Pittsburgh Penguins: Top 5 Issues Facing the Team Before Playoffs

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Feb 25, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) talks with Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) during a stoppage in play against the Washington Capitals period at Verizon Center. The Penguins won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

2. Powerplay must improve

You had to know this was coming.

For a team that boasts two former league MVP’s, both with a couple scoring titles to their name, as well as one of the best offensive defenseman in the league, finding success on the powerplay should come fairly easy.

Obviously there are a lot of details that go into it – finding the proper system, getting guys to stay in their designated roles, finding the last few pieces to put with them, etc.

But regardless, the offensive power of this club means that an effective powerplay is a must.

For a myriad of reasons, that hasn’t been the case this season. Despite starting the season with the best-ranked powerplay in the league (by a sizeable margin), the Pens have now fallen to 9th with a percentage of 20.1%.

The team isn’t short on options. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang are musts on the first unit. In my opinion, Patric Hornqvist and Derrick Pouliot should join them, though there’s a case to be made for Chris Kunitz as well.

Whoever they put out there, the Pens need to start executing and putting pucks in the net, because those opportunities are going to be game-changers in the postseason.