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Cole's Plus/Minus: Penguins vs. Rangers (11.29.10)

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Old
11-29-2010, 09:38 PM
  #1
ColePens
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Cole's Plus/Minus: Penguins vs. Rangers (11.29.10)

Plus

+ 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.




Minus

- 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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11-29-2010, 09:40 PM
  #2
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One thing about Fleury though, his rebound control is still awful. He makes the first stop, but he doesn't "hold" the puck enough. I can live with that, only wanted to point it out.

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Old
11-29-2010, 09:42 PM
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The only minus I have tonight was Goligoski. Just didn't play very well.

I know some of you are going to come on here and give Malkin a minus, but until he had 2-3 below-average shifts in the third he was going to be a plus for me. He looked strong and quick, and although he didn't have a point he played really well and if he continues to play like that the points will come. I would have liked to see him get some more ice time even though we only had one PP, and our PK is playing so fantastic. Screw you for missing that open net though, my fantasy team is going to hell in a handbasket.

Big plus to Michalek. It's tough for a defenceman like him to earn the pluses and stars, but he was great tonight. Fleury was sharp too.

Obligatory praise and plus to Crosby, who could have had like ten points. Letang was fantastic too. Hart, Art Ross, Norris, and possible Rocket Richard to Pittsburgh players?

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Old
11-29-2010, 09:43 PM
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Letang is a true #1 defenseman in my mind. Great offense presence, smooth skater and is playing on our "shutdown" pair. Not a traditional shutdown guy, but when you combine the skating of Orpik and Letang, they will always be in position to play the Gaboriks of the league.

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Old
11-29-2010, 09:46 PM
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+ Kris Letang



<!-- sorry for the old pic, this is the only one i could find -->

edit: he also is apparently a pirate:


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Old
11-29-2010, 09:47 PM
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I don't think they're limiting his minutes because they are displeased with what he's doing, I think it's just that knee. Once he gets healthy he can get more minutes. I don't think 24 minutes would be a good idea right now. Other than the last shift, which was insanely long, I thought he played pretty well. He needs to shoot more. I know he's probably leading the league, but it isn't the number of shots, it's how good the opportunity is. He is deferring too much to Crosby and others.

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Old
11-29-2010, 09:47 PM
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+++MAF- It's amazing how much better this team is when there's some solid goaltending.

+3rd line- The smurfs keep looking good!

+Crosby- Could've easily racked up at least 3-4 points tonight. Great 2-way effort once again.

+PK- In my opinion this is the biggest source of our success thus far this season. Unbelieveable how well our 2 PK units have been playing! Kudos to the grinders on this team!

+Letang- And thus, a star has been born


-Geno- Still waiting for you to wake up, buddy!

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Old
11-29-2010, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColePens View Post
+ Kris Letang: Same thing as Crosby. I just never would have believed letang would be this good in our defensive zone.
This might even be the best all-around game Letang's ever played. I mean, did he even make a mistake tonight? Dude was everywhere.

Quote:
+ 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.
I ragged on MAF as hard as anyone when he stunk up the joint, but I'll man up and admit when he's playing well. Still giving up tons of rebounds, but he's looked great out there.

Quote:
- 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 get a little nervous when he's out lately. We need early-season Gogs back - the kid is smart enough to be Martin-esque in his own end somewhere down the line.

Quote:
- 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.
I'm sure his routine maintenance days and limited minutes are not coincidental.

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Old
11-29-2010, 09:49 PM
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I haven't been watching games all that closely until tonight but I gotta say WTF are you guys watching if you can't see how good Letestu is playing?

P.S. I miss Jordan Staal
P.P.S. It would be nice if Geno would stop playing 1 on 5.

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Old
11-29-2010, 09:50 PM
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Conner = Comrie should be waived.

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11-29-2010, 09:51 PM
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I totally agree on Michalek, Cole. I mentioned the other game about Michalek's offence possibly making Gogo expended a season early than we thought. Given how most flashes of Good Geno come when he's playing with more offensively capable guys I'm moving farther into the "Gogo for a winger" camp each game.

