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

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Feb 1, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) looks on against the Nashville Predators during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Predators won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

1. Pittsburgh’s leaders must lead

For all the strategic adjustments and personnel changes that can be made, the life of the powerplay rests with Crosby and Malkin.

The two remain Pittsburgh’s leaders on and off the ice, and the club’s most accomplished offensive stars.

At a certain point, the two must simply find a way to raise their game and deliver when the team needs them to.

Whether they’re trying to do too much or not trying to do enough, only these two will be able to understand what it takes to rise up and reach that dominant level once again.

We’ve seen time and time again that they have that level in them.

Realistically, the onus is more on the shoulders of Malkin, as he’s arguably been the more accomplished of the two when it comes to scoring on the powerplay – having tallied 60 powerplay goals to Crosby’s 42 over their first four seasons when both were healthy, and 96 to Sid’s 88 in total.

After scoring double-digits on the man-advantage in five of his first six seasons, Malkin’s numbers dropped off quite a bit over the last few campaigns.

Injuries and a lockout-shortened season played a part, but the fact remains the Geno hasn’t been finding the twine as often as he once did – he had 31 powerplay goals in the two seasons that saw Pittsburgh reach the Stanley Cup finals.

Coaches can only do so much. The supporting cast can only do so much. For better or for worse, the Pens remain Crosby’s and Malkin’s club, and the two must find that motivation internally to help bring their team back to the elite.