TIOPS DAILY FIVE
*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*
1. Home ice might not matter to teams when it comes to having an advantage but it does to nhl owners, especially the group in Pittsburgh. The Penguins last season had a second round exit and still had 7 home playoff games due to having home ice. Playoff money is very important. The revenue the Penguins would get for instance from six playoff games this spring would cover the salary owed to Dan Bylsma and Ray Shero for next season.
From a financial standpoint, the Penguins only getting the revenue of potential two playoff games and a fan base that hasn’t been this less enthused since around 2003, it’s not good for the franchise, but the guaranteed revenue of two playoff games is better than none. The Penguins are not struggling financially but they budget on a year by year basis with expectations of hosting multiple playoff games.
2. While there’s a small crowd out there, mostly the fancy stats crowd who believe the Penguins have a chance vs New York, I’m in the crowd where if this series goes past 5 games it will be a shock. The Penguins are a better puck possession team than the Rangers, but again what a computer doesn’t show that the eye test does is the Penguins can’t score, have no finishers, and they don’t generate high quality chances.
The Penguins don’t generate consistent offense from the middle of the ice as they attack from the outside leading to a lot of low percentage shots from the outside.
The Rangers are not the 2002 Detroit Red Wings but any edge from the Penguins in the puck possession department isn’t going to be mean squat in this series. One team has an offensive identity, one doesn’t. That’s what truly matters.
3. Worst case scenario for the Penguins in the big picture?
The worse thing the Penguins can do if they’re competitive in this series is get a false sense of security this summer and base their entire off-season on the injury excuse. That will be Jim Rutherford’s basis for sure if he gets to stick around.
The best thing injuries have done this season is show how poor of a roster it is after the top 5 to 6 players. Three of the Penguins last four wins have come against Arizona (2) and Buffalo (1) and what showed in those games is when Sidney Crosby’s line wasn’t on the ice, it was like watching two lottery teams when it came to the talent on the ice. The quality of play was that low.
4. David Morehouse is a career politician, so putting a spin on the Penguins situation is right up his ally. If these comments that Morehouse made to Josh Yohe of the Trib is how he really feels and he can get his superiors to buy into this, than things are certainly going to get worse before they get better.
“Given all the difficulties we’ve been through this year, We’re very happy to be where we are,” Morehouse said. “Everyone has done a good job given the obstacles that we’ve had to go through. We’re just looking forward to going to New York now.
“It wasn’t mismanaged at all,” Morehouse said of the Penguins roster/salary cap situation. “I would have been happier with six defensemen. But we had injuries. We’ve dealt with all of the issues and now we’re in the playoffs.”
5. The Penguins finished with the least amount of points of any playoff team. That means if the Penguins go out in the first round and there is a very high chance of that happening, Edmonton gets the 16th overall pick from the David Perron trade in what would end up being a much higher pick than most anticipated when the trade was made in January. The return for Perron suddenly looks very strong from Edmonton’s standpoint, while from the Penguins end, Perron, (UFA in 2016) will need to prove by next summer that he’s the answer as a long-term winger and buck the trend of an up and down player to have the trade looking like a win-win trade for both sides.
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