The Pittsburgh Penguins have lots to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. As we pass this landmark holiday, it is time to remember the past, enjoy the company of our family, and look forward to the future. It is a time to say, thank you, for all that you have and for all that you have done, up until now. How does this relate to hockey and the Pittsburgh Penguins?
There is an unofficial stat that shows, teams who are in a playoff position as of USA Thanksgiving, make it to the playoffs 75%-80% of the time. The rest of the season is simply jockeying for position. See below Penguins standings, whew…thank you.
Pittsburgh Penguins 9-6-4 = 22 Pts
Tied-4th in Metropolitan Division
Tied-7th in Eastern Conference
Tied-12th Overall in NHL
As of Nov 26.2021, Money Puck shows the Penguins have a 64% change of making the Playoffs. The site also thinks the Penguins have a 31.3% chance of winning Round 1, 15.6% chance of making it to Round 3, and a 4% chance of winning the cup this year.
Stats are great indicators of a percentage and or a probability of an outcome. They are a way to review, analyze, hypothesize and draw conclusion from. They do tell a story, show a trend, or tendency. Stats are not however, 100% outcome fact. Outliers happen all the time and in every sport.
The fact is, the Pittsburgh Penguins have struggled out of the gate with injuries and Covid-19. The other and most important fact is, in the last five games, the Pittsburgh Penguins have played some great hockey. Beating Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver and the Islanders, has shown us all that they can beat teams lower than them in the standings (Montreal, Vancouver, NYI), as well as beat teams, appearing higher in the standings (Toronto and Winnipeg).
The Penguins are back to playing the way a potential playoff team needs to play. The offence is scoring goals, 16 over the last five games. The defence is shutting down the opposition, 2 goals over the last five games. Goaltender Jarry #35 is playing amazing and with confidence again. He has posted back-to-back shut outs (vs Montreal and Toronto), and another one against the Islanders. His rebound control has been incredible of late. He is not giving the opposition many second chances on their shots, whatsoever. It is awesome to watch him play at such a high level.
The rest of the hockey world has put the Penguins on the “left for dead list”, and thinks the Penguins are “sellers”, in the trade market as we speak. The “smart people”, think the Penguins should trade all assets now and tank the season for a high draft pick. I believe it is way to early for this type of thinking, especially if you actually watched any of the last five Penguin games. They have played amazing.
Now, I will agree…
Parts of the team still need fixing (Power Play).
Parts of the team are still getting the rust off (all injured and Covid-19 returning players).
Parts of the team are about to return to the line-up (Malkin – knee injury).
The Penguins are in the middle of their Canadian World Tour (Road games against Canadian Teams Nov18.21 – Dec04.21). I called this road trip and block of games crucial to the Penguins season, a few weeks ago. I still believe this to be true. I believe this section of the schedule, allows the Penguins to make up ground in the Metropolitan Division. Umm, did you notice the Penguins have a five game winning streak going and are playing great.
Keep in mind, some teams in the Metropolitan Division have yet to hit their slump (Carolina, Washington, and the annual New York Ranger slump in January, all yet to come). Also note, NYR – Kreider has 15 goals already, come on, really? This dude scores 20 G’s on average per season.
Other teams in the division have yet to be hit by the Covid-19 bug. Not convinced or sure how much Covid-19 actually affects a team? Have a look at the last 8 New York Islander games. They got the bug, it has depleted their roster and they are 0-8 along the way.
There are some upcoming games against the Eastern Conference and especially vs the Metropolitan Division, which will confirm or dispel, some of my theories. Stay Tuned.
My View from the Cheap Seats
This Thanksgiving I have much to be thankful for. I am thankful to my family for supporting me in all that I do. I am thankful that I have my health at this time in my life. I am thankful I am Happy.
One of the hardest things to do in this life, is to smile and be happy, every day.
There are lots of things we like about the Pittsburgh Penguins game right now. They are playing as a team and supporting each other. They are getting healthy. They are Winning, and Winning is fun.
So, at this time of year, Smile and be Happy. But most of all, be Thankful.
I believe this team has the determination to make the playoffs and have a nice run for the cup. I say Thank You Pittsburgh Penguins. Thank you for all that you have done up until now. You have provided us with pure entertainment, smiles and most of all, wins. Thank you for Giving us Wins.
Quote of the Day:
Usain Bolt – Olympic Champion – Runner