Pittsburgh Penguins Defense Will Help Team Overcome Pascal Dupuis’ Absence

November 22nd, 2014 by Carol Schram Leave a reply »

For decades, the Pittsburgh Penguins' template for success was to rely on skilled skaters to outscore the opposition. This season, Pittsburgh has added a strong defensive component to its arsenal.

A commitment to playing well on both sides of the puck should help the Penguins keep winning games despite the absence of one of their best two-way players, right wing Pascal Dupuis. There's a lot more to this year's team than a world-class top line.

When the Penguins won their first Stanley Cups, they finished 18th in goals against in 1990-91 and 20th the following season in a 22-team league. During their 2008-09 Cup-winning season, they were 17th out of 30 teams defensively—which was better, but they were still counting on top talents like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to generate lots of goals.

Since that Cup win, the Penguins have remained one of the NHL's top offensive forces. They dropped into a tie for fifth place in goals scored last season but are back at the top of the league in 2014-15 with an average of 3.67 goals per game through November 21.

Pittsburgh needed to rely on that scoring punch to ...

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