Pittsburgh Penguins vs Winnipeg Jets – Game Preview – Jan 13.2023
The Pittsburgh Penguins host the Winnipeg Jets. I really believe this is another tale of If’s n Buts, Soup n Nuts.
What I mean by this is simply, the Jets have won 7 games in overtime. The Penguins meanwhile, have lost 6 games in overtime. Flip the script and the narrative changes. Alter 3 games, and the narrative for this game changes.
I understand you are what your record indicates. There is simply a fine line between a win and a loss. And sometimes you are not as bad as you think, while other times you are not as good as you think, either.
As of January 11.2023, the Jets have a record of 26-14-1 for 53 Points, and are second in the Central Division.
The Penguins have a record of 21-13-6 for 48 points and are placed as the second Wild Card Team.
Puck Drop 6pm est
Location: PPG Paints Arena – Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh Penguins Record as of Jan 11.2023: 21-13-6 for 48 points
5th in Metropolitan Division
7th in Eastern Conference
9th Overall in NHL
As of Nov18.2022…the Penguins were…
7-7-3 = 17 Pts (as of Nov18.22)
5th in Metropolitan Division
10th in Eastern Conference (Note: there are many teams tied with points)
18th Overall in NHL
Winnipeg Jets Record as of Jan11.2023: 26-14-1 for 53 Points
2nd in Central Division
3rd in Western Conference
6th Overall in NHL
As of Nov18.2022…the Jets were…
Winnipeg Jets 10-4-1 = 21 Pts (as of Nov18.22)
2nd in Central Division
4th in Western Conference
9th Overall in NHL
This will be the second meeting against the Jets this season. The last game was a Rock-Solid 3-0 Pens win.
The Penguins seem to be a Jekyll and Hyde type of team this year. They have played some games this year, where they look like Stanley Cup contenders. Then there are the two, 6+ game losing streaks, that make us wonder who they really are.
The Jets meanwhile, have a New Coach, and Bowness has the Jets at least thinking about playing Team Defense. The Jets have beat teams, who critics thought, were supposed to be better than them. The Jets have scratched a clawed there way, in many a game this year. It appears there is a Never Give Up effort in Jet Land or is it called puck luck?
The USA Thanksgiving Day NHL Standings (which is the unofficial, “teams who are in the playoffs on this day, have a 75% chance of making the playoffs”), showed the Pittsburgh Penguins have an 83.5% chance of making the playoffs. The Winnipeg Jets were given a 76% chance of making the playoffs.
As of Jan 10.2023, the Jets have a 83.3% chance of making the Playoffs, while the Penguins appear to clock in at a 52.6% chance of making the post season for a record, 17th season.
We know that the ongoing percentage of making the playoffs is very fluid. Win a few games in a row and your percentage of making it improves dramatically. Enter into a multi-game losing streak and your percentage drops.
That said, last year on November 26.2022 both the Penguins and Jets had a 64% chance of making into the playoffs. We know the Penguins made it in, while the Jets went golfing.
I can see the same thing happening this year. The Penguins have been slugging it out all year and are getting healthy bodies back. The Jets are now as healthy as they have been all year, however, they will have a tough stretch of games from February 19th until March 20th.
(Let’s review this again come April 01.2023, to see who the Fool really is. I may have to eat crow on this one, we shall see.)
Keep an Eye On
Crosby #87 F 21G-27A-48 Pts 52.3% Faceoff Win%
Malkin #71 F 14G-25A-39 Pts 51.8% Faceoff Win%
Guentzel #59 F 17G-20A-37 Pts 44.4% Faceoff Win%
Jarry #35 G Jan 01.23 DTD Lower Body
Letang #58 D Dec 28.22 IR Lower Body
Petry #26 D Dec 28.22 IR Upper Body
Poehling #25 F Jan01.23 DTD Undisclosed
Archibald #15 F Dec18.22 IR Lower Body
Penguins News and Notes
Sid the Kid is still amazing after all these years. Our Captain, #87 is leading the way once again. If only everybody else started to play like him…
The Penguins Penalty Kill is awesome.
Letang had his own personal health scare this year. Then just the other day, had to attend his father’s funeral. The Penguins just re-routed from Arizona to Montreal to be with their brother, in his time of need. We Are Family.
1- We Are Family – support and stay the course.
2-It’s all about Defense- commit to it.
Real Life sometimes gets in the way of sports. There are times when the games just don’t really matter at all. Family Matters. My / Our Thoughts n Prayers go out to #58 and his family. Life is short, so enjoy the ride.
The Penguin Power Play is trying to find its way. Missing #58, our quarterback, does not help.
