Hey Penguins it’s all about FERDA

Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Well, well, well, look who is 1 point away from 3rd place in the Metropolitan Division?  You guessed right kids, The Pittsburgh Penguins.

Last week, we were seriously being considered as one of the worst teams in the NHL.  This week, after going 5-2 in the last 7 games, the Penguins are back in the Playoff conversation.

Pittsburgh Penguins  9-7-3 = 21 Pts (as of Nov21.22)

5th in Metropolitan Division (1 Point out of the Second Wild Card Spot)

6th in Eastern Conference (Note: there are many teams tied with points)

7th Overall in NHL

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The Penguins will play once more before the USA Thanksgiving.  When you look at the standings, only 2 points separate second place from fifth place in the Metropolitan Division.  What this really means is that this will be a tight race towards just making the Playoffs.  Another key fact will be any major losing streak will seriously jeopardize your chancing of getting in this year.

So, the Penguins already had their scare with a 7-game losing streak.  Right now, they have a modest 3-game winning streak.  More importantly, is the fact that the Penguins best players are actually their best players on the ice.

Jarry looked ok to good in the Shutout vs the Jets.

Crosby is back leading the team in scoring and willing them to win again.

Malkin seems to always produce points and Letang made some fabulous plays over the last few games.   Thanks boys, ya had me worried there for a week or so…

So, what changed over this last week?  Well, I’ll tell ya.

It finally became all about FERDA.

Ferda?  What’s FERDA?

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FERDA is how the Penguins must play in order to succeed this season.

F = Faceoffs

E = Energy

R = Ratio

D = Defense

A = Aggressive


Faceoffs are a key stat.  It is common knowledge that when your team wins the faceoff, they have the puck immediately.  What this also means in that you are not chasing the game from the get-go.

The Penguins are currently winning 51.8% of their Faceoffs, which ranks them 12th overall in the NHL.  Not bad, however, it would be nice if they could improve on this though.

Crosby = 51.5% Faceoff Win %

Malkin = 52.3% Faceoff Win %

Carter = 60.5% Faceoff Win %

Blueger = 47.2% Faceoff Win %

We know that field position is so important, and Faceoffs definitely factor into how the game plays out.  The Penguins must keep getting better in this category, in order to succeed this season.


Both Individuals, as well as Teams, need Energy to succeed.  Sometimes it is super easy for both to be ready for a Big Game, especially at home, with a charged-up crowd.  The reality is, it is up to each individual to get ready, as well as be ready, for the upcoming game, any game.

The Pittsburgh Penguins seemed to have found some Energy of late.  Both from a Team standpoint as well as from Individuals.  You can see a jump in everyone step.  Winning does that to a team.  It’s called Belief.  It’s called Confidence. It’s also called the Will to Win.  The Penguins need this night in and night, out in order to succeed this season.

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Key Ratios in the NHL are the Power Play % and the Penalty Kill %.  The Penguins are at 18.8% on the Power Play right now, ranking them 25th overall in the NHL.  However, over the last few games, the Penguins Power Play have been moving the puck with more urgency and better passing, or shall I say, puck precision.  Nice to see boys, keep it up.  This stat must improve for the Penguins to succeed this season.

The Penguins Penalty Kill is at 79.4%, ranking them 15th overall in the NHL. Again, not great.  The Penguins have been better.  I’m not panicking yet; they just need to figure a few things out.  This is another stat that must improve for the Penguins to find success this season.


We all know that Defense Wins Championships.  Well, it looks like the Penguins “team as a whole”, might be jumping back on board of the “Defense First” bandwagon.

The Jets game proved, once again, this group can play effective in tight games.  They put the puck in good positions for teammates to continue long offensive rushes.  They placed the puck out of harms way, enabling the Pens to make a line change.

They moved bodies out of the way, allowing Jarry to see the puck at all times.

Forwards actually skating hard and defending their man, was certainly nice to see.  Forwards, backchecking like they care, and helping out in the Defensive Zone, all have contributed to a more spirited and engaged Team, which has translated into Penguin Wins.

Penguins Team Defense will actually be the determining factor of this team making the Playoffs or not.

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Aggressive Hockey is Back.  Intimidation is a big part of Sports.  The opposition should have a little bit of fear when they play you in general.  They should have a little fear say, when they stand in front of your goalie.  They should have a little bit of fear when entering your Zone or cutting across your blueline or dipsy doodling around.

The opposition must pay the price in each of these situations.

For example, remember Trouba’s flying elbow in last years Playoffs vs the New York Rangers.  Not 100% intentional, however, Sid should have known who was on the ice at that time, which does play into how #87 should have handled the puck on that play.

Also, don’t forget about playing aggressive in the O-Zone.  Sometimes, you need to bang and crash the net, to score goals in this league.

The Penguins seem to be more engaged in pushing people around, over the last week or so.  The Penguins need to have a certain level of grit and sandpaper, in order to succeed this season.

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My View from the Cheap Seats

Night in Night Out, one must ask themselves, which team is more desperate for a win?

Winning those 50/50 battles for the puck, really shows you who wants to win.  The victor is the one who wants it more and gets it more often.

It is through, intensity, aggression, power, and purpose, that the will to win is created and acted upon.   It’s always about The Team and your ability to trust Your Teammate.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to FERDA.

You gotta play FERDA team or we won’t succeed.

Quote of the Day:

“Whose puck, is it?”

Hockey Moms