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A By-The-Numbers Portrait of Penguins’ Season



Pittsburgh Penguins, Kris Letang, Sidney Crosby

The Pittsburgh Penguins have generated thousands of statistics through their first seven games.

The only one that truly matters, of course, is the 4-2-1 record they’ve put together ahead of their game at Vancouver Friday night.

Nonetheless, quite a few of their other numbers are interesting. Or significant. Or both.

Here’s a look at some of those, as recorded by league statisticians:

  • By design or otherwise, the Penguins’ older core players have had their ice time cut back a bit. Their playing times, with this season and the 2021-22 average, are Kris Letang (23:16/25:47), Sidney Crosby (19:08/19:58), Evgeni Malkin (18:18/18:20) and Jeff Carter (16:43/17:40).

  • Sixteen players have drawn at least one penalty, with Kasperi Kapanen, Jason Zucker and Malkin tying for the team lead with three each.

  • Rickard Rakell has been on the ice for 11 even-strength goals by the Penguins, but only two by their opponents. Marcus Pettersson hasn’t scored yet, but is tied with Crosby for second on that list by being on the ice for nine goals-for at even-strength.

  • Although Letang leads the team in ice time, he is averaging only 24 seconds of shorthanded work per game. His usual defense partner, Brian Dumoulin, leads the Penguins with an average of 3:11 of penalty-killing time.

  • Tristan Jarry ranks sixth in the NHL with a save percentage of .923. His personal numbers would be even better, however, if special-teams stats were removed from the calculations. His even-strength save percentage is .943, but falls to .861 when opponents have a power play and .833 when the other club is shorthanded. (Such declines are not unusual, especially when the goalie’s team is down a man.)

  • Crosby remains the Penguins’ go-to faceoff man, having taken a team-high 117, but he’s controlled just 45.3 percent of them. All but four of those 117 have been at even-strength and only 34 have been in the defensive zone, where he’s won 44.1 percent.

  • The Penguins have hit six goalposts, including two by Malkin and one each by Danton Heinen, Jeff Petry, Crosby and Kapanen.

  • Letang leads the Penguins with an average of 4:28 of power-play ice time per game — that translates to 67.4 percent of their time with the extra man — but has not been credited with a shot on goal then. He has just two shot-attempts when the Penguins have a man-advantage.

  • Things happen when Malkin is on the ice. He tops the Penguins in both takeaways (13) and giveaways (9).

  • Kapanen has not been credited with a blocked shot, even though he is averaging 1:55 per game on the penalty-kill. That’s the third-most shorthanded time among Penguins forwards.

  • Fourth-line winger Josh Archibald is the Penguins’ most consistent hitter, with a team-high 25, despite averaging just 10:04 of playing time, less than any teammate except Drake Caggiula. His total projects to 21.28 per 60 minutes; Zucker ranks second, at 11.46.

  • No Pittsburgh Penguins game that ended in regulation has been decided by fewer than three goals.

  • The Penguins have had great starts in some games, terrible ones in others. It all seems to have pretty much balanced out so far, though, because they have scored nine goals in the first period, 10 in the second and 11 in the third. Their goals-against totals — 6-8-6 — are pretty even, too.

  • Petry has been assessed five minor penalties. No teammate has been given more than two.

  • Crosby has one of the best backhands in NHL history, but league stats say that only one of his 24 shots this season has been a backhander. To the surprise of absolutely no one, it produced a goal.

  • The Penguins have scored five of their 30 goals on slap shots, tying the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay for the league lead in goals of that type.

  • The Pittsburgh Penguins have yet to receive a major, misconduct or match penalty.

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1 month ago

informative breakdown, Dave. thanks!

Marc Badger
Marc Badger
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave Molinari

Haha there certainly is an abundance of stats in major league sports…

ric Jefferies
ric Jefferies
1 month ago

Reading tea leaves, the only stat that matters is wins to loses.

1 month ago

Can’t help but watch Petry closely–6 million clams will do that, even if media mantra say don’t judge until December. Wish other jobs came with first 4-5 months before an evaluation.

1 month ago

Two of the PP stats stand out: 58 not yet credited with a SOG, and Jarry’s .833 save %.