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the Underlying Numbers: Penguins vs. Stars

The Penguins hosted the Dallas Stars on Thursday night at Consol Energy Center, for their 5th and final game of their current homestand, in which they have won their previous 3 games. The Stars came to town looking to defeat the Penguins for the 4th time in a row. Spoiler: They did.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The winning streak is over. Everything is terrible. Fire the coach now, right? Wait, you said the Penguins are 3-4? One more loss than they have won? And they've only played seven games? Oh. Firing the coach seems logical, then. Carry on.

The Penguins looked amazing for the beginning of the game, and I think they got terribly frustrated that they didn't score, and when Oduya scored on his floater of a goal, it took the wind out of their sails and their game went to shit.



Great start. The Penguins played a fantastic first ten minutes. But then, well, just scroll down the Negatives and come back here.

Nick Bonino's individual effort to score a goal.


Great start negated by what followed next. A floater of a shot from Johnny Oduya and a power play goal from John Klingberg turned the Penguins great start into a 2-0 deficit after the first period.

YIKES, David Perron. You cannot turn the puck over in the neutral zone or your own defensive zone. My god. The hand grenade of a pass from Rob Scuderi didn't do him any favors, but those kind of turnovers are inexcusable regardless.

The bottom line: for me, is that they look like a team that is still learning how to play together. This should come as a shock to no one, considering the roster turnover from Game 5 against the Rangers back in the spring, and now:


Stars Penguins
Goals 4 1
Shots on Goal 23 34
Even Strength Corsi For Percentage 49.4% 50.6%

So yeah, about that second period. It's amazing. The first 10 minutes were the best we had seen from the Penguins this year and then the wheels fell off.


Even Strength Shot Attempts

The Johnny Oduya goal that was scored practically from Monroeville makes me laugh a little bit still. The number of missed shots for the Stars sticks out to me at first glance.

The Penguins shot attempts being centralized and primarily focused around the hextally danger area is nice to see, and they need to finish better. At least the Penguins don't play Antti Niemi anymore this year.

Power Play Shot Attempts

Aside from the John Klingberg goal, which was just amazing and doesn't require blame placed on anyone, the Penguins did a wonderful job on the penalty kill minimizing chances for the Stars and their dangerous unit with the man advantage. Great work by Kevin Porter to spring Evgeni Malkin on a shorthanded breakaway, but you know, Niemi.

For the Penguins power play, they need more shots on goal in the net-front area. That's not going to cut it. Six attempts in the danger area that either missed the net or were blocked, so it's not like the setup wasn't creating the potential chances, they just need executed better.

Sigh. Sucks to see a team with more quality scoring chances and expected goals lose a game as badly as they did.

Expected Goals map provided by Don't Tell Me About Heart.

A refresher of the key for these charts (except the diamonds are now circles)

More information and description/analysis of Expected Goals can be found here on Hockey Graphs.

In the previous post here using these charts for the first time, I mentioned how it factors in things like shot quality. A more detailed list of what factors into that shot quality is below:

Shot attempt charts provided by War on Ice.

John Klingberg, Johnny Oduya, and Jason Demers kinda killed it last night.

H2H Chart via Muneeb Alam from Japers' Rink

WOOF. That is all. Literally not discussing this further lol.

5v5 Individual Shot Charts provided by Micah Blake McCurdy/HockeyViz

Aside from the Crosby line, I'm not putting too much stock in any lines for last night's game, as David Perron and Pascal Dupuis were rotating all over, between the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th lines.

Brian Dumoulin started the first couple games of the season out a little rough, but since then has been playing very quietly, which is essentially what you want from a young defenseman like him.

Line-by-line Corsi data provided by Hockey Stats

The Penguins are 3-4. Three and four. They hit the road to take on the Nashville Predators on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena. Maybe we'll get to see Paul Steigerwald wear a cowboy hat again like we did that one time.