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01-06-2013, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
By the way, I just want to use this as an example, since I have been called out by some for suggesting that Harrington has "untapped" offensive upside, even though he hasn't put up those numbers in juniors.

If you watch the Brett Ritchie goal today -- and if someone has it, post the video from when the play starts with Harrington pinching at the point -- you will see Harrington drive all the way down to the front of the net where he is looking for a goal, like a winger would. And no, Canada wasn't down by 3-4 goals where Harrington (or anyone) would just make a crazy-risky play. What he did here was recognize that he was the Dman on that particular play/shift that was going to be the guy joining the play and saw an opening. He made that goal happen.

So I just wanted to point this out as an example of the types of things I've seen from him before that lead me to my conclusion. Think about some of our other "stay at home" or "shutdown" defensive Dman that we have or have had on this team in recent years. I cannot remember the last time I saw Brooks Orpik or Rob Scuderi pinch in all the way down and then drive to the front of the opposing net trying to score a goal. Harrington doesn't do this quite as often as I would like; but I would like to see him do this just a little bit more, because he has such good hockey sense that when he makes these plays to do this, 9 times out of 10 he makes great plays and great reads, just like he does defensively.

Again, I'm not saying he's going to put up huge numbers, but this is why I think he can be a 30 or even 35 point guy, especially with how this Pens team likes to play. Pair him with a guy who is more defensive, and you will see this that much more often. Now, I think he's ready to play in the NHL next year, but if he doesn't, this is the part of his game that I would like to see developed a bit more if he spends any time in the AHL.
Sure he will get his assists, but do you really think he has the offensive skills to drive the play and actually "earn" those points himself? I don't think he is that type of player IMO. He will end up passing it up to our forwards and they will totally be responsible for turning his neutral zone pass into an assist. His points will depend elusively on his ice-time with our #1 and #2 lines (which will probably not be very much).

I don't see a player with Letang (or Gogo) like stickhandling and passing when I watch him. He is much more Scuderi than those guys (which is great), and you have to expect his confidence with the puck will recede slightly in a much tougher league. With the Pen's current and future rosters, he is never going to have someone more "defensive" than himself in a pairing. He IS, and will be groomed to BE that guy. Pen's wouldn't try to make him something he is not because they don't need to.

I am just glad a couple boys from Pittsburgh were able to play key roles in taking home the gold.....and they sent Canada home with nothing. So how many more medals does the US have to win until we get obnoxious/no class fans boo-ing rival teams in non-US games?

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