Wednesday, October 8, 2008

1 for 14

That's the Penguins power-play so far, and even that one should have an asterisk, as it was scored literally last second in a meaningless fashion.

Plus add in that the Penguins have yielded a goal while they were on the power-play and it's panic central, at least among fans.

"Satan is a bust!"

"The powerplay sucks!"

"We need Cory Murphy!"

And those are some of the more mild observation from internet fans.

To be sure, there's cause for concern with just 19 shots on 14 powerplay opportunities. But considering 3/5's of last years top powerplay (Ryan Malone, Sergei Gonchar and Marian Hossa) are gone for one reason or another, it's only natural that a team that played just a handful of pre-season games hasn't put it together yet.

It's also worth giving credit to the Ottawa Senators' penalty killers who are an aggressive group that block more than their share of shots (hello Anton Volchenkov). Ottawa finished in the bottom half of the PK stats last year percentage wise-- a large portion of that belongs to their lackluster goalie play-- but they were #1 with 18 short-handed goals for, so it's not terribly surprising they were aggressive enough to score one and play well.

1-14 is terrible and frustrating but it's not worth getting upset about. The Penguins are back at practice today and will surely work on their powerplay, getting it tweaked and ready for life without Gonchar. It'll be a bit of an adjustment to primarily work the puck through Sidney Crosby down low instead of the Sarge at the point, but it's not brain surgery, it's hockey. Relax fans, it'll be alright.

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