might be the most important in hockey.


4. Ron Francis
Ron Francis showing off the puck from his 1000th point.
A staple of the "Sky Line" with Mario and Jaromir, and the center piece of arguably the most important trade in Penguins' history...well, the Phil Kessel trade may top the Ron Francis trade in time, but let's go with it.  Ron Francis scored over 600 points for the Penguins and was the Wayne Gretzky of the Pittsburgh Penguins...in that he had at least a secondary assist for every goal scored while he was in the same arena as the goal.


5. Evgeni Malkin
Evgeni Malking being Evgeni Malkin.
Evgeni Malkin will probably wind up way higher on this list as his career furthers in Pittsburgh.  I feel like I might have underrated him a bit as it is, but Malkin always performs better when you underrate him so cest la vie.


6. Paul Coffey
Paul Coffey transitioning zones and prompting a breakout, or as Paul Coffey calls it 'playing hockey'.
Paul Coffey was the best Penguins defenseman of all-time.  He embodied the phrase "the best defense is a good offense" in that he never spent much time in the defensive zone to have to worry about that side of the game.  He had some great training prior to his time in Pittsburgh playing with the Edmonton dynasty.  Your Bobby Orr enthusiasts will say that Paul Coffey can't hold a candle to Bobby Orr, but they only say that because when Bobby Orr was good candles were the primary form of lighting in American households.  Paul Coffey was the best defenseman in the 80's and 90's, which was the most entertaining timeframe in hockey history - so just take for what it's worth.


7. Marc Andre Fleury
Marc Andre Fleury making the save that every aspiring goaltender hopes that one day they can make.  He's making the save that saves the Stanley Cup from a shot made by a NHL Hall of Famer.
Think what you want about our need to trade him, buy him out, or release him - Marc Andre Fleury is the best goaltender in Penguins' history.  And it's not even close.  Marc Andre Fleury has a history more storied than any goaltender in Penguins history, and the best way to illustrate that is to show the franchises' all-time save leaders list:

Saves
1.Marc-Andre Fleury17718
2.Tom Barrasso12076
3.Ken Wregget5641
4.Jean-Sebastien Aubin3937
5.Roberto Romano3319
6.Johan Hedberg2973
7.Wendell Young2714
8.Gilles Meloche2500
9.Sebastien Caron2366
10.Denis Herron2332

8. Tom Barrasso
Tom Barrasso in the infamous Robo-Penguin jersey.
Tom Barrasso leads the Penguins in all-time goaltender fan angst.  He was frustrating in net, but more consistent than anyone else we had.  He won two Stanley Cups with the Penguins - he belongs on the list.

9. Kevin Stevens
Kevin Stevens wearing the often-criticized, but loved Rangers knock-off jersey.
Kevin Stevens only leads one category in Pittsburgh Penguins history, penalty minutes - but that wasn't necessarily his forte.  Kevin Stevens was a power forward who was able to score, crush a skull, and draw a penalty all on the same shift.  Kevin Stevens was an X-Factor that the team needed to push itself to win a Stanley Cup.  And he managed to score 555 points as a Penguin, earning him a spot in the Top 10.

10. Jean Pronovost
Jean Pronovost in the pre-helmet era.
Honestly, Jean Pronovost deserves to be in the Top 5.  He was one of the only reasons to watch hockey in the pre-Lemieux era.  He was part of the Century Line in the early days of the Penguins, and is on the Top 10 in both games played and points scored for the Penguins all-time.  Only pre-Lemieux era Penguin had to make the list, and Jean deserves the bid.


Games Played
1.Mario Lemieux*915
2.Jaromir Jagr806
3.Sidney Crosby775
4.Jean Pronovost753
5.Rick Kehoe722
6.Evgeni Malkin706
7.Brooks Orpik703
8.Marc-Andre Fleury689
9.Ron Stackhouse621
10.Ron Schock619

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