Sunday , January 24 2021

5 areas Penguins need to be improved to compete again

About an hour ago

Sitting in a cupboard stand just moments after his team was busy from the first round of the playoffs from the New York Islands, the Pittsburgh penguins center Evgeni Malkin said it was difficult for him to discuss how the team should be improved to regain its championship form.

Then she continued to do a very good job for that.

At the speed of the team: "If we are fast enough, we win the game, they achieve two-on-one like each game, for sure we have to be faster." We are not slow, but if you want to win, you need to be one step forward. "

For tactical changes: "I think that all of us, coaches, think that we may be changing the system slightly. Maybe we also change the powerplay system."

The inevitable personal moves that come: "You can not change the entire team. You can not change 10 players, of course you can change the couple."

Expanding Malkin's comments, there are five areas where penguins need to be improved in the off-season.

1. Selected better

In the days surrounding the deadline for trade – a time period when Chris Letang and Brian Dumulin were injured, and Eric Gudbrunson was bought from Vancouver – it looked like the penguins discovered something defensive. Before February 25, they were the 20th in the league in the opponents, allowing 3.11 for a match. Then, they were purely stingy, placing fourth in the goal against 2.25 per game.

However, it was a golden fool. It was scored at the expense of their offense, which dropped to the 17th best in the league during the section.

To fix their defensive problems, the penguins can not pack it and rely on blocking a shotgun and a goalkeeper. This approach will not match their list, no matter how many trades General Manager Jim Rutherford does in the match.

For penguins, the best defense is to own the puck. They were 15th in the league with a percentage of a strike attempt. Improving this figure is the key.

2. Faster

With each candle, the team's stars add to their birthday cakes, the penguins will be gradually slower. It's a fact of life that can not be changed. But there is something that can.

The penguins emerged from the six-year first drought by adding speed. Over the past year or two, Rutherford has taken the opposite approach, especially for defense. If Rutherford keeps the team at speed in mind every time he makes a move this out of season, it can really help.

3. The coach better

In his four years with the Penguins, Mike Sullivan showed his willingness to examine what is happening around the league and to adopt some of the best practices for his team.

After seeing his players entering the same wall on the wall of the Barry Troitz wall for two direct playoff series, he will need a dose of innovation this summer.

4. More power

Penguins finished fifth in the league with a 24.6% success rate this season. It just masks some problems.

The 15 final goals they were allowed were tied for the top of the league, and they climbed to 11 in the series of the Islands. The talent is here, of course. Some tactical changes, especially the breakthrough, seem to be stale.

5. Minimize errors

The biggest problems that the penguins have dealt with this season – permitted goals, overtime loss in the regular season, turnover against the islanders – are mainly derived from good players who make bad decisions in key times.

Did these players suddenly become addicted in the last two years of their last Stanley Cup parade? Of course not. Players make more bad decisions when placed under greater pressure. Errors are more noticeable when there are less positive developments to overshadow them.

If the penguins can determine some of the systemic problems, Malkin pointed out, here they bet that their players will once again appear as sharp.

Jonathan Bombuli is a Tribune-Review writer. You can contact Jonathan by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .