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Catching Up with the Numbers

Taking a look at where the Penguins stand statistically after having played 20 games, seeing if any trends are evolving.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Penguins have played 20 games. Practically 1/4 of the season. They're sitting in 3rd place in the Metropolitan Division with a 12-8 record. After starting out 0-3, going 12-5 in the following 17 games isn't too bad, at least in my opinion, especially considering that included a 3-game Western Canada road trip.

To see how that record stacks up with what the analytics and the numbers say, we're going to take a look at several different metrics, and how they say that the Penguins are doing.

Individual Player Shot Attempt Percentages

Only seven players above 50% is somewhat alarming, and/or surprising, if you haven't been following the numbers along the way. When you factor in that Bryan Rust is one of them, and that Adam Clendening had only played one game until Olli Maatta was injured, you're essentially looking at five players.

I have no idea how to explain Sidney Crosby and his linemates and their performance thus far. None.

Data via War on Ice

This feels....different....but in a good way. In past years, we were always used to seeing a handful of players with good numbers (blue) with a gigantic steaming pile of bad red circles, to the tune of Tanner Glass, Deryk Engelland, Craig Adams, Joe Vitale, Taylor Pyatt, and the list goes on and on. Okay, now we will never speak of this again.  Get Bobby Farnham out of there though.

So this a good development. More players with positive numbers (save for Sidney Crosby's line, again), and true depth.

Data via War on Ice

Team Shot Attempts

Also....not very good. It felt like after the Buffalo game where they bled shots like crazy, they went on the road trip, won 3 out of 4, and they were getting it together. And then they fell right back to where they were before that.

Data via War on Ice

Comparing the Pens to the Rest of the League

It feels rare to see the Penguins on the bad end of these kind of charts, as we were so used to seeing them in the good and fun quadrants of them for so long.

Data via Hockey Viz

Goalie Performance

Marc-Andre Fleury has been outstanding, and the data backs this one up. Also, does Steve Mason even make saves while shorthanded? Lol.

Data via Hockey Viz

Playoff Probabilities

Okay, so here is where the concern starts to creep in, where we start to see the long term effect of some of those numbers. Gotta get them to improve.

Data via Hockey Viz


The best way i can describe how the Penguins numbers seem to be stacking up is 'meh.'

Sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes average. Great goaltending that can't bail out a team that's being outshot on the regular, at least not all the time.

Plenty of room for improvement, and they need to figure it out, hopefully sooner than later.

(We'll check back in on these same metrics, likely around the 40-game mark, and again at the 3/4 mark around 60 games.)