Pittsburgh Penguins: A look at Derick Brassard so far

PITTSBURGH, PA - FEBRUARY 27: Derick Brassard
PITTSBURGH, PA - FEBRUARY 27: Derick Brassard /

The Pittsburgh Penguins made waves at the deadline acquiring Derick Brassard from the Ottawa Senators.

The 30 year old forward is acting as the Pittsburgh Penguins‘ third line center, slotted behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. It’s been a small sample size, but Brassard’s results after three contests are mixed.

The bare-bones stats will tell you that Derick Brassard has put up two points (1 G, 1 A) in his short Penguin career. Add that to a (surprising) plus-2 rating, and a cool 50 percent on faceoffs, and it would seem he’s contributing what Penguin fans expected.

However, the problem is that the Penguins suffered two grueling losses against Boston and New Jersey during that time. It spoiled Brassard’s debut, and brought everyone down to the Earth from the Deadline day drama.

Now these losses were by no means Brassard’s fault. The Pittsburgh Penguins as a whole looked trashy during those two games. But Brassard’s line suffered, and it was easy to tell he wasn’t used to the system.


Looking at his SAT Percentage thus far (33.33%), it’s clear the Penguins aren’t controlling the puck when Brassard is on the ice at 5v5. That’s the lowest of any Penguin that played in each of his first three games. The good thing is, it is slowly getting better. The latest effort aginst NYI saw Brassard post a 42.86 SAT Percentage.

While Brassard was playing with Conor Sheary and Phil Kessel, it really isn’t surprising the numbers weren’t good. Not one of them play with a defense first mind set. But their sloppy rushes and “sort of” backchecking made them pay.

It’s evident Brassard is still getting used to playing the Penguins style.  The stats reflect that. And it makes sense.

Next: Looking at Potential Playoff Matchups

The Ottawa Senators (his former team) are known for playing a defensive style, setting up a neutral zone trap. They play a very vanilla game. The Penguins built their success by constantly attacking, forwards buzzing, with the D jumping in the play. If Ottawa is vanilla, then the Pittsburgh Penguins are Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. A lot more goes into it, and it’s infinitely more exciting.

Now, while Brassard won’t revolutionize Penguins hockey, he deserves more time to get adjusted. The fact he has two points in games with those possession stats are impressive in their own right.Per Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Brassard might even start killing penalties. That would add another facet to his game which wasn’t previously there. So as his game changes to fit the Penguins style, we’ll only see improvement from here.