Key Observations Heading Into Game 4 Between the Penguins and Blue Jackets

The Pens Nation Gameday Report

By: Casey Johnston (@PensNationCasey)

Penguins Winning Possession Battle

The regular season possession woes of the Penguins have been well documented.  Whether it was due to injuries, new defensive schemes, or new personnel, the Penguins finished the season with a Corsi Close below 50%.  Their 22nd place finish was three spots below the Columbus Blue Jackets, who finished above 50%.  Against each other, the Penguins won the possession battle just once despite sweeping the season series.  In five games Pittsburgh had Corsi For percentages of 45.5, 51.2, 42.2, 36.0, and 48.6.

The first two playoff games between these two teams were tight.  The Penguins came out ahead in possession, but just barely with percentages of 50.9 and 50.6.  Game 3 opened up a little more for the Penguins as they finished with a Corsi of 63.5% in all situations.  While this did not change the 4-3 score that the other two games ended with, the Corsi rating did demonstrate the control that the Penguins exerted after giving up the game’s first two goals to the Blue Jackets.  The Penguins finished with 13 different players having an even or positive Corsi with Sidney Crosby leading the pack with a 76.2% rating.

Through three games, 13 Penguins have an even or positive Corsi rating.  Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby have ratings of 64.2% and 61.1%, respectively.  Paul Martin and Matt Niskanen lead the defensemen at 60.2% and 60%.  Only four Blue Jackets have a positive Corsi and they are all below 52%.  The Penguins are winning the possession game and it is not every close.  If game 3 is any indication, the floodgates should start opening up for the Penguins soon.