Pittsburgh Penguins I have some questions

Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

I was watching the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 the other day.  Whilst watching, I found myself thinking about and asking so many questions.  These questions, sometimes relate to the Penguins specifically and other questions are more hockey related, in general.

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So, here they are.

If Teams who win the Stanley Cup are typically puck possession teams, then why dump and chase?  I get it when you need a line change or are being chased by a defender.  However, once you gain a zone, why not keep control and make play or take a shot on net.  You know good things happen when you shoot the puck towards the net.

If 32% of NHL goals are scored from in the slot (area in front of the net), then why are there not more plays in that area?  I get it when you are trying to set up a play or you are cycling to break a man free.  However, once in the o-zone, and especially if you have numbers with you, why not get it to the net, then bang and crash it for a goal mouth scramble.?  Why not create the tire fire, you know how confused people can get.

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When on the Power Play, why do players, usually on the Wing, constantly try the cross-ice pass (wing to wing say)?  Do you know the odds of making that pass are slim to none for most players.  To be able to pass tape to tape across the length of the rink, with defender skates and sticks in the way, let alone your own players are in the way at times, and then have the puck settle perfectly for the one-timer, is near impossible.  Oh yes, it can be done.  Oh yes, Backstrom and Ovie, from the Capitals can do it at times.  Backstrom is an amazing passer and Ovechkin is chasing down history, trying to become the best pure goal scorer the game of hockey has ever seen.  Gretzky has 894 goals while Ovie has 757 goals to date.  So yes, two elite, All-World players of this generation, can do it, sometimes.

Speaking of the Power Play.  If you don’t know what to do, what scheme to run or how to run it.  Why not watch, video from the top teams who are scoring on the PP?  In reference to the above, watch Washington, and how they move the puck around.  Or check out Boston and watch the puck move between, Marchand, Bergeron and Pasternak.  Not sayin’, just sayin’.

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Why don’t more players use the boards to make angle passes to their open teammate up ice?  Most players have been playing the game since they were 5 years old.  I find it very odd that this type of pass is not used, as much as it should be.  Not only that, why not use this angle pass off the boards, to yourself, in order to maintain puck possession, as you move past players near the boards?

Why don’t more teams pay special attention to when or how they change their lines?  I have seen plenty of goals being scored because of a bad line change.  Changing players on the fly because you want your players to have a hard and fast 30 second shift or some other firm battle plan is just sad.  The play dictates when to change lines.  Teach the players, it’s an easy fix.

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Why aren’t the stars of the game, on the ice more?  Thomas Chabot-Ottawa 27.16 minutes time on ice per game, on average.  Darnell Nurse-Edmonton 26.35 toi.  Zach Werenski-CBJ 26.28 toi.  No offense to theses players, they are good.  However, they don’t sell tickets.  Leon Drisaitl-Edm is ranked 36th in toi with 22.57 minutes time on ice per game, on average.  He is the first forward to make the list, the rest above him on the list, are all defensemen.  He is ranked third in overall NHL scoring and 36th in time on ice, why?  Offense and playmakers sell tickets.

Why do players, who keep breaking their sticks, stay with that brand of stick?  Maybe switch stick companies.  Or bring back the 1980’s Christian Aluminum or dare shall I say, Sher-Wood.

Why do owners, who spend millions of dollars, training and developing these elite hockey players, willfully allow them to block shots and risk injury?  I get it, it’s a team game.  But seriously, I would much rather watch Crosby score goals and make plays than have him block a shot, get injured, then miss the playoff run.

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Rapid Fire from the Skybox

Are Hockey Coaches, Managers, GM’s, Director of Hockey Operations actually trained in, Management, Teaching, Hiring and Recruiting best practices?

If so, then why…

If the Goalie is the most important position in hockey, why do most teams only pay for one good one?

If puck possession is so important, why don’t teams employ better centerman who can win faceoffs at last 50% of the time?

If local talent is so easy to scout, and less expensive overall, then why are there not more home grown players, playing for the local NHL team?

If grit and grind are so valuable in the Playoffs, why are some teams so “soft”?

(Budgets? ya ok Boomer)

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Pittsburgh Penguins … as of Jan 22.2022

25-10-5 = 55 Points

3rd in the Metropolitan Division (Up from 7th Place in Oct)

5th in the Eastern conference (Up from 13th Place in Oct)

6th in the NHL overall (Up from 22nd overall in Oct)

Pittsburgh Penguins are holding the pure #3 Playoff Spot in the Metropolitan Division (Eastern Conference)

My View from the Cheap Seats

I have been playing hockey since I was three years old and have thought about many of these questions for a long time.  Today, I raised them.

I know as a former center, how important winning the faceoff is to the team.

I know when I coached, I coached to the strengths of the team, not to my system.

I know that when I was recruiting to fill a job posting, I had a list of preferred skills, however personality and overall IQ took precedence.  You can always coach and train intelligent people.

I know that if I did not know how to do something, I would search out someone who knew more about the subject or I would read up on that particular subject.

Listen, learn, then take action.

Quote of the Day:

“For true success ask yourself these four questions: 

Why?  Why Not?  Why Not Me?  Why Not Now?”

James Allen – Philosopher Writer