Pittsburgh Penguins 1st Half 2019-20

The Pittsburgh Penguins completed the first half of the 2019-20 NHL season this weekend, although I forgot to save the data so we are actually looking at their first 42 games of the season rather than 41. I started typing this up 2 days ago and they have already played their 43rd game, but the data is all only through 42.


Team Data

The Pens went 25-12-5 (18-7-5-12) through the first half, outscoring their opponents 140-113 while outshooting their opponents 1402-1244. They are 3rd in the Metropolitan Division, 4th in the Eastern Conference, and 5th in the NHL with a 65.5 P%.

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Pittsburgh Penguins Prospect Update – January 2020

We last checked up on the Pittsburgh Penguins prospects back in November, so let’s go ahead and see how the young kids are doing down in the Juniors, the NCAA, and in Europe. For any Euro prospects their team’s standings will be in IIHF format: regulation wins, overtime wins, overtime losses, and regulation losses.

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Jack Johnson – Is he better this year?

I still follow a few of the local people on Twitter so yesterday I saw an article from The Athletic about Jack Johnson ($) and saw the replies from Jesse Marshall and Josh Yohe responding to a fan that was complaining they are trying to defend Johnson and that he still sucks. That isn’t what the article was about though, so I thought I would take a stab at it since I rather enjoy playing with stats.

So I am going to take a look at Jack Johnson’s performance under Mike Sullivan with the Pittsburgh Penguins these past two seasons as well as the prior three seasons when he played for Sullivan’s mentor John Tortorella on the Columbus Blue Jackets. In order to compare it accurately I used a WOWY, taking the team’s D totals minus Johnson’s numbers (i.e. how the team plays when he is not on the ice) and used that to look at relative values to see how his performance stacks up compared to previous years.

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Pittsburgh Penguins 1st Quarter

We are now through the 1st quarter of the 2019-20 NHL season. I am a little early as the Pittsburgh Penguins play game #21 this evening, but 82 games divided by 4 is 20.5 so we can work with a 20-game sample. So let’s take a look and see where we stand at this point in the year.


Team Stats

The Penguins went 11-7-2 (8-3-2-7) through the 1st quarter, outscoring their opponents 67-50 and outshooting them 695-577. They are currently 4th in the Metropolitan Division, 7th in the Eastern Conference, and 11th in the NHL with a 60.0 P%.

They are 10th in the league at 3.30 goals for per game, 5th with 2.50 goals against per game, and 3rd with a 56.9% goal differential. They are 1st in the NHL with 34.8 shots for per game, 1st with 28.9 shots against per game, and thus 1st with a 54.6% shot differential. They are 5th in the league with an 11.4 Sh%, 6th with a 91.3 Sv%, and 2nd with a 102.8 luck differential.

They have scored on 8/55 power play opportunities for a 14.5 PP% (#24 in the NHL) but have stopped 41/46 when they were on the penalty kill for an 89.1 PK% (#2). They have given up 2 shorthanded goals against but they also managed to score 4 of their own which is 2nd best in the league.

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Pittsburgh Penguins – Quarter 1 Round 2

I am a little behind as I meant to work on this on Sunday so the Pittsburgh Penguins are now going on to game #16 of the 2019-20 NHL season tonight. However, the player data I can still find for just the time period I am look at because Natural Stat Trick lets me filter by a specific date range. The overall team numbers though will be a little off, but I still wanted to take a look and see how the Pens performed over the past couple weeks.


Team Data

During the second 7-game stretch of the season the Pens went 3-3-1 (3-0-1-3), outscoring their opponents 19-15 and outshooting them 242-201. At the time they were 4th in the Metropolitan Division, 7th in the Eastern Conference, and 13th in the NHL.

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Pittsburgh Penguins – Quarter 1 Round 1

There are 82 games in an NHL season which gives us 20.5 games per quarter, if we round up to 21 then we can divide up each quarter into three equal 7-game series like we see in the playoffs. We are now 2 weeks into the 2019-20 NHL season and the Pittsburgh Penguins have played their first batch of 7 games, so it seemed like a good time to take a look at the data and see where things currently stand.

Overall numbers come from Hockey-Reference while 5-on-5 data was obtained from Natural Stat Trick except for any TOI% and QoC which are only available on Corsica Hockey.


