HotTake Tuesday: Why Can’t The Pens Win Against The Metro?

Afternoon HotTakes to get you thru the rest of your day! Today, Rich Miller from the PensBlog joins Nick and James to discuss the Penguins struggles against the Metro Division, David Perron, the NHL’s most overrated team and much more. Enjoy!

What’s the Penguins deal with facing the Metro Division this season? What needs to change?

Richter: Believe it or not, the Metro is a much stronger Division than many would like to believe. It’s not quite the level of quality that the Central Division is, but I’d probably rank it second overall. Every team the Penguins struggle with in the Division present much different challenges for them to overcome. Whether it’s a hard to beat goaltender, speed, or depth, the Penguins still have plenty of time to figure things out.

Conley: Familiarity breeds naptime, apparently? Pens never look so disengaged as when they are facing these teams, and I can’t imagine these clubs looking so lethal against everyone else in the league. Rangers and Caps both needed half the season to get themselves in gear and the Isles’ defense can still be gotten to, but it seems like the Penguins have fallen over themselves to look inferior to these clubs all season long. Maybe the stats come up with something better, but if the Eye Test means anything, the Pens are in trouble. Which, why not. We all wanted adversity, right?

Miller: They just don’t match up. Period. The Rangers and Islanders are complete teams from top-to-bottom.  Especially the Islanders. In a salary cap league, you absolutely must get everything you can out of all four lines, and the Pens just don’t have that right now. Can that change? Sure. If everyone is healthy, they’re really only a few depth players away from being a serious contender. But when has this team ever been healthy?

Is David Perron this good or is he just riding a hot streak?

Richter: Perron is a great player, he’s just never had the opportunity that he has here in Pittsburgh. He’s played on a decent team before – not in Edmonton though. St. Louis just didn’t suit his style of play, offensively. The Blues were too defensively oriented to really showcase what he could do offensively night in and night out. When he had offensively talented players around him in Edmonton, he blossomed a bit, but the team as a whole was wretched and likely sucked a lot of the life out of him. He’s not right now. Hotter than this take, actually. I don’t expect him to maintain this kind of hot streak, but I also don’t expect it to drop off drastically either. Somewhere in between the player he was in Edmonton and the player he currently is, lies the true Perron… and that’s a great deal for the Penguins in my opinion.

Conley: Little bit of both. Homeboy put up 28 last year with an Oilers team that was about as bad as the current version. He’s not going to hold up anything resembling his current pace — .83 goals per game with the Pens, compared to .26 goals per game for his career — but if he settles in on pace to do a little better than his career averages so far, he’ll be in good shape. Then again, the power play is 5-for-16 (31 percent) since he joined the club. Four of his five have come at even strength, but the top power play no doubt works better with a legit right-handed snipeshow even threatening to take feeds from Crosby and Malkin. If he can keep making the power play work the way it has, he might stay on something of a tear.

Miller:  Oh he is good. Real good. And to be quite honest, he’s looked rather timid and passive so far –like he just isn’t used to playing with someone like Crosby. And I am even venturing to guess that we have barely caught a glimpse of what he and Crosby can do together yet.


Most Overrated Team in the NHL

Richter: Calgary. The Flames have some nice pieces in place, but I can’t expect them to continue to keep their head above water for much longer this season. Sure, they’ve been a nice story – essentially last year’s Colorado Avalanche… but they’ve still got a ways to go before being a playoff contender in the Western Conference. I will admit that it’s hard to be overrated when nobody ever thinks about you. So, I’m pretty sure that I failed on this topic.

Conley: Nashville has had a sky-high PDO all season long and Pekka Rinne’s save percentage at even-strength is staggering. He’s out for a month. We’re about to find out if Nashville is all they’re cracked up to be, and my guess is Chicago and St. Louis are going to catch up to them right quick.

Miller: Calgary.  No idea how they’re winning games.  In the East, probably Florida or Washington.  I don’t see how either of those two teams keep going how they have, especially Washington.  Florida will be really solid in a year or two, though.



Caption This!



Richter: “West Virginiaaaaa… Mountain Mama!! Take me hooooome, Country Roads.”

Conley: Doeth thith look ath bad ath it feelth?

Miller: You’s got a purty mouth.


Moment of Zen:

Richter: Latvia’s next contestant on “So You Think You Can Twerk?”

Conley: [uploads to r/cringe]

Miller: When hockey just isn’t your teams thing…dance.

We hope you’ll daaaaaaance…. Anyway, thanks for reading HotTake Tuesday! Special thanks goes out to Rich Miller for jumping on with us today… Give him a follow on the twitter machine. You can also follow James and Nick on twitter as well. Feel free to email, use the hashtag #HotTakeTuesday on twitter, tweet us directly, or facebook us any questions or topics you might have. We look forward to providing you with flaming hot takes every Tuesday. 

Stay Classy.