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Penguins to host prospect development camp from 7/11 - 7/16

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07-19-2011, 12:02 AM
  #426
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
I don't believe Letestu does (necessarily) have a leg up on Jeffrey. Jeffrey is a better prospect with higher potential. If he out-performs Letestu, he will push Letestu down the depth chart.
Jeffrey was below Letestu on the depth chart last year and consequently saw less than half as many games. That's largely because he can't win faceoffs and Letestu can, which is a huge mark in Letestu's favour on this team.

That's his leg up - he's the incumbent for a reason.

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This isn't a discussion about Tangradi -- this is a discussion about Letestu. If you want to have a separate discussion about Tangradi, that's great, we can do that. But in the same way that 2 wrongs don't make a right, you can't say that because Tangradi may have X weakness, if Letestu has X weakness, then the latter's weakness disappears. That's not how it works.
Of course not. It's a discussion about Letestu that's using Tangradi and his lack of versatility (your prerequisite) as a germane counter-example.

The point, clearly, is that expecting sophomores to be high-level jack-of-all-trades is unrealistic. When a rookie like Tangradi or Letestu brings a few valuable, needed talents to a team, they can be incorporated without issue and work on rounding out their games further with NHL experience.


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Old
07-19-2011, 12:02 AM
  #427
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
There's theory and then there's reality. You used the word resumee, which is excellent...

If Letestu's AHL resumee included him being a great PKer (like Jeffrey) then I think there would be an excellent chance that he could be a good PKer in the NHL. If being a good PKer was NOT on his resumee in the AHL, it's not going to magically begin at the NHL level.




It's not nitpicking. It's simply stating a fact that Letestu -- or any player competing for a top 12 spot -- will have a decreased chance of seeing lots of ice-time/making the team if they cannot play more than one position or one role.

If we go with the 3C model (which it looks like we may do at least some of the time), that means Letestu is going to be competing against Jeffrey, Adams & Vitale for the final C spot. If Letestu could play either C or W, the chances of him sticking on this team's starting 12 doubles.




With all due respect to Letestu, we can't totally ignore the fact that he's 4 years older than Tangradi or other "rookies". He's done developing physically, and he's further ahead in other aspects of the game, physically & mentally, on and off the ice.

Tangradi fills a position that we are weaker in (wing) than Letestu (centre), where we are VERY strong. If Tangradi makes the team and becomes a successful NHLer it's because he's going to bring size, physicality, a net-front presence, and sometimes dropping the gloves to protect his teammates. That's not Letestu's game. Apples & oranges, and irrelevant in this discussion.
You make some serious reaches man. You construct things that are just blatantly exaggerated.

Letestu not playing PK in WBS has nothing to do with him playing PK here. If the organization wants him to be a PK'er...he has that capacity. It won't determine anything either way. It's very easy to teach a guy how to PK. It's not like we're having the guy switch from offense to defense or something. You act like it's impossible to teach him how to PK. They have all training camp to do so if they wish. You are making an issue out of absolutely nothing.

Letestu doesn't need to play another position or be position versatile. He's our 2nd best faceoff man on the team (by a good margin, and a right handed one at that). He's going to play center when he's in the lineup. No Vitale is not a threat to Mark Letestu, unless Vitale found some magical hands.

The gap between Jeffrey and Letestu isn't any where even close to being as big as you are trying to orchestrate in some of your posts. Both have very similar upside, and play very similar games.

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07-19-2011, 12:51 AM
  #428
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Jeffrey now has the speed to be a good winger in this league. When he was drafted he didn't, but he has found an extra gear.
As much as I am big Jeffrey supporter, it is fair to say that he has elevated his skating from below-average to average or slightly better. He still doesn't have great speed, although his positional smarts at the centre position make up for that to some degree (like Testy).

But we like our team, especially our wingers, to have really good speed, tenacity & physicality so we can "push the pace". Jeffrey could play wing, but he's a bit of a pansy. Staal, on the other hand, has the ability to play a major, physical, power-forward type of game (like Tangradi). I'm totally cool with trying the experiment with Jeffrey at wing, and I am certain that EVERY possible permutation will be tried with our forward group.

It's just my hypothesis that Jeffrey may lack the elements to play an effective game at wing in the NHL, and we'll see what happens in training camp.

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Letestu is not undersized. He's 5'10 (same height as Crosby) and around 200 lbs.

Max Talbot isn't the best skater in the world and he was a great penalty killer here. Intelligence and positioning has more to do with being a good PK'er and that's something Letestu has in spades. If speed was the be all-end all, TK would be getting big PK mins.
Talbot isn't the fastest skater, but he has pretty good quickness in short spaces and is still an overall better skater than Letestu. More importantly, Talbot will block a shot with his scrotum. Sacrificing your body on a regular basis is not something that is ready tought.

And I've been pumping the idea of TK on the PK for some time, because of his willingness to do the above and also because of his great speed. TK play A LOT of time on the PK when he was in the OHL. So being a PKer is on his resume, and he does have the tools.

In the end, it doesn't matter about Letestu ever playing the PK because not only do we have 4 or 5 regulars on the PK already, there's about 3 or 4 other guys (Jeffrey, Kennedy, Kunitz, Vitale....or even Crosby or Malkin) who could be ahead of him as a PKer.

But with Cooke, Adams, Dupuis and Staal each signed for only 2 more years, we may be thinking about the longer-term picture. I would like to keep Vitale around this year because I see him as the heir-apparent to at least one of those first 3. He fits a need moving forward and brings elements to the game that the Pens not only value, but are part of our game plan.

