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

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May 11, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) is checked into the boards by New York Rangers defensman Dan Girardi (5) during the first period in game six of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

3. Draw more calls

One of the leading reasons the Pens’ powerplay numbers are down is the fact that they aren’t getting too many powerplay chances at all.

Pittsburgh ranks 17th in the league in terms of overall powerplay opportunities with 174.

Getting only a few man-advantage chances per game, the Pens haven’t been able to find their rhythm and gain any sort of momentum when it comes to their man-advantage play, as they simply haven’t been able to use it very often.

Sure, much of that can be attributed to spotty refereeing – the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe recently spoke about the possible correlation between an outburst from Sidney Crosby towards a referee that was followed by a sharp drop-off in powerplay opportunities given to the Pens in subsequent games.

That being said, when more than half the teams in the league are getting more calls than you, it can’t simply be everyone else’s fault.

The Pens must work harder to draw penalties if they want to see those powerplay opportunities come more often.

While there will always be factors that remain out of their control, Pittsburgh can get themselves out of the hole they’re in if they focus on working to draw more calls – which means holding on to the puck longer, working more cycles, and battling along the boards every time the opportunity presents itself.

They can’t simply wait for the tides to turn and the calls to start coming their way.