Penguins I still have so many Questions

I have been watching hockey since I was 3 years old.  I have Played Jr, Coached, Managed, Scouted, worked with Player and Team Analytics and was even a ref.  After being around the game for so long, I find it funny that I have so many questions.  Some relate to the Penguins, others, to the game in general.  Last year I wrote about some of them, see below.

Today I still have so many questions.  Here they are.

 Scoring Chances

Why does it seem like there are less actual scoring chances in a game?

It appears the NHL likes their teams to play a perimeter game.  Boring.  Hey Teams, why not have the D-Men shoot the puck towards the net more often, allowing for more deflections to occur, more players scrambling for the rebound, and maybe an actual scoring chance might break out.  Scoring chances are the entertainment NHL, not perimeter O-Zone cycling.

Back-Door passes are an almost automatic goal, why don’t we see more teams using this play more often in today’s game?

If everyone knows that you need to support the puck carrier, then why do you see players moving up the ice alone?  Like with no support.  Sheeesh.

3 Passes Equal a Scoring Chance

If you know that 3 consecutive passes equal a scoring chance, why not practice passing the puck at high speeds, and from all areas of the ice.  I have seen many a game where teams struggle to make the most basic 5-foot pass to an open teammate.  Come on boys, you are better than this.

Chip n Chase is the most boring play in hockey

I would rather go shovel snow, at least, there would be purpose to what I would be doing and at the end, the job would be done, complete, and there would be a feeling of accomplishment.

Line Changes

I am still amazed that NHL players don’t know when to change as a line or when to change as an individual.  This fail causes an opposition scoring opportunity, every time.

Faceoffs

If Faceoffs equal instant puck possession, then why not employ Centermen who can win 51% or more of their Faceoffs.  I like how the Penguins approach this role…see below stats.

Crosby = 51.5% Faceoff Win %

Malkin = 52.3% Faceoff Win %

Carter = 60.5% Faceoff Win %

If you have good Centermen who can win the draws, and you want to dump it in, wouldn’t it make more sense to dump it directly to the goalie and force a faceoff in the O-Zone?

There is a set play in hockey, it’s when you win the faceoff back to your winger or D-Man, who then shoots a one-timer.  This play will either become a goal, or it will cause a rebound, or a scramble scoring opportunity.  Hey Teams, use this play more often, it’s fun to watch.

If your team is tired of chasing the game, maybe get centermen who can win faceoffs.  Also, maybe try harder to score the first goal in every game, like with more urgency.

If scoring first is so important, then every game should be an all-out crazy affair for the first 5-minuites, as every team attempts to score first.  How can your team start slow, knowing this stat is important.

Power Play

On a Power Play, when you already have the puck, why would you cross the center line then dump it in, only to chase after it?  I find this to be a most peculiar offensive strategy that many teams perform during an NHL game.

If I have possession of the puck, why would I want to get rid of it?  I could maybe, pass it around until my players change lines.  I could wait until our lines have re-set and are ready to form another offensive attack.

Giving up the puck would be my last option, like a punt in football.  You don’t want to give the ball up, however sometimes, it is about field possession or personal on the field.

On the Power Play why aren’t there more shots on net in general?

You have 2 minutes, and they pass the puck around and around and around, looking for that one perfect scoring chance.  Get more pucks to the net boys, more scrambles, more deflections, and more shots equals more bruises for the opposition….lol.

Any shot on net is better than no shot on net.  If a shot, rebound can equal a scoring chance, then why not use this tactic more often during a game.

Why don’t you stay in the Penalty box for the entire 2 minutes of a Penalty.

I get it, prior to the 1956-57 season, the Montreal Canadiens were so good on the Power Play, they could score at will, therefore the NHL changed the rule to today’s version.

Let’s be honest, I would love to see the perpetrator of a foul, remain in the sin bin for the entire 2 minutes.  I would also love to see our team pump a few Power Play goals making the opposition pay for that flagrant foul.

You would say we can’t change the rules.  Rules are Rules.  Well, the NHL did and have changed the rules many times already.  The Oilers of the mid-80’s were scoring at will when coincidental penalties occurred and the teams played 4 of 4 hockey.  That rule was changed to read; coincidental penalties are now to be played as 5 on 5.  Boo less free-wheeling skating space for the skilled players.

Offside

How can players who have played the game since they were 3 years old still go offside?

Million-Dollar Athletes

If today’s Athletes are like Multi-Million Dollar Racehorses, why are they not taking better care of them.

