It hasn't been the most productive of power plays in the NHL, and frankly at times it can get a bit scary. Take for example the game against the Philadelphia Flyers on November 13 when Simon Gagne netted two short-handed goals.
Or perhaps the November 20 game against the Atlanta Thrashers when Dany Sabourin stood on his head to save two or three short-handed breakaway chances (one particularly against Ilya Kovalchuk).
Why should a team, and fans for that matter, bite their lip for two minutes when their power-play unit is on the ice? Of course, a 1-for-12 conversion over the last three games also leaves you shaking your head. These chances are coming against good teams, providing the chance to really capitalize for the win. Yet the Pens are falling short.
Which is why there will be some new faces, perhaps even a few position switches for the Pens' power play tomorrow night against the New York Islanders.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a few notes on the new power play.
On the first unit, Evgeni Malkin was back on the right point after moving up to a forward spot in recent games. Alex Goligoski remained on the opposite point. Tyler Kennedy was added and joined fellow forwards Sidney Crosby and Miroslav Satan.
Philippe Boucher and Kris Letang were on the points in the second unit, which had Matt Cooke joining Jordan Staal and Petr Sykora at forward.
I'm not crazy about Malkin being on the point, but if the team was looking for the best possible replacement for Gonchar's slapshot than he would be it. No doubt. I like the idea of Satan down low for the rebound goals and puck control, while also giving Sid a speedy winger in Tyler Kennedy.
As for the second unit, I'm indifferent. Happy to see Boucher out there because I think he can add some firepower, but really surprised to see Matt Cooke on the PP. He's not known as a goal scorer and frankly I feel may be out of place on this unit. But if Therrien is testing it and it's working, then I see no harm done at this point. After all, can it really get worse than 1-for-12? (Don't answer that please)