The Best Defense....... is a Crushing Offense
Photo: Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire
We've seen how the Penguin forwards rose to the occasion Defensively, now let’s break down the Offensive accomplishments of the Stanley Cup Champs.
The rankings below are of 16 playoff teams
As a team, the Penguins ranked #1 in:
Overall Offense, (5.9% over Chicago)
Even Strength Offense
Positive Offense Created, (4.4% over Chicago)
High Impact Positive Offensive Plays (HIPOP’s), (14.8% over Chicago)
Offensive Zone Play and on Rush Attack
The unexpected…..Pittsburgh ranked:
13 of 16 in Negative Offense (Cost of Offense)
14 of 16 in High Impact Negative Offensive Plays (HINOPs)
The Pen's dominated offensively but had a significant cost of offense, which is the number and severity of turnovers that occur while attempting to create offense. A team needs great defense to efficiently clean up turnovers and allow coaches to keep the offensive reigns loose. If turnovers are ending in chances and goals against, offensive freedom gets reeled in very quickly.
Lastly, when evaluating Offense on a team level, it’s valuable to note the amount of Defense the Opposition generated. When the Pen’s wind it up offensively, the opposition must either respond by making Positive Defensive plays, (closing passing & shooting lanes, taking away time and space. etc) or end up making Negative Defensive plays which leads to chances and ultimately, goals against.
The RESULTS......The Penguins had the lowest Opposition Defense score (OD); nearly twice as low as the second place playoff team. Simply stated, the Penguins Offense overwhelmed the opposition, making Positive Defensive plays very difficult and forcing Negative Defensive plays.
NOTE: a large Opposition Defense number usually indicates that a strong Offensive performance was answered by a very strong Defensive performance, even if the scoreboard doesn't always indicate it.
Next we'll look at the distribution of the Penguins Offense.
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