Pittsburgh Penguins: Top 5 Ways the Pens Can Fix Their Powerplay

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Dec 18, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Blake Comeau (17) skates with the puck against the Colorado Avalanche during the overtime period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 1-0 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

4. Put strategy before star power

While the star power of Crosby, Malkin, and Letang must remain, the Pens must fill the last two spots based only on who performs best there, rather than simply slotting in the next two best forwards.

While Chris Kunitz and David Perron are fine forwards, other guys like Blake Comeau may be more effective in complementing the elite skill of Pittsburgh’s top stars.

A creative blue-liner like Derrick Pouliot could be a useful asset as well.

Look around at the rest of the league’s top units.

Detroit sits first overall with a powerplay percentage of 26.3%. Pavel Datsyuk mans the point on their second unit, while Justin Abdelkader plays on their first.

St. Louis is second in the league with a percentage of 23.9%. Vladamir Tarasenko (who ranks 5th in the league with 29 goals this season) plays on the team’s second unit.

The powerplay must function just as the 5-on-5 lines do when it comes to balancing out the talent.

Loading up isn’t always the best option. Each contributor must have a specific role, and the best player for that role must be selected, even if it means highlight-reel guys get limited powerplay time.