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Insider Only Penguins by the Numbers at the 10 Game Mark & Player Report Cards

Penguins By the Numbers

The Penguins are 6-2-2 at the ten game mark and have emerged as one of the Eastern Conferences elite teams, despite starting the season without Sidney Crosby, Brooks Orpik missing the first eight games of the season and Evgeni Malkin only appearing in three games this season.
Some Numbers Through Ten Games:
*6-2-2 record has Penguins tied for the most points in the NHL with 14.
*Rank 7th in the NHL, averaging 2.90 goals per game. Pittsburgh has scored 16 even strength goals, ranking 5th in NHL.
*The Penguins rank 8th in the NHL, giving up 2.10 goals against.
*Pittsburgh ranks 29th in the NHL, giving up 18 even strength goals. The second worst mark in the league
*Lead NHL with four 2-goal wins
*5-0-2 when scoring first | 1-2-0 when trailing first
*Power Play: 9-for-43, 20.9%, 8th in NHL. 2 Shorthanded Goals Against | 3-for-22, 13.6% at Home | 6-for-21, 28.6% on road
*Penalty Kill: 32-for-33, 97.0%, 1st in NHL, 3 Shorthanded Goals, 1st in NHL | 12-for-13, 92.3% at home | 20-for-20, 100.0% on road

Player Report Cards

James Neal – Grade: A-
Report Card: James Neal is tied for the league lead with 8 goals and for a franchise starving for a premier goal scorer on the wings, they may finally have one.
Neal is playing with the type of aggressiveness he played with as a member of the Dallas Stars and has been a force on a nightly basis and is scoring goal scorers goals, which has scouts buzzing about his goal potential.
What to watch for in the coming months is whether Neal can take that next step in his development and play with consistency over the longhaul, something he’s lacked in his young career.
Key Stats
* 8 Goals, 1 assist, 9 Points in 10 Games Played
*8 Goals tied for NHL lead.
* 6 Even Strength Points
* 2 Power Play Goals, 1 Game Winning Goal
*39 Shots, 20.5 shooting percentage
Matt Cooke – Grade: B+
Report Card: The transformation of Matt Cooke’s game has been for the better through ten games so far. With a focus away from laying out a big hit every shift, Cooke’s ability as a player has been on display.
Cooke has 7 points and a +3 rating on the season and leads the team with 3 shorthanded points, playing a vital role on the leagues best penalty kill unit.
Key Stats
*3 Goals, 4 Assists, 7 Points in 10 Games
*1 Power Play Goal, 1 Shorthanded Goal, 3 Shorthanded Points
*+3 Rating tied for first among Pens Forwards
*2:53 ice time per game on penalty kill, tied for 2nd among forwards.
Jordan Staal – Grade: B+
Report Card: Jordan Staal has showed improvement in several key offensive areas, most notably his goal scoring and faceoff ability.
Collecting 38 points in his last 46 games, dating back to last season, Staal is averaging 0.83 points per game during that span. The big storyline moving forward is whether he can maintain this type of level that has him on pace for over 65 points.
Key Stats
*5 Goals, 3 Assists, 8 Points in 10 games
* 2 Power Play Goals, 3 Power Play Points
*FaceOffs: 86-79 (52.1%) | Even Strength: 64-50 (56.1%)
*20:51 Ice time per game, leads all forwards
*22 Hits, tied for first among forwards

