Penguins most top-heavy offense among playoff teams
By David Golebiewski
Published: Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, 11:18 p.m.
The hits keep coming for the 2013-14 Penguins — but so do the goals.
Despite losing more man games to injury (289) than another other team, the Penguins pace the Eastern Conference in scoring (3.17 goals per game) and place behind only the Blackhawks, Blues and Ducks among all NHL clubs.
They have managed to stay among the game's scoring elite with a “stars and scrubs” lineup, enjoying all-world production from a select few and getting precious little offense from the third and fourth lines.
Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, Evgeni Malkin and James Neal all rank among the game's top 20 in Offensive Point Shares (OPS), which estimates how much a player's scoring prowess contributes to his team's overall points total in the standings. Collectively, that quartet is responsible for more than two-thirds of the Pens' offensive production this season. No other club that would currently make the playoffs gets a higher percentage of its offense from its top four players.
Carrying the load
The Penguins' top four scorers account for 67.2 percent of the team's offensive point shares.
Team Top offensive players % of team OPS
Penguins Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal 67.2
Capitals Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mikhail Grabovski, Joel Ward 64.6
Maple Leafs Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk, Joffrey Lupul, Mason Raymond 62.0
Canadiens Max Pacioretty, P.K. Subban, Tomas Plekanec, Andrei Markov 61.3
Kings Jeff Carter, Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams, Drew Doughty 60.1
With injuries to Pascal Dupuis (torn ACL) and Beau Bennett (broken wrist) further thinning the list of scoring threats and little offensive fire power at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Pens need their big four to keep up the prodigious scoring. Few playoff teams in franchise history have been as top-heavy as this year's Pens, with the notable exception of the Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Ron Francis-led squads of the 1990s.
Blasts from the past
Year Top offensive players % of team OPS
1988-89 Mario Lemieux, Rob Brown, Paul Coffey, Dan Quinn 91.5
1997-98 Jaromir Jagr, Ron Francis, Stu Barnes, Kevin Hatcher 79.8
1995-96 Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Ron Francis, Petr Nedved 76.5
1976-77 Pierre Larouche, Jean Pronovost, Rick Kehoe, Syl Apps 69.1
2007-08 Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Sergei Gonchar, Petr Sykora 67.8
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’ Gibbons scores twice but leaves with apparent injury
- Matt Calvert’s goal in double OT evens series for Blue Jackets
- Second-period short-handed goal gives Blue Jackets momentum
- Penguins say playoff series against Columbus could fuel rivalry
- Blue Jackets score a franchise first with playoff victory
- Q&A with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman