ShareThis Page

Penguins' record boosted by soft schedule

| Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, 10:50 p.m.

The Penguins have bolted out of the gate, boasting an 11-5-0 record entering play Saturday night that matches last year's mark through 16 games.

Fueled by points leader Sidney Crosby and a resurgent Marc-Andre Fleury, the Pens are outclassing the new-look Metropolitan Division and are tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs for the highest point total in the Eastern Conference.

However, are the Penguins a Stanley Cup-caliber club or merely a good team beating up on the league's also-rans?

Penguins opponents this season have collected slightly more than half of their maximum points possible, well below the NHL average for points percentage in 2013-14. Only the Devils, Capitals and Islanders — fellow members of the Metropolitan Division — have enjoyed a softer schedule thus far.

Weak in, weak out

Team Opp. point % Rank

Devils .506 30

Capitals .507 29

Islanders .510 28

Penguins .513 27

Lightning .532 26

2013-14 NHL Avg. .556 ---


By comparison, Penguins opponents had a .555 winning percentage last season while playing in the three-division-per-conference alignment.

One of two teams with a winning record in their new division, the Penguins are dominating Metro foes (outscoring division opponents 26-15) but only pulling even against outsiders (23-23).

So far, this Penguins squad is arguably the least impressive squad of the Dan Bylsma era, according to Simple Rating System (SRS), which ranks teams by their goal differential and strength of schedule. SRS is expressed as a number of goals above or below average per game, with zero being average and a positive number meaning a team is above average.

Year SRS Rank

2008-09* 0.28 7

2009-10 0.17 10

2010-11 0.43 4

2011-12 0.71 2

2012-13 0.91 2

2013-14 0.30 12

*Bylsma took over as coach with 25 games remaining in the regular season


David Golebiewski is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.