Friday, March 28, 2008

New look powerplay

With all the skill the Penguins have (plus Ryan Whitney in the doghouse), the Penguins employed an interesting powerplay last night.

Sidney Crosby on the point with Sergei Gonchar for almost the entire two minutes. For forwards, they had Evgeni Malkin center Ryan Malone and Marian Hossa for a first unit and the second was Jordan Staal centering Petr Sykora and Pascal Dupuis.

Perhaps worse than going 0-5 with this new look powerplay was the fact that in 10 minutes of time, they only put four measly shots on goal. Don't get us started about fans who yell "shoot!" but it stands to reason that a successful powerplay has to get at least one shot on net per man advantage, yes?

Further, we're not sold by having Crosby on the point. Sure he has supreme passing skills and vision but a high percentage of the goals Sid scores are within stick's length of the crease. He's good at finding open area and pouncing on a free puck. On top of that, Ryan Whitney isn't playing well but he is a good powerplay defenseman. Note that he actually did make the play on the last PP goal scored.

There is a lot of talent to juggle though. Here's our idea with how to work the PP units:



It's hard bumping a guy like Malone off the top unit, but the fact is the Penguins 1st unit is the most skill on a line since the "Score Lords" of now over a decade ago (Mario, Ronnie, Jagr).

No comments: