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Penguins finish October with worst points percentage since 2005

A wasted two-man advantage that turned into a last-minute regulation loss to the Anaheim Ducks Monday didn’t help.

NHL: OCT 30 Ducks at Penguins Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2022-23 Penguins have drawn a concerning parallel with the 2005-06 team through October.

In Sidney Crosby’s first season and Mario Lemieux’s last, the Penguins finished the year with 22 wins, a second-to-last finish in the NHL standings, and a playoffs miss.

This year, with a retooled roster built around at least two (and potentially four) future Hall-of-Famers, the Pens were hoping for better.

But that’s not the trajectory they’re on so far.

With Monday night’s heartbreaking 4-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, the Penguins finished out the first calendar month of the season having earned one out of every three possible points.

That makes this the team’s worst October (in terms of league standings) since the beginning of the 2005-06 season.

Here’s how a rundown of how this month has historically gone for the Pens in the Crosby era. (2020 is missing due to the pandemic, and 2012 is absent to the lockout.)

Penguins records (October)

Year Record Points percentage
Year Record Points percentage
October 2023 3-6-0 0.333
October 2022 4-4-1 0.500
October 2021 3-3-2 0.500
October 2019 8-5-0 0.615
October 2018 6-2-2 0.700
October 2017 7-5-1 0.577
October 2016 6-2-1 0.722
October 2015 7-4-0 0.636
October 2014 6-2-1 0.722
October 2013 9-4-0 0.692
October 2011 8-3-2 0.692
October 2010 6-5-1 0.542
October 2009 11-3-0 0.786
October 2008 5-4-2 0.545
October 2007 6-4-1 0.591
October 2006 6-3-0 0.667
October 2005 1-5-5 0.318

It’s certainly not the season start the Penguins were hoping for. Especially given how a handful of missed points defined the end to the 2022-23 season, this start— which leaves the Pens at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division and 29th in the NHL, ahead of only the two-win Oilers and Flames and the winless Sharks— presents a daunting early deficit to overcome.

It’s time for the Pens to experiment with some changes, particularly with the stagnant power play and the ineffective bottom-six, in order to shoot for a better November. They have a four-day break before their upcoming California road trip to try and switch things up.