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08-16-2012, 05:28 PM
  #9
Talks to Goalposts
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The biggest factor for Letang's huge plus minus was his 11.93 shooting percentage which seems to be due to spending so much time with Malkin and Crosby and getting somewhat less bad goaltending from Fleury than the other Penguins top 4 defenders with .913. I doubt he's the guy driving the bus here rather than being PIT's best defender who spends most of his time with two elite forwards.

If you did this kind of study last year you might conclude Ehrhoff was awesome when really he was just a caddy for the Sedin line. I think this may be a similar situation.

Overall I think you made the mistake of thinking these guys all play similar roles. Most of the guys on the list play general use 1st pairing roles while Letang plays support to Pittsburgh's scoring forwards while Staal, Orpik and Michalek were the primary defensive guys.

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