Pittsburgh Penguins: Team Among Worst in NHL at Getting Comeback Wins


The Pittsburgh Penguins have had a fairly up-and-down season in 2014-15.

While the Pens started out of the gate at a feverish pace, shooting to the top of the division and looking like a team determined to finish as champions, they’ve faded as the season has worn on – now sitting third in their division with a 32-16-9 record.

It’s become clear that Pittsburgh has some significant weaknesses – most notably an inability to defeat opponents within their own division – but their shortcomings don’t stop there.

With only 25 games left to go this season, the Pens currently rank as one of the worst in the league when it comes to coming back from behind to win.

Just how close to rock bottom are they when it comes to getting comeback wins? They’re dead last.

Pittsburgh is tied with Winnipeg for last place in the league in wins when trailing after two periods – having won exactly zero games in said situation.

In 18 situations wherein Pittsburgh has trailed after the second frame, the Pens have put together a paltry 0-15-3 record.

Even when trailing after one period, the Pens haven’t fared much better – winning only 3 games out of 18 games while losing 11 in regulation and 4 in extra time.

What does this mean for the Penguins? It means that when the game gets tough and the Pens are up against the ropes, they have yet to find a way to fight back and earn a victory.

It’s a trend that certainly doesn’t bode well for Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes. We’ve seen the team wilt in the past under pressure, showing a similar inability to come back and win, and, despite all the changes made this offseason, it looks as if the Pens still haven’t found a solution.

Conversely, Pittsburgh ranks first in the league in terms of winning when leading after the first period (holding a record of 20-4-3), and 6th-best in the league when it comes to winning when leading after two periods of play (holding a record of 22-2-1).

The Pens are still a strong team – one that could easily turn it around and find a solution if the right shake-up is enacted by the team’s brass. Perhaps the answer is a strategic shift, or perhaps Pittsburgh must bring in some fresh legs known for coming up big when needed most (here’s hoping those Justin Williams trade rumours from earlier in the season come to fruition).

The problem is certainly a deeply-rooted one, however.

Past the inability to come back and win late in key games, the Pens also rank 9th-worst in the league when it comes to 3rd-period goals (with a total of 46), and 6th-worst when it comes to total goals allowed (with 139).

As the Pens come down the home stretch of the season, the team’s biggest weaknesses are beginning to show more and more.

With the powerplay faltering, the rest of the Metropolitan division repeatedly coming out on top against the Pens, and Pittsburgh also packing little punch late in games when they need it most, the onus is now on General Manager Jim Rutherford to make some moves and give his team life as they close in on the postseason.