Pittsburgh Penguins: 2. Stop Goals – Defense
We all know that, “Offense Sells Tickets and Defense Wins Championships”, especially in Pittsburgh. (Shout out to Steeler Nation) The last line of Defense in hockey is the Goalie. In order to keep last years momentum going, the goaltending must keep their end of the bargain. Stopping Pucks.
The offense will score goals this year, that’s a given. The goalie however, Must Make Saves. The Penguin goalie tandem of Jarry and DeSmith, must make saves when the team is not at its best and especially at Key Points in the Game.
A key save, at a crucial time is a momentum shift that can literally turn a game around. The jolt of confidence from the back end, is what a team feeds off of and propels them to victory. Tristan Jarry was 3rd overall in save percentage last season at .912.
However, he ranked 31st overall in the NHL with 2.63 Goals Against Average. Pittsburgh also ranked 13th overall in Goals Against with 156. Team Defense must improve overall this season.
In the three “Pure Wins”, Pittsburgh gave up; 2 Goals vs Tampa Bay, 2 Goals vs Chicago and 1 Goals vs Toronto. Jarry must be more constant than what he has showed to date, ranking 15th overall in the NHL in Goals Against Average with 2.23 GAA, as well as 16th overall in the NHL in save % at .929. The Goalie is the most important position in Hockey and it will be a key area to watch unfold this year.