The entire team needs to focus when it is crunch time.
Goaltender Jarry is in his Contract Year. He is injured now, however, prior to his injury, was playing only kind of good. We Need Him To Be All-World Good, when he returns.
Team Depth is questionable, as well as a lack of focus for 60 minutes. Because of this, teams have bee able to come back on the Pens and win games late or in OT.
Keep an Eye On
Connor #81 F 20G-30A-50Pts
Dubois #80 F 19G-29A-48Pts 48.3.3% Faceoff %
Morrissey# #44 D 7G-39-46Pts
Hellebuyck #37 G 20W – 10L 2.42 GAA (8th overall in the NHL)
Hellebuyck has a .924 Save % (3rd overall in the NHL)
Mason Appleton Nov12.22 IR Wrist
Logan Stanley Dec08.22 IR Lower body
Jets New and Notes
The Jets are starting to feel good about their game overall. They took out the Oilers in Edmonton, as well as the Flames and Canucks in Winnipeg. Beating up on their Western Brothers, is always a good feeling.
Conner is a scoring machine. I love to watch him play.
Dubois is playing like we knew he could. Oh, I notice that he will be a RFA in 2023-24. Contract Year Production, a coincidence? I also understand he wants to play in Montreal. Yikes.
Morrissey is also playing like we knew he could. Can you say Norris Trophy?
Hellebuyck is back playing like his Vezina days. Like crazy good. Like, can you say, All-World good. Like, can you say, another Vezina, just like 2020. Like maybe eh.
The Jets team struggle to make 3-consecutive passes, for long stretches during games. I find they have overall poor puck possession in general.
The Jets team seem to miss the net quite a bit.
The Jets Centermen are terrible in the Face-Off circle, winning 47.5% of Face-offs. This means the Jets chase the game from the get-go. It seems as though they have been terrible in this stat category for a decade.
I don’t see the Jets as a tough team to play against. I don’t see much grit in their lineup from top to bottom.
The Jets D appear to be weak overall and they like to make high-risk passes along the blueline as well as in their own zone.. So far, their numerous D-Zone Giveaways have been saved by #37.
Game Analysis / Pens Scouting Report
Pittsburgh Penguins Record 21-13-6 = 48 Pts
Winnipeg Jets Record 26-14-1 = 53 Pts
Pittsburgh Goals For 132
Winnipeg Goals For 137
Pittsburgh Goals Against 121
Winnipeg Goals Against 110
Pittsburgh Goal Differential +12
Winnipeg Goal Differential +27
Pittsburgh Power Play 21.3%
Winnipeg Power Play 23.8%
Pittsburgh Penalty Kill 84.5%
Winnipeg Penalty Kill 82.5%
Pittsburgh Penalty Minutes 302
Winnipeg Penalty Minutes 347
Pittsburgh Shots Per Game 32.3
Winnipeg Shots Per Game 29.8
Pittsburgh Team Faceoff 51.8%
Winnipeg Team Faceoff 47.5%
Pittsburgh D-Zone Give Aways 202
Winnipeg D-Zone Give Aways 259
Pittsburgh O-Zone Give Aways 125
Winnipeg O-Zone Give Aways 69
Pittsburgh Offside For 81
Winnipeg Offside For 69
Pittsburgh Offside Against 77
Winnipeg Offside Against 75
Pittsburgh Team Goals Against Average 3.03
Winnipeg Team Goals Against Average 2.68
Pittsburgh Team Save % .913
Winnipeg Team Save % .920
My View from the Cheap Seats
As I said in the beginning of this article, that I feel this is a case of If’s n Buts, Soup n Nuts.
If the Penguins would have won a few more games in Overtime, their record would have been similar, and so they would be simply having a bowl of Soup with the Jets, heading into this game.
But, the Jets won more games in overtime, have better overall stat-lines, so this is why people think I’m Nuts, to pick the Penguins over the Jets…again.
I understand this is a hypothetical game to play. It does, however, tell you, by flipping the script ever so slightly, how one’s perspective might change.
I said this before, I feel its worth saying again:
A good goalie can mask many roster issues on a team. For example, Carey Price put the Montreal Canadiens on his shoulders for many years and provided a cloak over many critical areas that needed fixing. Hellebuyck is providing that same cloak for the Jets.
Special Teams: Winnipeg
In my humble opinion, comparing and analyzing the data listed in my scouting report above, the stats say the Jets should win this one, however my eye test tells me, it’s a Penguins W.
Pen’s Pick: Penguins to Win.
Quote of the Day:
“Sometimes you must simply throw logic out the window and see the reality of it all.”
Marc Penner – Author/Writer