The Pittsburgh Penguins have played 19 regular season games, which puts us at about a quarter way through the season. Here are three surprising stats from the 2017-2018 campaign so far.
-17 Goal Differential
The Pittsburgh Penguins as a whole registered a -17 goal differential. Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang lead the NHL with -14 ratings. Hockey is weird. Given that Sid and Letang have been playing the most minutes at their positions, it makes sense their +/- has suffered.
The Pens are pretty middle of the road offensively at the moment, ranking 17th in the NHL in total goals scored. They also rank 30th in goals allowed with 67. Only Arizona has allowed more. And Arizona has won two games. Yikes.
A few blowout have really mired some of the team stats to start the season, but it is worth noting that when this team loses, it can lose big.
5-0-0 / .943 SV% / 1.82 GAA
Above is Matt Murray‘s stat line at home this season. Though we’ve seen some major flux between games for this team this season, one thing has remained constant: Murray is a god on home ice.
With Niemi gone (RIP) and the young Jarry filling in as second string, Murray is guaranteed to start 60 games. It’s easy to forget, but the man is only 23 years old. He set career high in starts last season with 49. The added work should provide quite the challenge for the two time Cup winner, and the Pittsburgh Penguins might need to lean on him to steal some games down the road.
For the first time in what feels like 100 years, someone other than Geno or Sid is leading the way offensively. Phil Kessel showed up, stole everyone’s hearts, downed some footlongs, and won a couple cups.
Phil has shown his true caliber this season, racking up 7 goals and 15 assists in 19 games. He carries (and delivers) the mail on the powerplay, registering 11 of his 22 points with the man advantage.
It’s a tad surprising but it really solidifies the hype around the most memed player in the league. Even when the team is being outscored, he can still put up point-per-game numbers.
Not a stat, but the conclusion. The Pittsburgh Penguins have 63 regular season games remaining in the 2017 season. While we hope the teams goal differential does a 180, some things we’d love to see continue. That pretty sums up the beginning to this season. Some good, some bad. With a much kinder schedule approaching in the latter half of the season, fans can remain confident that this team will get hot at the right time.