Penguins Winning Ways – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Penguins Winning Ways

The Penguins have a record of 22-10-1.  One point behind the Capitals, and even with the Devils in the East.  When you look at all of the things that are going on with this team, injury-wise and stat-wise, you have to wonder — how did they achieve this outstanding record?  On the injury chart — Talbot has missed 2/3 of the season, Kennedy about half, Gonchar, Kunitz, Goligoski, and Letang all around a third of the season, Malkin-6 games and Orpik – 4 games.  The Penguins played a few games with a defensive corps that was comprised of a group from Wilkes-Barre.  Somehow they managed to get through all of these setbacks.  There have been some long stretches of little or no production from many players thus far.  The powerplay is a joke at best.  Solving it is a topic for another time.  The numbers should be mentioned, however — 19 for 140, a 13.6% conversion rate – good enough for 29th in the league.  (My feelings about Mike Yeo have been documented.) 

Let’s look at some disappointing individual production.  Talbot – one goal in 12 games since his return.  Letang – one goal in 24 games.  Kunitz – three goals in the 20 games he has played.  Fedetenko was invisible until last night.  Malkin – nine goals this season.  Other than Malkin, who will be well below his usual production, the players mentioned are looking at single digit goal production for the season.  Some players such as Staal and Kennedy are doing their fair share.  Crosby, Dupuis and Rupp have had very productive goal-scoring seasons to date. 

Krundle brought to light some goalie stats that are amazing.  Fleury’s goals-against average is 2.44, thirteenth in the league.  His save percentage is .905, ranking him 31st overall.  Shutouts for Fleury this season – zero.  33 goalies in the NHL have recorded shutouts this season.  This is certainly a time to say that sometimes stats don’t tell the whole story.  Yes, these numbers are less than impressive, but here is where I disagree with Krundle.  Fleury has been a big part of every victory that he has earned this season.  It is not always how many saves, but when he makes them.  Fleury makes the saves at crucial times in games.  I believe that solid goaltending is the biggest reason for the team’s success so far this season.  Without Fleury, the Penguins are an above-average hockey team.  With him, they are at the top. 

What does all of this mean?  It should mean bad news for the rest of the NHL.  If the powerplay gets going at any reasonable rate, the Penguins remain healthy, and the group of guys who are currently lost find themselves, the Penguins record the rest of the way can only get better.  The objective of this season is to get as many home games as possible once the cup defense begins. 

Sunday views from E-11. 

Note –  Did anyone ever hear JayCaufield finish a thought?

Note – Did I mention  – fire Steigerwald?

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    December 14, 2009 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I think it is about time for some of our “homer” sports reporters to start calling out Blysma on the PP problems. They, Blysma and the players, act as if there is no problem. Crosby mucks it up in his PC interviews that nothing should change and it’s all about execution. No kidding – that it’s all about execution. Sometimes his vanilla interviews make me want to vomit.
    Gonchar does the moon-walk left and right at the center of the blue line and either fires a shot from the center or attempts to pass it to Crosby or Malkin. Hello folks – that’s really not tough to defend. They did pretty good when Malkin was on the point (even though that 4 on 3 in Saturday’s FLA game) wasn’t your typical PP.
    The PP is different than 5 on 5 play and Blysma should be forcing a change or reporters and blog sites like this one should be mentioning his failure to adjust things. The North/South stuff ends when you get into your own end on the PP. Maybe we need more Northeast/Southeast play instead of Gonchar taking that shot from the middle of the ice and the coaching doing the same thing.

    • Ron Malore's Gravatar Ron Malore
      December 14, 2009 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Crosby and Malkin want their points. You can say that’s not true but really hockey players want their points and both of them play better in the same spot. I agree with you SKATER, Crosby’s comment about “we can’t be making any changes” and that we “need to just keep doing what we are doing” should be pissing off any Penguin fan that heard that.
      Much off the failure can be attributed to Blysma who doesn’t appear to have the balls or authority to fire Yeo or change up the PP himself. And the CS no-ballz reporters seem to ALL be in the “don’t rock the boat” or “they may not talk to me” mode.

  2. Boombastic's Gravatar Boombastic
    December 14, 2009 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    I don’t get Krundle’s shot at Fluery either, unless he’s a stat freak. I noticed he doesn’t like those power-puff sweaters either but appears to be wearing one in his ICON. Boom– Boom–Boom


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