If I had a Million Dollar Asset, that I needed in tip top form, in order to produce and get me the big trophy at the end of the season, I would treat that asset with caution and care.

I certainly would not want them blocking shots.  On that note, why aren’t more players wearing that plastic protection boot over their skates?  Wow.

Why aren’t the players wearing helmets in their pre-game warmups.  Do you know how many pucks are flying around in the pre-game warm up? Lots.  I’m surprised more players aren’t hit by errant pucks.

News Flash Note: the NHL will be making helmets mandatory in 2024.  Of course, there will be a grand-father clause, however those entering the NHL in 2019 onward, must wear the helmet in warmups.  Ah, finally owners protecting assets.

I’m not sure I’m sold on the camera holes that are cut out of the Plexiglas.  I have seen a few freak accidents occur and I am wondering how this passes player safety protocol.

Goalie Protection

Why is the Goalie Crease not a protected space for goalies?

You can inadvertently crash into goalies, stay just in front of the crease, allowing the players to be pushed into a goalie or even fall on them. Brutal.

Why not just call the goalie crease, a safe space for goalies only, like in ringette.  In ringette you cannot enter the goalie crease, ever.  Like nobody can enter, not your team nor the opposition.  That is what I call player safety folks.

This situation means that any and I mean any player, entering the goalie crease would cause a whistle.  Do it on purpose and you should get a penalty.  I’m sure there are rules that can be tweaked, however I like this ringette rule.

Fights

Why is the NHL the only Major Professional League that allows fights.  I am sorry, but this is old, like dinosaur old, for allowing such behavior.  I am all in for aggressive hockey, intimidation, and the big hits, but staged fighting is a joke in today’s game.

Call it Ref

Why don’t refs just call all hits from behind. Period. If you can see the players name and numbers the player gets hit, then Boom, 2 minutes in the sin bin, to feel shame.

TV Coverage

Can the NHL stop the Press from taking a million pictures during a game.  There are so many pictures being taking during the play, it’s like a strobe light going off in the building.  I’m actually shocked more people don’t have seizures because of this.  It’s not a night club, it’s a hockey game.

Will the TV coverage ever adapt to the occasional split screen during play?  Let me explain.  During a play, you can see that two players are jostling for position in front of the net.  It’s a battle.  Why not have a quick split screen moment, allowing the fan to watch this mano e mano battle.

Or another situation might be, when a player takes a hit, or blocks a shot on a Power Play.  So in this situation, there might be the opportunity to split screen, see how or if the injured player hobbles off, or stays on to defend.  I’m not suggesting this happens all the time.  There are a few battles I would like to keep my eye on during the play though.

On occasion, I have to laugh when commentators say, there have been no whistles for say 8 minutes, yet all they teams have been actually doing is chippin’ n chasin’, back and forth like a ping pong game.

The Fans

If the First Five Minutes are so important for a team to say, score the first goal and not chase the game, then why aren’t the fans going crazy, and supporting their team to get the lead asap.

I saw an MLS soccer game, where the fans of LA FC yelled and screamed for 90 mins.  They are called the 3252.  They are the 3252 fans in the endzone in LA, and they go nuts for the entire game.  Watching this, just brings a certain energy into the building.  I’m sure the players enjoy playing in that type of atmosphere.

I get it, not everyone can actually yell (or even wants to yell), for 90 minutes straight, but come on folks, I’m sure you could get jazzed about your team for the first 5 minutes or so…no?  Ah yes, only during the Playoffs you say.

The GOATS did it

If Bobby Orr, arguably the greatest player in the game, set the pace of a play from the Defense position, like bringing up the puck from his own end, then passing off or making a play into the O-Zone, then why is this tactic not being used more often today?

The Oilers of the 1980’s made hitting the trailing Defensemen an integral part of their offense.  Why aren’t teams using this tactic more often today?

New York Islanders, Mike Bossy #22 scored 50 goals in a season, 9 times.  I understand, different era.  However, he talked about just trying to hit the net as much as possible and shooting the puck without stopping it, aka, the one-timer. Do this more often boys.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are 9-7-3 = 21 Pts (as of Nov22.22)

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

7th in Eastern Conference (Note: there are many teams tied with points)

8th Overall in NHL

My View from the Cheap Seats

Marc Andre Fleury #29 should have remained a Penguin For Life and we should be celebrating the Core Four.  What a shame.

Quote of the Day:

“I Will Remember?

Sarah McLachlan – Singer/Songwriter