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Pensburgh Ups and Downs: November 2015

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See which players' stocks are up, and who are trending down based off a 6-4-2 record for the Pittsburgh Penguins in November 2015.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins went 6-4-2 in November 2015, a true up and down month. After the low point of the season (so far) by losing two games for a combined 6-1 on November 13+14 to Columbus and New Jersey, the Pens bounced back to go 3-1-2 for the remainder of the month.

And you can check out past Ups and Downs for this season:

Goalies Performance Comments
Marc-Andre Fleury After a sensational October, Fleury's stat lines returned to Earth with a .910 save % and 2.78 GAA and a 5-3-1 record. He's still holding the team in almost every game he plays, and
Jeff Zatkoff Zatkoff played 4 games in November (starting 3) after playing just 1 in October. And continued playing well, with a 1-1-1 record, a 2.24 GAA and a .933 save % in November. That's all you can ask for a backup who goes so far in between game-action.
Ian Cole Cole lost his job as a first pairing defenseman after the 11/12 Montreal game (and his ice-time went from 21:06 in Oct to 17:59 per game in Nov) but he still was on the ice for 6 more goals against than goals for in November alone. While Cole is now showing some chemistry with Clendening in the latter part of the month, his season has been disappointing.
Adam Clendening It took an injury to Maatta, but Clendening finally got to play regularly in the team's last 6 games of November. He only averaged 13:36 per game in a highly sheltered role, but he flashed some bright moments, including a long stretch pass for his first point as a Penguin on 11/17 against MIN.
Brian Dumoulin Dumoulin has become one-half of an unlikely but effective shut-down pairing, often playing against tough even-strength competition. His TOI jumped from October to November from 15:47 to 17:58 per game. Though not producing much offensively (0g, 1a on the month) but has been proving to be one of the few bright-spots on the defense.
Ben Lovejoy Lovejoy continues to impress, making up the other half of the aforementioned defensive pair. He played 20 minutes a night in November, chipped in with a goal (and a nice one at that) and 2 assists on the month to go along with steady play defensively.
Kris Letang Possibly the toughest player to grade, Letang has some positives (team high 10a in 12 games this month, playing 26:45 per game with a variety of partners, none of them very good) and some negatives (a -10 on the month, no goals, continued limited even-strength goals for). We'll go a gentleman's dash here on this mixed bag, Letang isn't playing great hockey great now, but he's lugging around Cole and Scuderi, so it's tough to expect more.
Olli Maatta The sad band-aid returns for Maatta, who was finally put with Letang on 11/14 and starting to show signs of playing like "himself" following his nightmare 2014-15, then he gets knocked into the bench-door 11/17 vs Minnesota and ends up in the hospital overnight. Luckily the worst case scenarios were avoided and Maatta even skated 11/30 in practice with the team, so he should be back sometime in the beginning part of December.
Rob Scuderi Another month where the wheels didn't fall off completely, so that's a good thing. Scuderi continues to play 17 minutes a night, the latter part of the month with Letang. It's early but in 80 minutes together the duo have an impressive 59.1 Corsi % (which of course speaks more to Letang than Scuderi). Then again, they've also been on ice for no goals for and a few against, so it hasn't all been sunshine and happiness.
Beau Bennett Bennett played all 12 of the Penguins games this month (!!) but only scored 1 goal and 1 assist, mostly from a 3rd line role. Worse yet, he had either 0 or 1 shot on goal in 8 of the 12 games of the month. Bennett needs to create more offense and be more of a difference maker than he has been, or he will find himself back to the 4th line.
Nick Bonino A quiet month in boxcars (1g, 1a in 11 games) for Bonino, who is doing some little things- like being 2nd on the team in total faceoffs and faceoff percentage well and proving to be a good "glue guy" that can play responsibly in any situation.
Sidney Crosby Is the Crosby slump over? El Capitan ended the month on a 5-game point scoring streak and recorded 4g and 6a in the 12 games in Movember. That's decent for anyone in the league, but still below his standards. Also, while +/- isn't reliable, it's still concerning that Crosby ended the month a -11, including a -4 11/7 vs CGY. Crosby only has 2 ES points in his last 8 games, and getting him on-track still is a key point for the Pens in December.
Matt Cullen As a 4th line center playing 11 minutes a night, Cullen isn't expected to (or actually doing) too much offensively with just 1 assist in 12 games. But he's also been great in the faceoff circle, killing penalties and is giving Pittsburgh their best 4th line center in recent memories as a reliable player that won't get out-possessed and pinned in his own end most the time.
Pascal Dupuis Only 3 points (1g, 2a) in 10 games, and missed 2 games after not feeling well. Dupuis mostly played out of position as a 1st line left-winger, and it's sad that in 2015 the Penguins still have to turn to Dupuis to provide energy and be on the first line. He should be cast in a better role that would put him in a better position to help.
Eric Fehr Fehr burst on the scene with 2 points in his first game as a Penguin in late October, but has fallen back to earth with 1 goal and no assists in 12 games in November. He's providing good positional support and PK'ing ability from where he's working now as the 4th line right winger, but he didn't have the many
Patric Hornqvist Goal-less in the last 7 games of the month (all on a line with Crosby) which has now bumped him down to the 3rd line for the beginning of the month. Hornqvist didn't have a good month at even strength in November, and when you're a Penguins winger playing with Crosby who doesn't have a good month, it's a very bad thing.
Phil Kessel 3 goals and tied-for-forward-high 6 assists in the 12 games in November for Kessel, including 2 separate 4-game-scoring streaks. Kessel made up a big part of the Pens best line of the month.
Chris Kunitz Only scored 1 goal (11/19 vs. Colorado), and no assists in a month that he was phased down into a 3rd line role. Kunitz looks to get another shot with Crosby at least to start the month, how long can he last there?
Evgeni Malkin Team best 7 goals and 12 points in the month of November for Geno, who continues to be the strongest skater on the team. Best of all, after calling out the team after the NJD game, he responded with a 2g+2a game on 11/17 vs MIN that was totally dominate. Add in his spinorama goal of the year candidate 11/30 vs EDM and it's clear that Geno-mania is runnin' wild, brother.
David Perron Perron steadied his season and found a niche as the 3rd member of the Malkin-Kessel line this month. With 3 goals and 3 assists he did enough to pull his part of the production along, in addition to taking a lot of the dirty work along the walls, in front of the net and making the effort to get back on defense as the first forward back.
Sergei Plotnikov Plotnikov played in the first 3 games of the month and then was a healthy scratch for the next 3 before getting in for all of the last 6. He seems to be gaining traction on the 4th line as a big-bodied left-winger. He hasn't scored a goal yet (and only had one assist this month) but is trending upward.
Bryan Rust Was out all month as a result of the Oct 24th injury suffered, but just got sent to the minors today, so he'll be back playing hockey soon. Given how much the Pens seem to like him, probably back in the NHL before too long, if an opportunity lends itself.
Daniel Sprong

The Pens decided to keep him and burn the first year of his entry level contract by playing him 11/7. And he scored a nice goal on 11/6, but Sprong hasn't played since 11/17 and been a healthy scratch for 6 straight games. With Fehr now healthy, there's no timetable for him to get back into a crowded-when-healthy right wing lineup. It's not his fault, but Sprong's stock isn't up.