Team Stats

Pittsburgh has gone 5-2-0 (4-1-0-2) thus far, outscoring their opponents 28-18 and outshooting them 231-215. They are currently 2nd in the Metropolitan, 4th in the Eastern Conference, and 6th in the NHL.

They are 2nd in the league with a 4.00 goals for per game and 6th with a 2.57 goals against per game making them 3rd with a 60.9% goal differential. They are 12th in the league with 33.0 shots for per game and 11th with 30.7 shots against per game putting them at 9th with a 51.8% shot differential. They are 6th in the league with a 12.1 Sh% and 9th with a 91.6 Sv% leaving them at 7th with a 103.7% luck differential.

They scored on 6 of 26 for a 23.1 PP% (#13 in the league) and stopped 14 of 17 for an 82.4 PK% (#12 in the league) but are tied for the league lead with 3 shorthanded tallies.

In 5-on-5 situations the Pens are 6th with 2.94 GF60 and 16th with a 2.60 GA60 putting them at 12th with a 53.1 GF%. They are just 18th with a 30.5 SF60 and 21st with a 31.5 SA60 leaving them at 16th with a 49.2 SF%. They are 9th with a 9.7 Sh% and 15th with a 91.8 Sv% leaving them at 13th with a 101.4 PDO.

Offensively the Pens were 10th with 13.3 scoring chance shots for per game and 12th with 5.4 high danger shots for per game. Defensively they were 19th allowing 13.0 scoring chance shots against per game and 23rd allowing 6.6 high danger shots against per game.



Murray went 4-2-0 with a 2.66 GAA and 91.4 Sv%. He faced a league high 44 high danger shots against but only 4 of those came on the rush (#23) although 21 were off a rebound (#2). He is #24 in both GAA and Sv% but is 16th in goals saved above average and 6th in goalie point shares. A lot of the guys with better GAA/Sv% are backups playing under small sample sizes (e.g. Jarry is #14 in GAA and #13 in Sv%).

Jarry only got a single start but went 1-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA and 93.1 Sv%.



The Top 4 D were fairly consistent having played in all 7 games, the highest 5-on-5 TOI% being Letang 37.8 and Dumoulin 37.0 then Schultz 32.6 and Pettersson 32.3. The rest of the D were a bit more muddled, sometimes they played with 7 D dressed. Johnson was at 28.5, Marino 27.8, and Gudbranson 27.0 with Riikola who played in just one game coming in at 9.4.

The QoT is what we would expect based on the TOI, Dumoulin and Letang skate with the top players (30.5/30.4), with Schultz and Pettersson a little further (27.9), and the 3rd pairing further down skating with the bottom of the lineup Gudbranson 26.7, Johnson 26.3, Marino 25.6, and Riikola 22.6. The QoC follows a similar trend with Dumoulin and Letang facing off against the top opponents (29.9/29.8) while the rest are more sheltered with Schultz and Pettersson (28.8/28.7) a little ahead of the 3rd pairing D Johnson 28.2, Gudbranson 28.1, Marino 27.9, and Riikola 27.4.

Letang and Schultz both spent a lot of time skating with the top PP unit while Riikola and Pettersson skated with the 2nd unit and even Dumoulin got some work in at the man advantage. On PK the most frequently used is Johnson followed closely by Letang then Dumoulin, Marino, and Gudbranson while Pettersson saw a little time killing penalties.

At 5-on-5 Letang had 1G/3A then Pettersson 1G/1A and Johnson, Dumoulin, and Schultz all had 1A each. Letang had an additional 1G/2A on the PP while Schultza added 3A and both Pettersson and Dumoulin had 1A on the man advantage as well.

At 5-on-5 Pettersson had 7GF/5GA, then we have Dumoulin 7GF/6GA, Schultz 6GF/5GA, Gudbranson 4GF/3GA, and Johnson 2GF/1GA. The Letang breaks even with 7GF/7GA while Riikola was at 0GF/1GA and Marino bringing up the rear at 0GF/2GA. On the PP we have an additional 5GF for Letang, 4GF for Schultz, and 1GF each for Dumoulin and Pettersson. On the PK Marino had 1GF/0GA, breaking even is Dumoulin 1GF/1GA and Johnson 0GF/0GA, then Letang 1GF/2GA, Gudbranson 0GF/1GA, and Pettersson 0GF/2GA.

