Wednesday, December 9, 2009
What Is Wrong With the Penguins Power Play?
Let's go back to the 2007-08 season when the team was on their way to the first of two consecutive Stanley Cup Final runs. Pittsburgh finished that regular season fourth overall with a 20.4% power play conversion. Last year they dropped to twentieth at 17.2% and now have fallen even further down the chart. Why?
There are two main differences between the power play units of '07-'08 and today. 1. No Petr Sykora. 2. No Ryan Malone.
With the man advantage, Penguins are often accused of trying to be "too fancy" or looking to make "the perfect play," but without a gunner and a crease cleaner, are they not forced to attempt to dissect their opponents penalty kill?
Maybe it is too early yet to judge their special teams performance just one-third of the way into the season, considering the injury issues they have faced. However, if they never find a replacement for the elements that Sykora and Malone provided, they will continue to struggle.