Pittsburgh Penguins Move Up In Week 11 NHL Power Rankings


After their 4-3 loss to the Lightning on Tuesday in Tampa, the Pittsburgh Penguins (22-7-5. 49 points) went into the holiday break 5-2-3 in their last ten contests. They remain in first place in the Metropolitan Division, and own a three point lead over the New York Islanders (23-11-0, 46 points).

The Isles dropped their matchup on Tuesday with the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. They are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games, and hit the road on Saturday as they take on the Sabres in Buffalo.

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The Black and Gold return to the ice at Consol Energy Center on Saturday, Dec. 27 to take on Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals (17-11-6, 40 points). The Caps are in fourth place in the Metro Division. The opening faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m. and the matchup will be broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network as well as locally on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.

The Pens have 34 games in the books in the National Hockey League. Here is another Tale of the Tape for Mike Johnston‘s squad:

Pens At Home: 13-4-1 On The Road: 9-3-4

Metropolitan Division Record: 5-4-3

Atlantic Division Record: 10-1-2

NHL Eastern Conference: 15-5-5

NHL: Western Conference: 7-2-0

Goals Scored: 108 Goals Allowed: 80

Power Play Percentage: 23.9 Penalty Kill Percentage: 86.8

There are 10 Penguins on injured reserve, including Pascal Dupuis, Anton Zlobin, Beau Bennett, Olli Maatta, Zach Sill Robert Bortuzzo, Paul Martin, Christian Ehrhoff, Craig Adams, and Blake Comeau.

Meanwhile the Associated Press is reporting that you can add Steve Downie and Thomas Greiss to those benched because of the mumps. Brandon Sutter’s test for the virus was negative and he has been allowed to return to the team.

Pittsburgh re-assigned goaltender Jeff Zatkoff, defenseman Taylor Chorney and center Dominik Uher on Tuesday to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.

All three saw action in Tuesday’s loss at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Uher made his NHL debut in that matchup, becoming the sixth rookie to do so in December. With Greiss out due to the mumps, Zatkoff could be recalled soon.

Let’s check in with the experts around the internet and see what they have to say about the Black and Gold this week in the pecking order of the NHL.

Bleacher Report – This Week #2 / Last Week #4 – Dave Lozo, just like the rest of us, is keeping an eye on how the Pens and the Islanders are pushing each other for the top spot in the Metro Division.

CBSSports – This Week: #4 / Last Week: #4 – Chris Peters likes Evgeni Malkin‘s play as he has 39 points so far this season.

ESPN – This Week: #1 / Last Week: #4 – Scott Burnside is impressed that the Pens have the best winning percentage in the league.

FanSided – This Week: #3 / Last Week: #6 – Patrick Schmidt moved the Black and Gold up this week as their +30 goal differential is second only to the Chicago Black Hawks.

Fox Sports – This Week #2 / Last Week #2 – Craig Morgan still has them at No. 2. He likes how they continue to collect points in spite of the mumps and injuries.

The Hockey News – This Week: #4 / Last Week: #6 – Jared Clinton continues the trend of moving the Penguins up the ladder in the rankings.

Puck Drunk Love – This Week #4 / Last Week #4 – Mike Burse analyses shot attempts for percentage, offensive/defensive zone starts, goals for percentage and puck luck as the elements that combine to generate power ranking.

SBNation – This Week: 4 / Last Week: 5 – Andrew Hirsh has the Penguins as his only Eastern Conference in his Top Five this week along with the Blackhawks, Ducks, Blues and Predators.

TSN – This Week: 3 / Last Week: 6 – Scott Cullen appreciates the depth of Pittsburgh’s farm system, allowing the Penguins to plug their holes on the bench with the likes of Brian Dumoulin and Derrick Pouliot.

As we are coming to a close on the December part of the the Penguins schedule, how do you think they have done so far this season? They are trending upward this week. Let me know how you grade the team in the comments section below.