from Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Welcome to the new NHL, which is beginning to resemble the old NHL.
Scoring is down, and obstruction again is becoming a common element of play. Referees, many Penguins said, are allowing the clutching and grabbing that became ingrained in the game a decade ago to resurface.
The Penguins are particularly unsettled by this because special teams have marked a significant part of their success this season. Lately, special teams play has been rare.
“I don’t necessarily think the play has gotten cleaner,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. “(But) there are few power-play opportunities out there for every team.”
The Penguins averaged more than four power-play opportunities per game through the end of December. Since Jan. 1, they are averaging 2.76 power-play chances.