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Examining the Pittsburgh Penguins numbers

Friday, 09.21.2007 / 10:00 AM / Season Preview

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist


 

NHL.com's 2007-08 Penguins Season Preview Package:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards | Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster






Advantage Margin:
+44
With all the firepower they can put on the ice, it’s little wonder the Penguins drew a league-high 463 power-play chances, 16 more than anyone else. But they gave the opposition 419 chances, including 213 at the Mellon Center, the third-highest total in the league at home.

Even-Strength Goals Margin: +7
Crosby had 59 of his League-leading 120 points at even strength, including 23 of his 36 goals. Crosby was the only Penguin to hit the 20-goal mark at even strength; 18-year-old rookie Jordan Staal was next with 18.

Special Teams Goal Margin: +20
The Penguins led the league in power-play goals with 94 and finished fifth with a 20.3 percent success rate, though they surrendered 13 shorthanded goals. But Pittsburgh scored 14 times while shorthanded — half of those by Staal, who set an NHL record for shorthanded goals by a rookie.

Category Rank
(Conference / NHL)
2006-07 Points 105
(4th East / 10th NHL)
Change From 2005-06 +47
Home Points 57
(2nd East / 8th NHL)
Road Points 48
(5th East / 11th NHL)

Goals by defensemen: 33
Sergei Gonchar (13) has the reputation, but Ryan Whitney (14) actually had more goals. Gonchar led all defensemen in power-play points with 48, though he had just 16 at even strength. The Penguins hope rookie Kris Letang will give them more offense from the blue line and that veteran Darryl Sydor can add stability.

Goals by forwards: 234
Wayne Gretzky had 92 goals in his third season because he began shooting more after teams played him to pass. Don’t be surprised if Crosby’s total of 36 goes up sharply this season. Calder winner Evgeni Malkin (33) has the talent to score a lot more, too.

Overtime Record: 16-5-6 (OT: 6-5, SO: 10-6)
The Penguins’ sharpest shooter in shootouts was not Crosby — it was unheralded forward Eric Christensen, whose eight goals (in 14 attempts) tied for the league lead and represented nearly half of the Pens’ 17 shootout successes. Crosby was 5-for-15.

Times Scored First/Record: 43 (Record: 29-8-6)
One reason for the Penguins’ great leap forward was the fact that they were playing from behind a lot less. Their 43 game-opening goals were 11 more than they scored in 2005-06, and their .674 winning percentage was a big jump from .594 in ’05-06.

Best 06-07 Number: 0
Regulation losses by the Penguins in games in which they led after two periods. Pittsburgh was one of only three teams to get at least one point in every game when leading after 40 minutes. In all, the Pens were 28-0-5 when leading after 40 minutes.

Worst 06-07 Number: 76.2
Pittsburgh’s penalty-killing percentage on the road, the third-worst in the League. The Penguins’ 76.2 kill rate on the road was more than 11 percentage points lower than their 87.8 percent rate at home (third in the league).

Scheduling:
The Pens open at Carolina, then get a chance for a fast start with seven of their next nine at home. They have two stretches of six games in seven on the road and a December run of seven games in eight away from the Mellon Center.

NHL.com's 2007-08 Penguins Season Preview Package:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards | Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster

 

 

Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic