Pittsburgh Penguins: 3 ways they can maintain their momentum from last season

Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Penguins have much to look forward to this season. The Penguins beat up on their Covid Friendly East Division rivals last year to the tune of 77 points and a First Place Division Banner, their 9th in franchise history.

They bowed out in the First Round of the playoffs, in 6 games to the up-and-coming New York Islanders (4-2).  However painful that was, they did lose Game 1 in Overtime and to add insult to injury, lost Game 5 in Double Overtime.  Meaning, they are not that far away from grabbing their 6th Holy Grail.  I know, the 2016-2017 chip seems like eons ago.  I get it.

Pitt laid the foundation for success in 2020-2021 and are now ready to take it to the Next Level.  However, they must do these 3 things in order to get there in 2021-2022.

Pittsburgh Penguins: 3. Score Goals – Offense

We all know that in order to win you must score goals.  That said, in 2020-21, the Penguins were 2nd overall in Goals Scored with 196.   They must keep their 3.5 goal per game average going in 2021-2022, or at least rank in the top 5 overall in the NHL.  As of today, they rank 11th overall in the NHL with a 3.08 goals per game average.

This means that the Core 4 must have a similar season to last years production, (Sid the Kid-62 pts, Guentzel-57 pts, Letang-45 pts and Rust-42 pts).  Let’s just say that it’s been a slow start for the Core 4.

It also means that in order to score goals, you must take shots.  Of the 11 games the Penguins have played to date, they have Out Shot as well as Out Hit, their opponents in 6 of those matches. Three of those games resulted in “Pure Wins” (Regulation Wins) for Pittsburgh.  In those three “Pure Win” games, the Pens Out Shot, Out Hit and Blocked More Shots than their opponent.  Now that’s an interesting trend.

This also means that the young guns, Kapanen, Heinen and Rodrigues must pick up the slack until Malkin, (knee) gets back into the line up some time in Dec 2021 and Crosby, (Covid 19) expected back in the line up on Nov20th .  Secondary scoring will be relied upon, needs to step up and produce.  We are starting to see a glimmer here, of what may come.