This team has the makings of something special.
In their 37 games, the Pens have scored first 23 times. They have won 21 of those games. That’s a .913 win percentage and an incredibly powerful statement about this team.
With all of the injuries and suspensions that have befallen the Pens, it makes a statement about how this team plays the game. They attempt to get out in front early and then sit on the lead. It’s a smart move to focus on defense with how many of the team’s defensive players are out. With guys like Maatta (who is playing fantastic hockey right now), Dumoulin, Despres, and Samuelsson playing crucial roles and critical minutes, the Pens have shown that their team depth on defense is staggering.
Generally a team playing this many inexperienced players would falter, but these young guys have shown that sometimes experience is overrated compared to playing with no fear.
It’s the same story with the young forwards. Jayson Megna (who is currently hurt) has been having a great season. Zach Sill, Brian Gibbons and Chris Conner have all played well in the roles they have been asked to fill.
Adding all of this youth to a team that features Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin (when healthy) is proving to be a winning combination for the Pens, perhaps one that can continue to surprise throughout the rest of the season.
Now THAT’S a statement.
In other news:
For Christmas, the Pens have been using a new pregame video. If you missed it, here is a clip someone took at the arena: