The Penguins is probably the most watched film team in the league this season. If you trade for the incumbent Norris TrOphy winner, surefire Hall of Famer and D-man who changed the way the position is viewed in Erik Karlsson. To add to your collection of already three Hall of Famers, fans will want to see the merger. Add to that the urgency that the trade signals signal – the Pens will likely only get another serious run with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang – and the Pens will definitely be projecting bright lights on the Pens for all 82.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the Pens is what the power play could look like with all four players. Sure, it might get a little weird considering that three of the four players are right-handed and that Letang and Karlsson have spent most of their careers always playing in the same spot on a power play, i.e. playing from the point. Still, these four guys are just too talented And experience, not figuring it out, is the way of thinking.
And the Pens may need a war machine in the form of a power play. This is still a team whose bottom six are uncertain. Jeff Carter is still here, although he smells funny and has strange green spots growing on him. Lars Eller looked pretty fit during his time with the Avalanche last year. Matt Nieto, Alex Nylander, Noel Acciari, there just isn’t much of that.
And it’s still a team with very questionable goaltending, considering how often Tristan Jarry had the lights out behind them, especially when it came to crucial time at the end of last season as the Pens slipped out of the playoff spots. Scoring a goal or two a night with the extra man will go a long way toward smoothing out the bumps behind the top of the squad, while also giving Jarry the runway he may need to find his game (if there is one) .
How is the power play going so far?
Yeah, not great.
The Pens went 0-6 in their final preseason game, played in Halifax against the Senators, which was a homecoming for Crosby. It contained a double minor where the Pens didn’t produce much at all.
It can’t be overstated that it’s still early season and teams haven’t spent too much time in training camp working on special teams until the last few days. However, there are some issues that need to be addressed.
One who carries the puck up the ice, as both Karlsson and Letang have spent most of their careers doing that. Of course you could switch off, but that’s the first step. At the moment, Letang is the one who has established himself on the left half of the pitch, with Karlsson working the point. It’s not a spot Letang has played often, and perhaps Karlsson would be the bigger one-time threat there. But denying Karlsson the ability to float and move wherever he wants would be missing the point of Erik Karlsson. Malkin has switched sides at the moment, but as a right-handed hitter, he’s not a unique threat on the right side. Crosby is either at the front of the net or running around, things he has done throughout his career.
The Penguins’ power play will likely pick up steam with all four guys just starting to improvise. To take a cue from the league’s best PP, which takes place in Edmonton, these guys have no assigned spots at all. Connor McDavid and Leon Draistaitl can be, and often are, anywhere, and teams simply can’t find them. With the mobility Karlsson provides, the Penguins will get there eventually. Simply positioning it at the top of the key, so to speak, is the right thing to do Quite a waste, especially when he can rotate with Letang, who feels more comfortable there anyway.
It will take some time, but there is a good chance it will get there.
A strange peculiarity of the pens The power play of the last few years is that it falls short of what it creates. The last two seasons ended with less Scored more goals than expected, which is strange given the number of finishers. Even if that simply corrects because it corrects, The power play will get the Penguins out of trouble on many nights.
But hey, the Death Star wasn’t built in a day (although the second one was apparently done pretty quickly?). That doesn’t mean the rest of the league’s Alderaan shouldn’t prepare.
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https://deadspin.com/pittsburgh-penguins-nhl-2023-24-crosby-malkin-letang-1850895496 The Pittsburgh Penguins power play will be an instrument of mischief