We end with Hockey Reference’s Point Shares where the leader is Letang 0.7 OPS/0.5 DPS then Pettersson 0.3 OPS/0.5 DPS and Schultz 0.3 OPS/0.4 DPS, and then the defensive specialist Dumoulin 0.0 OPS/0.6 DPS. Then we have Johnson 0.0 OPS/0.3 DPS and Gudbranson -0.1 OPS/0.2 DPS followed by Marino -0.1 OPS/0.1 DPS and Riikola 0.0 OPS/-0.1 DPS.

They have obviously found sustained success displayed by the Top 4 D, they have a solid chemistry with Dumoulin-Letang and Pettersson-Schultz. They are of course still lacking defensively, probably partly due to the imbalance of the top pairing having to face off against such a high QoC, but they have thus far outpaced their defensive shortcomings with excellent offensive output. The 3rd pairing has not been good, although maybe not as bad as we feared before the season began with Johnson and Gudbranson at least managing to come out ahead. The two youngsters unfortunately have been disappointing, although Riikola was barely on the ice, but Marino didn’t really contribute offensively and gave a up a couple goals against. Part of the issue I’m sure is with guys in and out of the lineup of dressing 7 D they 3rd pairing has not had much opportunity to build up chemistry.



They have had a number of injuries which have jumbled up the forwards lines and allowed some players to play more minutes than they normally would, not to mention a couple games where they only dressed 11 forwards, so the TOI% is a bit muddled. At the top we understandably find Guentzel 33.1 an Crosby 32.8 then joining them is Simon at 31.2. The next batch rounding out the Top 6 are Tanev 27.2, McCann 26.8, Galchenyuk 26.6, and Blueger 26.0. The next bath includes Lafferty 24.6, Aston-Reese 24.1, and Hornvist 24.0. Then Kahun 22.9 followed by Bjugstad 21.3 and Malkin 19.4 both of whom are lower than expected because they got injured in game. Bringing up the rear are Blandisi 16.3, Johnson 10.7, and Agozzino 3.9.

The highest QoT is Simon 33.0 and the top guys Crosby and Guentzel (32.8). Further down are the middle 6 guys, Aston-Reese 29.5, Malkin 29.3, Blueger and Hornqvist 29.2, Bjugstad 28.9, Tanev 28.8, Kahun 28.6, Galchenyuk 28.4, and McCann 28.3. At the other end are Lafferty and Agozzino (26.8), Johnson 25.3, and Blandisi 24.5. The QoC is pretty balanced amongst the Top 6 with Malkin 29.6, Crosby, Guentzel, and Simon (29.5), Aston-Reese and Tanev (29.2), Blueger 29.1, Galchenyuk 29.0, Agozzino 28.9, and Hornqvist 28.8. Then just slightly further down is McCann 28.5, Bjugstad 28.3, Kahun 28.2, Lafferty 27.9, Johnson 27.5, and Blandisi 27.4.

The PP TOI% shows us the most used forwards are Crosby, Guentzel, and Hornqvist followed closely by Malkin and Galchenyuk who could have been higher were it noot for injury. Behind then the guys making up the second unit includes Bjugstad and McCann as well as Aston-Reese and Kahun and even a little bit of Simon. On the PK the most used are rather close together, Lafferty, Bjugstad, Tanev, and Aston-Reese followed by Blueger and then McCann further down.

At 5-on-5 the top scorer is Crosby 1G/6A then Guentzel 3G/2A and Lafferty 2G/2A. Next we have McCann 2G/1A then Aston-Reese and Simon both with 1G/2A and Tanev 3A. Next is Hornqvist 2G followed by Blueger, Blandisi, and Johnson all with 1G/1A. Lastly Galchenyuk and Kahun both had 1A. On the PP we see an additional 1G/2A for Crosby then 2G for Guentzel, 1G/1A for Hornqvist, 1G for Malkin, and 1A for Galchenyuk. On the PK we add 1G/1A Aston-Reese, Tanev and Johnson 1G each, and Lafferty 1A.

