Pittsburgh Penguins Head Coach Mike Sullivan held his end-of-season press conference yesterday. While he had much to say about several topics, the power play was the most important.
The power play this season had the very skilled players of forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jake Guentzel, and defenseman Kris Letang. The power play had a 21.7 percent success rate, was great at moving the puck, and had high-danger chances. At other times, the power play gave up shorthanded chances and struggled at getting set up in the zone. Sully, however, stayed defiant of the power play.
He talked about different analytics to support his facts and talked about the good looks she got.
Sully said, “I think our power play finished 14th in the league if I’m not mistaken. Is that correct? Our net power play finished 10th. Is that correct?” he started. “OK, so when you subtract the goals against from the goals that they scored, they’re 10th in the league. So they’re top third in the league. Actuals, all right?”
He also said that the team assessed the power play throughout the year and that he and the team will continue to do so during the off-season.
He will be doing a bit more than that this off-season as well. He was named part of the transition team for finding new upper management for the Penguins following the firing of GM Ron Hextall, president of hockey operations Brian Burke, and AGM Chris Pryor.
Another thing Sully talked about and praised the play of goaltender Tristan Jarry, saying, “I think Tristan is a top-tier goalie in this league. I’ve said this all year long, and I believe he’ll continue to be moving forward. … This year was a particular challenge for him for a lot of reasons, but I think Tristan is a very good goalie in this league.”
He also mentioned that Jarry would not need surgery for his injuries as far as he knew.
Sully also praised the team as a whole, saying, “I believe this team has the makings of being a very competitive hockey team,” he said. “Our core players have the ability to play at an elite level.”