Kris Letang – Grade: B+
Report Card: Letang has opened the season with the type of dynamic play the Penguins saw from him during the first half of the 2010-2011 season. So far, he’s been even better with 8 points and a +3 rating in eight games played.
Key Stats
*1 Goal, 7 Assists, 8 Points in 8 Games Played
*25:43 Average Ice Time Per Game, leads team
*9 Hits, 13 Blocked Shots
Pascal Dupuis – Grade: B-
Report Card: Has played a Pascal Dupuis type of game this season, chipping in offensively and being excellent on the penalty kill. Dupuis has 6 points in 10 games, including a shorthanded goal.
Key Stats
*2 Goals, 4 Assists, 6 Points in 10 Games
*5 Even Strength Points
*1 Shorthanded Goal
*+1 Rating
Richard Park – Grade: B-
Report Card: Earning a roster spot out of camp on a two-way contract, Park has been a bright spot, most notably in an elevated role.
Known as a 3rd/4th line role player, Park has performed very well in a 2nd line center role with Evgeni Malkin sidelined and has been excellent in the faceoff circle.
Key Stats
*1 Goal, 4 Assists, 5 Points in 8 Games Played
*1 Shorthanded Goal, 1 Game Winning Goal
*+3 Rating tied for first among Penguins forward
*Faceoffs: 53-38 (58.2%) | Penalty Kill: 10-3 (77%)
Chris Kunitz – Grade: C+
Report Card: The storyline with Kunitz so far this season has been signing a two year extension on October 13th, making him one of two forwards under contract for the 2013-2014 season.
Kunitz is a player the Penguins organization is about, playing a tough, hard working game. Offensively Kunitz has yet to get going with 2 goals and 4 points on the season but has been a factor in other areas.
Key Stats
*2 Goals, 2 Assists, 4 Points in 10 Games Played
*2 Power Play Points
*22 Hits, tied for team lead
Evgeni Malkin – Grade: C
Report Card: Has only appeared in three games this season due to knee soreness.
Key Stats
*1 Goal, 3 Assists, 4 Points in 3 Games Played
*1 Power Play Goal, 1 Game Winning Goal
Matt Niskanen – Grade: C-
Report Card: Has been effective in the puck moving game but is still vulnerable in the defensive zone and struggles at clearing the front of the net.
Key Stats
*1 Goal, 3 Assists, 4 Points in 10 Games Played
*1 Power Play Goal
*+2 Rating is 3rd among defenseman.
*10 Blocked Shots, rank 5th among defensemen.
Joe Vitale – Grade: B
Report Card: A player who brings it every night and has been exceptional on the forecheck and has performed well in the faceoff circle. Proving that he’s an NHL player and a great fit as a 4th line center.
Key Stats
*1 Goal, 2 Assists, 3 Points in 10 Games Played
*Faceoffs: 66-52 (55.9%) | Power Play: 6-0 (100%)
*+1 Rating
*9 Blocked Shots, first among forwards
Tyler Kennedy – Grade: C
Report Card: Has missed the past four games due to a concussion. In his first six games, had 1 goal and 2 assists.
Key Stats
*1 Goal, 2 Assists, 3 Points in 6 Games Played
Zbynek Michalek – Grade: C-
Report Card: Has a team worst minus-5 rating and his play at even strength has been poor and disappointing. Exceptional play on the PK bumps him up to a C-. Michalek though could be on the shelf as he suffered a hand injury against the New Jersey Devils.
Key Stats
*1 Goal, 2 Assists, 3 Points in 10 Games Played
*Minus-5 Rating, tied for team worst
*17 Blocked Shots, 1st on team
*12 Giveaways, team worst
Steve Sullivan – Grade: C-
Report Card: Sullivan still has the speed and playmaking ability but questions remain whether he can fill a void in the top-6 for the Penguins. He was brought in to boost the power play and has 1 power play point in 10 games and has struggled to finish plays with 0 goals on the season.
Key Stats
*0 Goals, 3 Assists, 3 Points in 10 Games Played
*1 Power Play Point
Paul Martin – Grade: C
Report Card: What Martin brings to the table for the Penguins is very underrated but he’s not off to a great start. Martin has a team worst minus-5 rating along with Michalek and has now gone 67 games without a goal (including regular season, playoffs). Martin last scored a goal on December 4, 2010.
Key Stats
*0 Goals, 3 Assists, 3 Points in 10 Games Played
*Minus-5 Rating
*1 Power Play Point
*11 Blocked Shots, ranking 4th among defensemen
*24:53 average ice time per game, second on team.
Arron Asham – Grade: C+
Report Card: Asham has played his role well, providing toughness, sticking up for teammates, effective on the forecheck and adding some offensive ability.
His highlight of the season so far was his fight with Jay Beagle of the Washington Capitals after Beagle took a run at Kris Letang.
Key Stats
*1 Goal, 1 Assist, 2 Points in 9 Games Played
Craig Adams – Grade: B-
Report Card: A valuable player on and off the ice, Adams is among the Penguins best killers and has played a big role in the Penguins success on the PK. Adams 22 hits are tied for the team lead. One negative is a minus-4 rating.
Key Stats
*1 Goal, 1 Assist, 2 Points in 10 Games Played
*Minus-4 Rating
*22 Hits, tied for first on team
2:59 average ice time per game shorthanded, first among forwards.
Deryk Engelland – Grade: B
Report Card: Has been a bright spot this season and stepped up with Brooks Orpik sidelined for the start of the season. Has made becoming more active in the offensive zone a priority this season and has a team-leading +4 rating.
Key Stats
*0 Goals, 2 Assists, 2 Points in 10 Games Played
*+4 Rating, 1st on team
*20 Hits, first among defensemen
*15 Blocked Shots, 2nd on team
Mark Letestu – Grade: D
Report Card: A disappointment this season who has fallen out of favor with the coaching staff and whose time with the big club could soon be coming to an end. Has failed to step up in a second line center role with Malkin sidelined and has become very hesitant in the corners, struggling to win battles, something the Penguins eye from their forwards. The only bright spot with Letestu has been his ability in the faceoff circle.
Key Stats
*0 Goals, 1 Assists, 1 Point
*Minus-5 Rating, tied for team worst
*Faceoffs: 61-45 (57.5%)
Ben Lovejoy – Grade: C-
Report Card: Lovejoy ended last season as the Penguins clear No. 5 defensemen but he hasn’t been able to build off of his play from last season, having an up and down season so far.
Key Stats
*0 Points in 9 Games Played
*Even Rating
Marc Andre Fleury – Grade: A-
Report Card: Fleury is off to a 5-2 start to the season as the Penguins have received excellent goaltending from Fleury and backup Brent Johnson.
Key Stats
*5-2-0, 2.13 GAA, .926 Save Percentage in Seven Starts
Brent Johnson – Grade: B+
Report Card: When Johnson is in goal, the Penguins believe they can win on any night and that they won’t miss a beat.
Key Stats
*1-0-2, 1.91 GAA, .925 Save Percentage
N/A
Brooks Orpik, Dustin Jeffrey, Steve MacIntyre

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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