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What Should We Expect of Pitkanen This Season?

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09-01-2005, 04:21 PM
  #1
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What Should We Expect of Pitkanen This Season?

Pretty straight forward, what are your expectations for Mr. Pitkanen this season?

A little refresher:

'03-'04 w/ Flyers: 71GP, 8G, 19A, 27P, +15, 44PIMS.
'04-'05 w/ Phantoms: 76GP, 35A, 41P, +9, 105PIMS.

Pretty stout season down in the AHL, solid playoffs too. I've heard he really picked it up in the second half over the first. This season with the Flyers, he seems to be on track to be paired with Hatcher or Rathje from what I've read, if that makes any difference. If he's with Hatcher, he won't be getting roughed up.

Do you guys seem him being able to put up similar numbers in the NHL as he did in the AHL last season? I don't think it's unrealistic.

I could see him going 10 goals, 30 assists, 40 points this year.

But what I really would like to know is, how do you foresee his defensive and physical game coming along? He was a bit timid the last time I watched him with the Flyers, and he made a few rookie mistakes (too be expected). How do you think that part of his game will come along?

What are your thoughts, my esteemed associates?

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09-01-2005, 04:31 PM
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If scoring doesn't go up at all, I expect 10, 30-35 assists, 40-45 points. If scoring goes up a sizeable amount, he'll come close to 50 points or even top that. His game is evolving, he'll get more ice time, the PP will likely be equally as good, and he is a great passer (think break away passes). They'll pair him with one of Hatcher or Rathje and allow him to focus on his puck moving and skating skills, which will only help to benefit him in that regard. I think he'll challenge Johnsson for most points among defenseman this season.

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09-01-2005, 04:32 PM
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How do I project Pitkanen? I see him as having more confidence and after playing with Hatcher (possibly) for a couple of games he could start to really show an edge. He has the knowledge now to play both an offensive game and a defensive game but will still make mistakes. It's going to be another year in his development but he will play like a top four defenseman instead of a rookie; hopefully he'll responds better once the playoffs start similar to his play last year. Statistically, I see Joni netting 7g 25a and a +19 rating.

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09-01-2005, 04:37 PM
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I'll weigh in on my own question as well.

I think his defensive game will improve. While not completely reaching his full potential for probably a few more seasons, he'll likely take a pretty sizable step toward tightening up his defensive game and opening up his offensive one. He's now had two season's in the North American game, and should better understand how it works, which only help.

He'll definitely get big power play minutes, so smooth with the puck.

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09-01-2005, 05:42 PM
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Bold prediction time: I think he takes a huge step forward from the last time we saw him in the NHL, and starts to dominate games. The guy is going to be all over the ice with the new rules. Hes fast (deceptively so) mobile, reads the play like a veteran, is great at taking away the puck with his stick, can make offensive plays and beat guys one on one. He could stand to get a bit more physical, and his point shot could be better, but otherwise this will be the season that he develops into our best defenseman.

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09-01-2005, 06:15 PM
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I expect less concussions!!!!!

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09-01-2005, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MojoJojo
Bold prediction time: I think he takes a huge step forward from the last time we saw him in the NHL, and starts to dominate games. The guy is going to be all over the ice with the new rules. Hes fast (deceptively so) mobile, reads the play like a veteran, is great at taking away the puck with his stick, can make offensive plays and beat guys one on one. He could stand to get a bit more physical, and his point shot could be better, but otherwise this will be the season that he develops into our best defenseman.
I hope you're right and I know it will happen eventually, i'm just not sure it will happen this season. If he's better then Kim Johnsson at the age of 22, he's probably going to be one of the all time greats. Of course, it's a tall order to be better then a top 15 defenseman like Kim Johnsson. I'm extremely excited to see Joni play this season and if he progresses like many of us believe, we're going to have one heck of a defense.

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09-01-2005, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gags1288
I hope you're right and I know it will happen eventually, i'm just not sure it will happen this season. If he's better then Kim Johnsson at the age of 22, he's probably going to be one of the all time greats. Of course, it's a tall order to be better then a top 15 defenseman like Kim Johnsson. I'm extremely excited to see Joni play this season and if he progresses like many of us believe, we're going to have one heck of a defense.
I don't think he'll pass Johnsson this year either, but I don't think it's unrealistic to see him progress to being the #2 on this team. Now the fact that he's 22 means Hitch won't play him as a #2, but I digress...

