Two weeks ago I posted a few bubble charts in an effort to visualize the relative effectiveness of Penguin's players using Goal Differential (GF while on ice/60 - GA while on ice /60) and Zone Differential (Off Zone Finish % - Off Zone Start %). The first stat uses the stat that really matters, goals, to compare how players do versus different levels of competition. The second is a good indicator of who is "tilting the ice" in the penguins favor. The original post can be found here:
It's pretty clear that the Crosby-Kunitz-Dupuis line is balling out, and somewhat carrying the rest of the team. It surprises me that Malkin and Neal land where they do, playing against weaker competition, and despite the number of goals that Neal has potted, they are still on the wrong side of goal differential.
It should not surprise anyone that Malkin and Neal again are in the bottom left here, as they are often deployed to start in the offensive zone to make use of their scoring touch. This is partially what makes their location in the first chart interesting. Adams and Vitale are doing their jobs well, starting in the defensive zone often and getting the puck out more often.