May 19—It's a laughably small sample size, to be sure. But through the first four days of the Stanley Cup playoffs, no team has had a worse power play than the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Penguins are 0 for 5 with an extra man through two games of their first-round series against the New York Islanders. And while five consecutive power-play chances without a goal is rarely cause for alarm, a deeper dive into the numbers confirms what the proverbial "eye test" suggests: The Penguins power play has been arguably worse than their raw numbers.
Through the 10 minutes of ice time at 5 on 4 in this series (according to naturalstattrick.com), the Penguins have allowed almost as many shots on goal (three) as they have generated (four). The ratio of attempted shots (10-4, or 71.4%) while on the power play in this series would have finished — by far — last in the league over the regular season.
The Penguins and Islanders have just as many "high-danger scoring chances" while the Penguins are on the power play this series (one apiece).
More concerning, the Penguins progressively have gotten worse on the power play during this series. Their first chance, early in Game 1, was their best. They sustained zone time virtually the entire 2 minutes, attempting five shots with two shots on goal.
Over their next four chances in this series, New York actually has the edge in shots on goal during 8 minutes of Penguins power plays (3-2).
"I think it comes down to execution," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of his team's power-play woes. "We've got to support the puck. We've got to make the puck work. We've got to recognize where our release points are.
"They are a very good penalty kill. We knew it was going to be a big challenge going onto this. But anytime you are playing against a kill that's as aggressive as the Islanders' is both down ice but also in zone, we've got to do our best to support the puck and make the puck work. And I think if we can do that we should be able to generate some chances."
Keep up with the Pittsburgh Penguins all season long.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .