The Penguins just recently passed the quarter pole mark of the season and their record currently sits at 10-9-5 through 24 games. While the sky seemed to be falling about 10 days ago, the Penguins have now earned at least one point in five of the last six games. The lineup finally seems to be rounding into shape with a healthy Derick Brassard, the addition of Tanner Pearson, and the promotions of Zach Aston-Reese, Garrett Wilson, and Derek Grant. There ?s finally a consistency to the lineup each night and it has seemed to equate to much better play of late.
There are ebbs and flows to every season and that has been especially true during the Crosby-Malkin era; remember that the Penguins have won the Stanley Cup twice in a season in which their head coach has been fired. This being said, it is interesting to see where the Penguins were at the quarter pole point of each season during the Crosby-Malkin era.
|2017-18||10||7||3||23||Lost in second round to Capitals|
|2016-17||12||5||3||27||Won Stanley Cup|
|2015-16||12||8||0||24||Won Stanley Cup|
|2014-15||14||4||2||30||Lost in first round to the Rangers|
|2013-14||12||8||0||24||Lost in second round to Rangers|
|2012-13||13||7||0||26||Lost in Conference Final to Bruins|
|2011-12||11||6||3||25||Lost in first round to the Flyers|
|2010-11||10||8||2||22||Lost in first round to the Lightning|
|2009-10||13||7||0||26||Lost in second round to the Canadiens|
|2008-09||12||5||3||27||Won Stanley Cup|
|2007-08||8||10||2||18||Lost in Stanley Cup Final|
|2006-07||10||7||3||23||Lost in first round to the Senators|
In looking at the numbers, this season has been the Penguins ? second-worst start to the season through 20 games in the Crosby-Malkin era. Digging further into the numbers, it is notable in looking over the 13 seasons of the Crosby-Malkin era that the Penguins ? best record through 20 games (2014-15) had an end result of losing in the first round of the playoffs, yet the season in which the Penguins had the worst record through 20 games (2007-08) the Penguins made it to the Stanley Cup Final, but lost to the Red Wings.
If you expand the analysis beyond the Penguins and look at the records of the past 12 Stanley Cup Champions at the quarter pole point, the results are mixed.
|Season||Stanley Cup Champion||W||L||OTL||Points|
The Capitals won the Stanley Cup last season with the least amount of points of any of the past 12 Stanley Cup Champions through 20 games, with just 21 total points. On the other end of the spectrum, the 2012-13 Blackhawks were already playing like champions going undefeated through their first 20 games with a 17-0-3 record. Overall, the last 12 Stanley Cup Champions have averaged 27 points at the quarter poll point. The Penguins were seven points off that pace at their 20-game mark this season, but during the 13 seasons of the Crosby-Malkin era they ?ve averaged 24 points and 11 regulation wins at the 20-game point.
It ?s interesting and fun to dive into all these numbers, but we ?ve seen that the composition of teams and even their style of play can look very different at the 80 games into the season as opposed to 20. While every point matters in the NHL, the games seem to take on an added significance after the All-Star Break in February. While things were looking bleak for the Penguins about 10 days ago, they now find themselves just two points out of a playoff spot. So, relax Pens fans, it won ?t be time to panic until the Penguins find themselves two points out of a playoff spot and the calendar has turned to April.