Pittsburgh Penguins – What we like so far

Pittsburgh Penguins,(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins,(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

So far this season, we have been crying the blues and shedding tears, regarding the slow start of our beloved Black and Gold.  Let me tell you that the Pittsburgh Penguins are on a roll. Winners of their last 3 games and outscoring their Canadian opponents 11-1 in the process.    Take a look at the standings.

Pittsburgh Penguins    8-6-4 = 20 Pts

4th in Metropolitan Division

7th in Eastern Conference

16th Overall in NHL

As of November 23.2021, guess who is tied for 4th Place in the Metropolitan Division and holds a Wild Card playoff spot, our Pittsburgh Penguins baby.

It appears this will be another unique season.  That said, let us have a look at…

What we like about the Penguins so far this year.

The Penguins play a gritty, black and blue, kind of game.  The M.O (Modus Operandi) of The Pittsburgh Penguins this season, is to play an up tempo, heavy style game, full of grit.  This team is not afraid of laying on the body.  Which is a good thing, because that is playoff hockey.  And remember our objective, Win in the Playoffs.

Winning on the road in the playoffs is a must.  The Penguins have a Home record of 4-4-2, and a Road record of 4-2-2, which is a good sign of things to come.  The Penguins can win both at Home as well as on the Road.

Pittsburgh Penguins enter Canada with Trade Agreement. light. Trending

It is not hard to believe the Penguins were struggling early on this season, with Malkin and Crosby out of the line-up.  Take two stars out of any other team’s line-up and they would struggle as well. However, we did not see Covid-19 disrupting the team this much.  That said, as the Penguins get healthier and get more regulars back into the lineup, the better they are playing.

Rodrigues #9 is our Swiss Army Knife.  With all the injuries and illness in the Penguins line-up, Rodrigues has filled in.  Anywhere and everywhere.   He has scored goals (6G-7A-13Pts), checked, won faceoffs (50.5%), and done everything anyone could possibly ask of a player. He has filled in on the first line, on the #1 Power Play unit and played on many other line combinations so far.  Wow and Thank you.

We love the fact that, the Penguins are strong on the forecheck, and are pumping shots at the opposition’s goalie.  More shots equal more potential goals.  Love it.  Keep it up Pens.

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The Penguins are scoring by committee8 players have scored 4 goals or more (Nov23.21).  Again, we need everybody to contribute, as best as they can, when they can.  Another ingredient needed in the recipe, for a long playoff run.

A cool trend appeared early in this season.  If the Penguins score first, they win.

The Penguins rank 19th overall in the NHL, in goals allowed (Nov23.21).  You can see with healthy bodies returning to the line-up, attention to detail and Team Defense is getting better by the game.

Letang #58 is our energizer bunny, he keeps going and going and going.  Ranking 4th overall in ice time, averaging 26.22 minutes per game, Letang has been the Leader the Penguins needed and expected (1G-9A-10Pts -Nov23.21).  An Unrestricted Free Agent at the end of the 2021-2022 season, Letang, is making a case for a short-term extension.

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The Penguin Penalty Kill unit is awesome.  Ranking #1 overall in the NHL (Nov23.21) clipping at 89.6% kill rate. No changes needed here folks.

Goaltender Jarry #35 has found his mojo.  Shutting out Les Canadiens and the Maple Leafs, in back-to-back games, as well as limiting the high-flying Jets to just one goal is simply awesome.  You can see the confidence returning to #35.  A well-deserved pat on the back, right here and now.

We also love the fact that, the Penguins are winning faceoffs night after night.

Turnovers or lack thereof.  It appears the Penguins are paying attention to the number of Turnovers they give up per game.  They are playing a really good puck possession game right now and are paying particular attention to field position.  What this means is the Penguins are placing the puck in the right spots to retrieve the puck, or pass the puck or are giving up the puck in the right areas of the ice, in order to change lines.  Another ingredient needed in the recipe, for a long playoff run.

We have established that in order for the Penguins to win, they must execute this Magic Formula, and they are.

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My View from the Cheap Seats

The season started off a little bumpy.  As we have seen so far, there were a few more pot holes than we expected.  It appears there are more hills and valleys yet to come, along this path, to the Stanley Cup.  There are lots of things we like about the Penguin game right now.  Bottle up and replicate what works.  Try something else or something new, if it does not work.  Either way, Smile.  The Pittsburgh Penguins are back in the hunt for Lord Stanley.

Quote of the Day:

“Never say never because limits, like fears, are often illusions”.

Michael Jordan  – Chicago Bulls