Penguins notebook: Hybrid icing slowing pace
By Josh Yohe
Published: Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, 9:15 p.m.
The Penguins played 43 regular-season games that ended in regulation, and three of those games produced 70 or more faceoffs.
In three regular-season games this year, two have produced more than 70 faceoffs. The Penguins are aware of this, and they're not thrilled about it. A team that prefers a fast tempo, the Penguins are playing slow-paced games.
“It's because of the hybrid icing,” center Brandon Sutter said. “There's no doubt about it.”
A number of Penguins voted for the new hybrid icing rule to pass, and it did. However, multiple players have already said, just three games into the season, that they wish they could take back their “yes” vote.
The problem, quite simply, is that linesmen are ordered to call icing when there is any questionable call. This produced 74 faceoffs when the Penguins hosted Buffalo, and 71 more when they hosted Carolina on Tuesday. Center Sidney Crosby took 41 draws against Buffalo, the highest total of his career in a regular-season game.
The Penguins averaged 60.5 faceoffs per game in tilts that concluded in 60 minutes last season. Through three games in this campaign, that average is 66.3.
“We noticed from the first game just how many more whistles there are,” Sutter said. “I guess they're trying to experiment with the new icing, see how it goes. But it does kind of drive you nuts with all the whistles.” game down,” Sutter said. “It's hard not to notice.”
Letang not ready yet
Defenseman Kris Letang skated with the Penguins and traveled with the team to Florida, but he isn't expected to play on this road trip. There is a chance that Letang, along with forward Matt D'Agostini, could return to the lineup when the Penguins return home for a game Tuesday against Winnipeg or Thursday in Philadelphia.
Right wing James Neal is still “week-to-week” with an upper-body injury.
No forwards on the way
Although they possess no healthy extra forwards, coach Dan Bylsma doesn't expect the Penguins to recall a forward for this trip.
Defenseman Deryk Engelland is their only extra player for this road trip. Bylsma said that, should a forward be unable to play Saturday night in Tampa, the Penguins would likely use seven defensemen as opposed to rushing a player from Wilkes-Barre to Tampa.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins notebook: Injury keeps Malkin out against Sharks
- Fleury, Crosby lead Penguins to victory over Sharks at Consol
- Ex-Penguins winger Kennedy ‘emotional’ about return
- Backup goalie Zatkoff has Penguins talking
- Penguins notebook: Malkin only No. 2 star for November