Pittsburgh Penguins: Top 5 Issues Facing the Team Before Playoffs

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Feb 6, 2015; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Steve Downie (23) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Pittsburgh Penguins won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

3. Limiting penalties

Pittsburgh remains one of the worst clubs in the NHL when it comes to penalty minutes and the types of penalties taken.

The Pens have the 2nd-most penalty minutes of any team (915) and those minutes are coming mostly from minor penalties (the Pens have the 2nd-highest number of minor penalties as well with 288).

Granted most of that is due to Steve Downie, the Penguins as a whole need to ensure they’re playing with level heads if they want to go far in the postseason.

The Pens made a conscious effort to get bigger and grittier in the offseason and at the trade deadline. While the upgraded physicality is nice, we’ve seen what happens when this team starts to focus too much on extracurriculars. They’re not a group that thrives on that energy – rather, it usually gets them off their game.

Finding the balance between staying focused and being physical will be central over the last weeks of the season.