The Penguins clinched a playoff spot last year on the penultimate day of the regular season. They were a bubble team. The only reason that bubble didn't pop is because of how damn good their power play was. Last years PP was the best in franchise history. Hard to believe given the talent that has traipsed through Pittsburgh over the last 30 years. They clicked at 26.2 percent. En fuego.
This year, the Penguins power play has the 6th best percentage in hockey. They've scored the 10th most power play goals in the game with 36. But, those numbers are misleading. The Penguins have given up 12(!!) shorthanded goals. So their net power play goals number is actually 24. Really, it's like they've scored 24 goals this year on the man-advantage. That would put them 29th in the league.
If the Penguins want to make the playoffs, they need to be smarter with the puck on the power play. Their conversion rate is fine.
The PP has gone from historically good to bad in the matter of a year. The Penguins are deploying the same players on the man-advantage. Something's got to give.