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09-01-2005, 08:36 PM
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I hope to see that he has a good understanding of what Hitch wants him to do as a defenseman. I think he can be a very special player. His defensive game is most important, but any points he gets will be good too. Somthing around 30 to 40 points. Hoping the +/- is on the + side.

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09-02-2005, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
Pretty straight forward, what are your expectations for Mr. Pitkanen this season?

A little refresher:

'03-'04 w/ Flyers: 71GP, 8G, 19A, 27P, +15, 44PIMS.
'04-'05 w/ Phantoms: 76GP, 35A, 41P, +9, 105PIMS.

Pretty stout season down in the AHL, solid playoffs too. I've heard he really picked it up in the second half over the first. This season with the Flyers, he seems to be on track to be paired with Hatcher or Rathje from what I've read, if that makes any difference. If he's with Hatcher, he won't be getting roughed up.

Do you guys seem him being able to put up similar numbers in the NHL as he did in the AHL last season? I don't think it's unrealistic.

I could see him going 10 goals, 30 assists, 40 points this year.

But what I really would like to know is, how do you foresee his defensive and physical game coming along? He was a bit timid the last time I watched him with the Flyers, and he made a few rookie mistakes (too be expected). How do you think that part of his game will come along?

What are your thoughts, my esteemed associates?

40 points is reasonable.


Pitkanen stayed back in America for a reason, and that was to develop his physical game, something he would not get to do back in Finland, plus he got #1 ice time. Sure he made his rookie mistakes, but it's the AHL everyone does that.

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09-02-2005, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gags1288
I hope you're right and I know it will happen eventually, i'm just not sure it will happen this season. If he's better then Kim Johnsson at the age of 22, he's probably going to be one of the all time greats. Of course, it's a tall order to be better then a top 15 defenseman like Kim Johnsson. I'm extremely excited to see Joni play this season and if he progresses like many of us believe, we're going to have one heck of a defense.

Kim Johnsson at the age of 22 was still in Sweden.

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09-02-2005, 07:41 AM
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yep, but Joni is 22 going into this season. I think thats what he meant.

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09-02-2005, 08:10 AM
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Pitkanen's point production is probably going to be largely dependant upon how good our PP is this year... and i think it will be pretty good again, with Forsberg maybe better than last time around. So 40 pts is reasonable, if the PP is really clicking i wouldn't be shocked to see Johnsson and Pitkanen get to the 50 point area.

more importantly i think we should expect better decision making and stronger defensive play, and for him to just generally be more consistent. i think it is very important, especially if he is paired with Hatcher, that he gets 20 minutes a game to start the year and really get him going and sensing the importance of his role with this team.

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09-02-2005, 12:03 PM
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I expect injuries unfortunately. This guy is looking kinda fragile.

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09-02-2005, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuklaNation
I expect injuries unfortunately. This guy is looking kinda fragile.
I would have thought the same thing last year. BUT He has developed a sort of an edge in the AHL and has learned to take a hit better. I think he will be fine this year and will put up around 40points

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09-02-2005, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuklaNation
I expect injuries unfortunately. This guy is looking kinda fragile.
Perhaps that's why Clarke signed Hatcher?

Grease up that elbow, it's gonna get a lot of use.

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09-02-2005, 12:21 PM
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Do you think the PP D-men will be Johnson - Pitkanen together or will they run one each ?

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09-02-2005, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion of the North
Do you think the PP D-men will be Johnson - Pitkanen together or will they run one each ?
I don't think they'll be paired together on the same power play. They're the team's best two offensive defenseman, so I'd imagine Hitch would want to balance things out a bit.

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09-02-2005, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
Perhaps that's why Clarke signed Hatcher?

Grease up that elbow, it's gonna get a lot of use.
Funny story. I look around for hockey memorabilia and managed to find a Hatcher game worn jersey, the elbows were completely worn out.

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