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11-29-2010, 09:38 PM
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Cole's Plus/Minus: Penguins vs. Rangers (11.29.10)


+ Conner/Letestu/TK: This line, once again, has played very well. They are finally getting on the scoreboard and that bodes well for this team. Let's break down each individual:

Conner - The guy is doing his best at showcasing his talent every time he's called up for a short period of time. What I really loved about his game recently is his ability to use his speed but slow down the pace. That sounds like an oxymoron but it isn't. He's using his hands and really taking advantage of what the defense is giving him. I love the fact he isn't rushing. It's really paying dividends.

Letestu - The smarts of the operation. The guy knows every potential nook and cranny to take advantage of. If you want a case and point video - re-watch Conner's goal. He gets away with being cheap by holding up the defender to give Conner a clean lane. It goes unnoticed on television, but the guy has a lot of hockey smarts. He just knows what to do.

You guys might think I'm being a homer, but I see Ron Francis when I watch Letestu. He's looks slow, but is always in an open area. He wins faceoffs. He has amazing vision and can make that extra play work.

Tyler Kennedy - He's the never ending momentum. His motor never stops. He causes so much chaos that defenders end up making the unusual mistake. Conner and Letestu really benefit from his play.

+ Sidney Crosby: Still playing way beyond my expectations. I don't know what else to say about him. If someone else can come up with a new analysis, feel free!

+ Kris Letang: Same thing as Crosby. I just never would have believed letang would be this good in our defensive zone.

+ Max Talbot: Nothing beautiful, but a Max Talbot like game. Anytime the guy hits the score sheet, it's a huge bonus for the Pens.

+ Fleury: I still can't believe this is the same goalie that started the season. I can honestly say I have never seen a guy play so poorly and then completely turn it around like #29 did. I have never seen that. I've seen guys become old or injury prone, but never the other way around, especially so quick. Hopefully he's found his niche and it stays this way forever.

+ Michalek's breakout pass: I don't remember a lot of people talking about this guys first pass. I saw the guy play a lot because I love watching any team coached by Tippett, but I never knew it was that good. He gets the puck up tape-to-tape better than a lot of player's in the league. I keep thinking he's icing the puck and next thing I know we are away into their zone.


- Gogo: This is nitpicking, but I thought Gogo really struggled defensively. Engelland is actually making up for a lot of his weakness. He got better as the game went on, but it still wasn't pretty. He's one of our only weak spots on our defense.

I really think the guy could find a role on a team that needs a PMD. He has the potential to be a top puck-moving dman on a lot of teams. He is just a bit out of place on our 3rd pairing.

- Coaching Geno: Stop limiting his minutes through his slump. It's been proven the guy needs a few double shifts when he's struggling. I think the guy needs 24-25 minutes for 4-5 consecutive games.

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