After an 0-for-5 performance Thursday against Tampa, the Penguins anemic power play is nowhere close to breaking out of its horrifying 20-game slump. The Pens are 4-for-67 over that stretch, a percentage that’s so low I refuse to publish the figure here.
We’ve gone over the problems and potential solutions recently. Not only has nothing changed, the situation has gotten progressively worse. The Pens currently rank 25th in the NHL in power-play efficiency at 15.4%. Of the five teams below them, only one (Nashville) will make the playoffs.
It’s time to admit that the team sorely misses Alex Goligoski, who had 4 PP goals and 13 PP assists in 60 games with the Pens. The team has not been able to replace him. The new acquisitions that were supposed to help the cause have failed to provide any assistance. Alex Kovalev has been a total bust thus far, registering zero PP points in 16 games. James Neal has 1 assist in 17 games.
At this point, it’s safe to say the team has to overhaul its power play. Whether it’s a new system, new players or a combo, something has to be done. I’m just spitballin’ here… Get more shots on net. Station somebody in front, whether it’s Chris Kunitz, James Neal or even Mike Rupp. (A dirty goal or two might be what the team needs to turn things around.) If you’re going to dress Mike Comrie, why not give him some PP time? It can’t possibly hurt. Let Kris Letang serve as PP QB and give him the freedom to do what he wants.
The Pens failures with a man advantage are starting to cost them games. Come playoff time, such failures can be catastrophic.