Top Six Consistently Producing
Tallying his twentieth goal of the season, Evgeni Malkin put the Penguins on the board early vs. the New Jersey Devils Saturday night at PPG Paints Arena. Following his power-play goal, ESPN displayed the graphic showing the Penguins were now home to four 20+ goal scorers this season. The Only four other teams (Lightning, Leafs, Oilers, and Sabres) reside with as many 20+ goal scorers. While the goal production remains consistent within their top six, the bottom six skaters lack dependability.
Penguins Third Line Woes
The Penguin’s third line consisting of Mcginn-Carter-Kapanen is the second worst line throughout the NHL. Based on the statistic from moneypuck.com, the skaters accumulating at least 150 minutes played together were displayed. When the Penguins’ third line takes the ice, their goals per 60 minutes are (1.97) whereas their goals against per 60 minutes are (3.33).
Questionable Contracts Limiting Success
While Jeff Carter is vital in the circle, winning (58.96%) of faceoffs for 8th best in the league. It’s not justifiable to pay a player 3.1 million a year who can just win faceoffs. Another third-liner struggling to stay consistent is Kasperi Kapanen. The right winger was a healthy scratch for eight games in November. Showing promising signs when reinserted in the lineup; in three games, he tallied (4 goals and one assist). The offensive spark was short-lived, as he has accounted for (2 goals and seven assists) through the last 25 games played. Kapenen’s cap hit for the Penguins is 3.2 million. A resurgence in his play could restore the scoring consistency for the third line, but the season is winding down.
Fourth Line Injuries Hindering Consistency
Injuries to the fourth line all season have hindered any sustainable offense from being developed within the lines. Archibald and Poehling were on the LTIR for over a month, causing displacements throughout the bottom six. The fourth line of Poehling-Blueger-Archibald generates momentum while drawing penalties and occasionally providing point production. Moneypuck.com shows that the line generates (2.57 goals for) per 60 minutes, allowing (2.14 goals against). Meaning the fourth line performs better than the third. The fourth line staying healthy could help stabilize the Penguins’ depth scoring.
Penguins Playoff Hunt
The Penguins currently hold the first wild card spot for the eastern conference. If they don’t make a trade before the deadline on March 3, the team remains the same. To make noise in the playoffs, depth scoring is vital, and the Penguins are lacking it.
2 thoughts on “Penguins Top Heavy, Bottom Six Woes”
Great recap! I appreciate the attention to detail here!
Pull out the receipts 💯. I’m impatiently waiting to see if the pens bring on a new ice king moving forward before the trading period deadline as it’s creeping right around the corner. I loved this article Abby great job 🔥👸🏼😘