+Team defence. We're the number 1 PK team and the number for GAA team in the league. I'm going to say that again the Penguins are the number 1 PK team and the number for GAA team in the league. All without our shutdown Selke nominee.

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Old
11-29-2010, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Champagne Wishes View Post
I'm sure his routine maintenance days and limited minutes are not coincidental.
Yep. His current play is resembling the last time he hurt his shoulder: he can't take a pass, his shot is weak, and he isn't taking slappers.

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Old
11-29-2010, 09:53 PM
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Defense is playing up to their pay checks. Its really been outstanding the last couple of games. I just wish in a game where we had one PP that Gogo isn't getting over 15 minutes. I'm hoping playoff time if its not a special teams game he is getting around 10 minutes a game just because he struggles 5-5 so much.

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Old
11-29-2010, 09:56 PM
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Just imagine for a sec if Comrie's in Conner's place on that line.

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Old
11-29-2010, 09:57 PM
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Comrie should be waived.
I called it on the When Staal Returns thread

BTW, what can Sid not do?

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Old
11-29-2010, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
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Just imagine for a sec if Comrie's in Conner's place on that line.

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Old
11-29-2010, 10:02 PM
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KIRK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColePens View Post
Plus

+ 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.




Minus

- 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.
Spot on as always.

Wishful thinking on coaching geno. I'm at the point where I don't care who is to blame for what. My big concern is that this situation will bite the pens in the rear, probably again in the playoffs. I mean, we're relegated now to hoping staal is the ultimate panacea, but it's a lot less likely given how the situation has spiraled.

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Old
11-29-2010, 10:03 PM
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Florentino Ariza
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I also believe it's highly likely that Malkin is nursing an injury that won't aggravate but also hasn't yet gotten better.

Other than Malkin underachieving, Goligoski didn't have a great game (some shifts were good, others he was beaten). Everything else looked A-OK.

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Old
11-29-2010, 10:06 PM
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staal is not the panacea for malkin. staal will play his game - geno needs to play his. You don't pay a player almost 9 million dollars a year unless he's the main man. if staal comes to the second line and it starts to pop all of a sudden I got news for you - malkin aint the main man.

this is a geno problem. Not a geno's linemates problem. You can be sure of that.

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Old
11-29-2010, 10:07 PM
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ColePens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Champagne Wishes View Post


I'm sure his routine maintenance days and limited minutes are not coincidental.
Doh.. I don't put two and two together well. That's a very valid point.

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Old
11-29-2010, 10:08 PM
  #21
KIRK
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One nitpick: not sure what is worse on the pp, the breakout or the complete lack of puck support in the offensive zone. I saw one time tonight where a pen actually backed off a two on two scrum on the boards because gogo had better position but not possession.

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Old
11-29-2010, 10:08 PM
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If Geno really is hurt will we see him get a week or two off when Staal is ready to go?

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Old
11-29-2010, 10:12 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illinest View Post
staal is not the panacea for malkin. staal will play his game - geno needs to play his. You don't pay a player almost 9 million dollars a year unless he's the main man. if staal comes to the second line and it starts to pop all of a sudden I got news for you - malkin aint the main man.

this is a geno problem. Not a geno's linemates problem. You can be sure of that.
If the second line starts to produce with Geno and Staal how is that a problem? I'll take a 60-70 point (pace) Staal and a 90-100 point Malkin every year that this team has Crosby and two dudes with pulses on line 1.

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Old
11-29-2010, 10:13 PM
  #24
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I would much rather Geno just sit out until the injury heals than just play mediocre hockey and risk the chance of making it a lingering issue.

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Old
11-29-2010, 10:13 PM
  #25
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Cole, the only thing about Goligoski being on the 3rd pairing that doesn't fit for him is the pounding his smaller body takes, and as you said Engelland covered up for him. I remember many times Scuderi covered up for Gill's lack of speed.

They just need to complement each other.

I'm not sure this team needs that added D-man with Engelland & Lovejoy doing enough to keep that on the very far back burners.

+'s all around.

Welcome back Fleury, pass on Gaboriks and a couple quirks here an there, but no goaltender is going to have a complete game with out at least one hiccup.

Rangers seemed defused or tired.

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