Penguins Strength is Up the Middle

This year the Pittsburgh Penguins can legitimately roll out four centers who can win draws anywhere on the ice, from day 1 on their schedule.  Crosby #87, Malkin #71, Carter #77 and Blueger #53, will have the task of winning faceoffs and gaining immediate puck possession for the Penguins this upcoming season.

The Penguins as a team ended last year with a 51.1 Faceoff Win %, which ranked them 11th overall in the NHL.

Penguin Centers: 2021-22 Faceoff Win % (final point totals)

Crosby #87 = 52.41% (84 pts)

Malkin #71 = 43.62% (42 pts)

Carter #77 = 56.99% (45 pts)

Blueger #53 =53.13% (28 pts)

All four of these players can play on Offense as well as be tight Defensively.  They all can be somewhat interchangeable, meaning you can play them with anyone, and they still produce as well as defend in the same manner.

Now Let’s compare Centers with the Top Contenders vs the Penguins, as of Aug17.2022.

Colorado Avalanche – Defending Champions 2021-22

Centers: 2021-22 Faceoff Win % (final points total)

MacKinnon #29 = 45.38% (88 pts)

Compher #37 = 51.45% (33 pts)

Newhook #18 = 34.69% (33 pts)

Meyers #tbd = NHL Rookie

Tampa Bay Lightning – Same Conference as the Penguins

Centers: 2021-22 Faceoff Win % (final points total)

Point #21 = 51.05% (58 pts)

Cirelli #71 = 46.52% (43 pts)

Paul #20 = 56.02% (32 pts)

Bellemare #41 = 51.66% (20 pts)

New York Rangers – Same Division as the Penguins

Centers: 2021-22 Faceoff Win % (final points total)

Zibanejad #93 = 52.32% (81 pts)

Trocheck #16 = 54.62% (51 pts)

Chytil #72 = 43.41% (22 pts)

Carpenter #18 = 52.25% (11 pts)

My View from the Cheap Seats    

Section: TV    

Row: PVR    

Seat: The Couch

A simple eye test, shows how strong the Penguins are up the middle to begin this season.  This also shows just how difficult it will be for the opposition match lines against the Penguins.  I like our chances night in, night out.

As you can also see from the above stats, the Penguins Malkin #71 is, once again, the key to this years Penguin success.  He needs to step it up in the face off circle as well as when playing Team Defense.

He got his wish, to remain a Penguin for Life ($6.1 Million over 4 years).  We will give him a slight pass for last year.  Coming back from injury is always tough and you are never truly 100% when you return.  Now it’s time to show us the All-World Malkin we know and love.

October 17.2022 It Begins…

Quote of the Day:

“Never let a stumble in the road be the end of the journey”