Crosby won 91/153 for a 59.5 FO%, but the next two most frequent centers have been less effective with Blueger going 36/74 for a 48.6 FO% and McCann winning just 25/57 for a 43.9 FO%. Lafferty hasn’t had as many yet, but he has gone 22/39 for a 56.4 FO%. Then we have Bjugstad 9/21 at a 42.9 FO%, Blandisi 7/15 at 46.7 FO%, and Malkin 5/10 foro a 50.0 FO%.

In 5-on-5 situations Crosby was on the ice for 7GF/5GA, Tanev 5GF/3GA, and Blandisi 3GF/1GA then Guentzel 7GF/6GA, Aston-Reese and Lafferty 4GF/3GA, and Malkin 1GF/0GA. Breaking even were Simon 6GF/6GA, McCann and Johnson 3GF/3GA, Hornqvist and Galchenyuk 2GF/2GA, Kahun 1GF/1GA, and Bjugstad 0GF/0GA. Lastly Agozzino 0GF/1GA and Blueger 3GF/5GA. On the PP Hornqvist added 6GF, Crosby and Guentzel 5GF, while Galchenyuk, McCann, and Malkin had 1 GF each. On the PK we had Lafferty 2GF/1GA, Tanev 1GF/1GA, Aston-Reese 1GF/2GA, and Blueger 0GF/2GA.

Looking at Hockey Reference’s Point Shares then we have Crosby 1.2 OPS/0.3 DPS, Guentzel 0.8 OPS/0.2 DPS, Lafferty 0.6 OPS/0.2 DPS, Hornqvist 0.4 OPS/0.2 DPS, Aston-Reese 0.3 OPS/0.2 DPS, Tanev 0.2 OPS/0.2 DPS, McCann and Blandisi 0.2 OPS/0.1 DPS, Johnson 0.2 OPS/0.0 DPS, Simon and Malkin 0.1 OPS/0.1 DPS, Galchenyuk 0.1 OPS/0.0 DPS, Blueger and Agozzino 0.0 OPS/0.0 DPS, Kahun -0.1 OPS/0.1 DPS, and Bjugstad -0.1 OPS/0.0 DPS.

Guentzel and Crosby are back in top form, and Simon has done uite well skating with them, certainly looks more comfortable there than he did as a 4th liner. Lafferty has been astounding, especially considering his usage, he has been skating 4th line minutes but has been offensively dominant. Hornqvist has done fairly well, certainly on the PP, but doesn’t do as well playing with Bottom 6 guys rather than Crosby. ZAR has done decent enough, especially considering his role as a Bottom 6 guy, and Tanev has been better than anticipated. McCann has been ok, certainly nice to have him available with all the injuries. Blandisi was a serviceable call-up, can’t really complain there, and Johnson has been a fairly good fit in the lineup. Blueger is playing a little over his head with the injuries, so it is hard to blame him for struggling a bit more than he did as a 4C. Agozzino was ok, he didn’t stay up long. Kahun has been disappinting, although when they acquired him everybody assumed he would be a Top 6 winger so it is a bit tough finding a place for him to fit right now. Malkin, Galchenyuk, and Bjugstad have had injury issues.

Forward HOAGIE Charts – Pittsburgh Penguins

Once again we take a dive into fancystats to evaluate the recent performance of this year’s crop of Pittsburgh Penguins forwards. The opening night roster for the 2019-20 NHL season is more or less set as they are down to the final 13 healthy forwards in training camp with a single game remaining on Saturday.

I am using 5-on-5 data from the past two seasons 2017-19 and the raw data I used to calculate my stats comes from Natural Stat Trick, although I did have to go back to Corsica Hockey in order to get TOI% and QoC data. I took all forwards who skated 750+ 5-on-5 minutes and sorted them in each category in order to find out where our players stack up against the rest of the league. There were 392 F in our data set, so sorting them the top 31 represent #1 F, the next 31 join them in the top pair as #2 F, and so on down through the #13 F.

When evaluating players there isn’t really a good catch-all stat. Despite attempts at things like Wins Above Replacement, Point Shares, Goals versus Threshold, and Hockey Analysis Rating we still don’t have an easy way of evaluating players. There are many different categories to look at, some players are better in one than in others, but you need a mix of players with different abilities in order to succeed. So our visualizations looks at a lot of different stats.

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