Pittsburgh Penguins Still Top Eight In Week 13 NHL Power Rankings


After their 3-2 loss in overtime to the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Penguins (24-10-6. 54 points) aim to regroup on the road as they skate against the Canadiens (26-12-2, 54 points) on Saturday, Jan. 10 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

The Black and Gold have struggled of late, going 4-4-2 in their last ten contests. They own a slim edge for first place in the Metropolitan Division, with only a one point lead over the New York Islanders (26-13-1, 53 points).

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The Penquins were helped, when the Isles lost on Tuesday to the Canucks 3-2 in Vancouver. They are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games, and remain on the road this Saturday taking on the Devils in New Jersey.

In terms of the top eight teams making the Stanley Cup playoffs in the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference, Pittsburgh is tied with Montreal in points for second overall, as they are both just two points behind the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Pens have played 40 games in the NHL. Here is our first Tale of the Tape for Mike Johnston’s crew in the new year:

Pens At Home: 15-6-2 / On The Road: 9-4-4

NHL Eastern Conference: 17-8-6

Metropolitan Division Record: 6-6-3 / Atlantic Division Record: 11-2-3

NHL Western Conference: 7-2-0

Central Division Record: 4-1-0 / Pacific Division Record: 3-1-0

Goals Scored: 120 / Goals Allowed: 97

Power Play Percentage: 21.5 (6th In NHL) / Penalty Kill Percentage: 87.9 (2nd In NHL)

From the Fun Fact Department: Right wing Patric Hornqvist has 13 goals and 16 assists for 29 points in 33 games while former Penguin left wing James Neal has 13 goals and 10 assists for 23 points in 35 games with the Nashville Predators.

Pens defenseman Kris Letang and forward Marcel Goc were missing from Thursday’s practice at Southpointe. Head coach Mike Johnston told Michelle Crechiolo on the team’s web site, “We just kept Kris off the ice today, a little bit of a maintenance day but he should be fine.”

Goc has been dealing with an illness and was absent from the game against Boston. Johnston said he should return to team practice on Friday at Southpointe.

The Penguins re-assigned right wing Bobby Farnham on Thursday to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League. The 5-foot-10, 188-pound forward played 10 games with Pittsburgh this season and recorded 19 penalty minutes. They had also re-assigned defenseman Scott Harrington on Wednesday to WBS.

Time to take a look at what the experts around the internet are saying about the Black and Gold this week in the pecking order of the NHL.

Bleacher Report – This Week #5 / Last Week #6 – Dave Lozo likes the acquisition of David Perron from the Edmonton Oilers and the boost it might give the offense.

CBSSports – This Week: #7 / Last Week: #7 – Chris Peters is also in favor of the Perron trade, but feels the team has to get through its current stretch of injuries first for the deal to pay even better dividends.

ESPN – This Week: #6 / Last Week: #5 – Pierre LeBrun is impressed that general manager Jim Rutherford made a deal now and did not wait till the trade deadline to add help to the top two lines.

FanSided – This Week: #6 / Last Week: #4 – Patrick Schmidt dropped the Black and Gold down in the rankings because he feels the team has plateaued in the last two weeks.

Fox Sports – This Week #6 / Last Week #6 – Craig Morgan does not like that Pittsburgh has gone 3 for 37 on the power play in their last seven games.

Puck Drunk Love – This Week #6 / Last Week #6 – Mike Burse tells us that what goes into his ranking is shot attempts for percentage, offensive/defensive zone starts, goals for percentage and puck luck. He has the the Pens holding for the second week in a row in the No. 6 spot.

Rant Sports – This Week #5 / Last Week #3 – While the writers at Rant moved the Pengins down two, they believe the Penguins can bounce back from their recent setbacks due to injuries and mumps.

SI.com – This Week #5 / Last Week #3 – The Sports Illustrated staff points out that Evgeni Malkin, Nick Spaling, and Rob Scuderi are the three players who have played in all 40 games so far this season.

TSN – This Week: 8 / Last Week: 7 – Scott Cullen can be added to the list of those in the media approving the Perron trade as a nice upgrade to the roster.

As we are coming to the half-way point of the season, how do you think the Penguins have done so far? Let your fellow fans know how you grade the team in the comments section below.

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