Powerless Play and Positive Predictions

 

What is your opinion so far on the performance of our Pittsburgh Penguins? While the Penguins are struggling in many facets, I would summarize a major problem in two words, powerless play. To be powerless means lacking the ability to produce an overall effect. According to Jamie Fitzpatrick , “A power play is a situation in which one team has a greater number of players on the ice because a player from the opposing team has been penalized. This can be in the form of 5 players against 4 players, 5 players against 3 players, or 4 players against 4 players.   Whatever the case may be, one would think that having an advantage such as this would create better scoring opportunities. But that is just logical thinking, not reality. The fact of the matter is, the Penguins are reluctant to shoot the puck, seem to pass too much, create too many takeaways, which leads to unsuccessful power play chances. Statistically, the Penguins have scored on 5 out of 22 power plays, which is a dismal 22.7%. Ouch!

Tonight, the Penguins take on the New York Rangers. The last time these teams met, there was much entertainment including a fight between Arron Asham and Tanner Glass who was acquired from the Winnipeg Jets.

Courtesy of the New York Times

Courtesy of the New York Times

Overall, the Penguins really took it to the Rangers, but allowed them to come back after leading 5-1. The final score was the Penguins 6 Rangers 3. Tonight, if the Penguins can get a few power play goals and prevent the Rangers from matching them goal-to-goal, then I predict a victory. In the January 20th match up, the Penguins had two power play goals from James Neal and Pascal Dupuis. However, the Rangers also had a power play goal by Ryan Callahan and a short-handed goal by Rick Nash. Ouch!

Both teams have an overall 3-3. This is an Atlantic Division game, which is extremely important. After tonight, there are 41 games remaining, so every games counts. My prediction tonight is the Penguins 4 Rangers 3 in a shoot out (SO) win. Next up for the Penguins will be those “pesky” New Jersey Devils lead by the stingy Martin Brodeur. The Devils boast a league leading goals against average (GAA) of 1.6. The Penguins host the Devils this Saturday at 1:00 PM at the Consol Energy Center. Don’t miss it!

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