With an 11-8-4 record, and building momentum past a seven-game losing streak, it wouldn’t be fair to say the Pittsburgh Penguins have had a poor season.
There have been some disappointing stretches and certain areas of the team needs to find quick improvements, but overall the Penguins have played some decent hockey.
While the power play is one area in particular that needs serious renovations, there’s another dynamic that has escaped the team for a good portion of the year.
Far too often have the Penguins failed to create dangerous scoring chances and that is often reflected on the shot clock.
In a number of games this season, the Penguins have failed to reach double digit shots on goal in a single period.
Against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Penguins recorded eight shots in the opening frame; the game prior against the Toronto Maple Leafs they only hit seven in the first period.
In that period against the Maple Leafs, the Penguins went over 11 minutes without a shot on goal.
The lack of pucks on net and creating chances has started to cost the Penguins; they’ve been allowing opponents to dictate the pace of play and letting them capitalize on opportunities.
Following the overtime loss to the Hurricanes, the Penguins have a 4-4-4 record when being outshot in a game.
The Penguins have also played eight games where they failed to reach a total of 30 shots on goal.
Sometimes, playing a simple game is the most successful; that’s what the team has been trying to preach with the power play struggles, why not at 5-on-5, as well?
Generating shots will force the Penguins to take games over and dictate the pace of play; far too often are they overpassing, trying to force a play, and just getting out worked.
The Penguins have shown they can be a successful team, it’s just a matter of maintaining momentum and not letting the opposing team take over games.
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