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Letestu doesn't need to play another position or be position versatile. He's our 2nd best faceoff man on the team (by a good margin, and a right handed one at that). He's going to play center when he's in the lineup. No Vitale is not a threat to Mark Letestu, unless Vitale found some magical hands.
Yes, but if Vitale can be just as good on face-offs as Letestu and the latter can't play any other position, it may come down to this choice:

Do we want a guy (Letestu) who is going to score 10 goals and do nothing else getting 4th line minutes?

or

Do we want a guy (Vitale) who is crashing & banging bodies, agitating people, fighting, PKing (because that's something he actually does) and generating momentum, regardless of whether he's scoring or not.

Letestu is a nice player, but aside from face-offs, when he is not scoring, he's not really adding anything. So the question is: is he going to score enough to justify being otherwise one-dimensional?

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The gap between Jeffrey and Letestu isn't any where even close to being as big as you are trying to orchestrate in some of your posts. Both have very similar upside, and play very similar games.
Letestu does not project to be a legit shut-down guy. Please note, I did not say he is bad defensively. There is a different between not being bad/irresponsible defensively (Letestu) and being a really, really good defensive player with shut-down capabilities, which Jeffrey has.

Jeffrey has shut-down potential, while also having elite PK skills, while also having higher offensive upside than Letestu -- specifically in the playmaking department. Jeffrey can also be a great PP player. In fact, to me, it's not even close.

The gap hasn't widened yet, and that's only because Jeffrey got hurt and didn't have a chance to continue his game. But long-term, Jeffrey's potential is higher than Letestu's by a fair margin.

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07-19-2011, 05:07 AM
  #429
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As much as I am big Jeffrey supporter, it is fair to say that he has elevated his skating from below-average to average or slightly better. He still doesn't have great speed, although his positional smarts at the centre position make up for that to some degree (like Testy).

But we like our team, especially our wingers, to have really good speed, tenacity & physicality so we can "push the pace". Jeffrey could play wing, but he's a bit of a pansy. Staal, on the other hand, has the ability to play a major, physical, power-forward type of game (like Tangradi). I'm totally cool with trying the experiment with Jeffrey at wing, and I am certain that EVERY possible permutation will be tried with our forward group.

It's just my hypothesis that Jeffrey may lack the elements to play an effective game at wing in the NHL, and we'll see what happens in training camp.



Talbot isn't the fastest skater, but he has pretty good quickness in short spaces and is still an overall better skater than Letestu. More importantly, Talbot will block a shot with his scrotum. Sacrificing your body on a regular basis is not something that is ready tought.

And I've been pumping the idea of TK on the PK for some time, because of his willingness to do the above and also because of his great speed. TK play A LOT of time on the PK when he was in the OHL. So being a PKer is on his resume, and he does have the tools.

In the end, it doesn't matter about Letestu ever playing the PK because not only do we have 4 or 5 regulars on the PK already, there's about 3 or 4 other guys (Jeffrey, Kennedy, Kunitz, Vitale....or even Crosby or Malkin) who could be ahead of him as a PKer.

But with Cooke, Adams, Dupuis and Staal each signed for only 2 more years, we may be thinking about the longer-term picture. I would like to keep Vitale around this year because I see him as the heir-apparent to at least one of those first 3. He fits a need moving forward and brings elements to the game that the Pens not only value, but are part of our game plan.



Yes, but if Vitale can be just as good on face-offs as Letestu and the latter can't play any other position, it may come down to this choice:

Do we want a guy (Letestu) who is going to score 10 goals and do nothing else getting 4th line minutes?

or

Do we want a guy (Vitale) who is crashing & banging bodies, agitating people, fighting, PKing (because that's something he actually does) and generating momentum, regardless of whether he's scoring or not.

Letestu is a nice player, but aside from face-offs, when he is not scoring, he's not really adding anything. So the question is: is he going to score enough to justify being otherwise one-dimensional?



Letestu does not project to be a legit shut-down guy. Please note, I did not say he is bad defensively. There is a different between not being bad/irresponsible defensively (Letestu) and being a really, really good defensive player with shut-down capabilities, which Jeffrey has.

Jeffrey has shut-down potential, while also having elite PK skills, while also having higher offensive upside than Letestu -- specifically in the playmaking department. Jeffrey can also be a great PP player. In fact, to me, it's not even close.

The gap hasn't widened yet, and that's only because Jeffrey got hurt and didn't have a chance to continue his game. But long-term, Jeffrey's potential is higher than Letestu's by a fair margin.
Good post (your other before as well) and I agree. Letestu is a nice player, but that's where it ends. He needs to proof in camp he deserves that spot (probably 4th line C if wo go with the 3C model) or he needs to show them, that he can play on the wing.

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07-19-2011, 08:55 AM
  #430
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So is there any video of the scrimmage?

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07-19-2011, 09:35 AM
  #431
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Originally Posted by Milliardo View Post
Letestu is a nice player, but that's where it ends. He needs to proof in camp he deserves that spot (probably 4th line C if wo go with the 3C model) or he needs to show them, that he can play on the wing.
We could also say that we simply don't know what kind of player Letestu is, yes? Is he someone who just had a nice run and will now become someone moving from team to team trying to get the right fit while risking waivers? Or will he be someone's Rich Peverley?
He just completed his first season in the league, where injuries saw him play all four C positions. He aced it when playing third line C, was OK on the 4th and was out of his depth centring on the top 6 - after returning from injury. But expecting him to do so in his first season... that's quite something.

Doesn't change that he will have to prove himself in camp again, true, because we have bizarre depth at C.

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07-19-2011, 09:47 AM
  #432
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As much as I am big Jeffrey supporter, it is fair to say that he has elevated his skating from below-average to average or slightly better. He still doesn't have great speed, although his positional smarts at the centre position make up for that to some degree (like Testy).

But we like our team, especially our wingers, to have really good speed, tenacity & physicality so we can "push the pace". Jeffrey could play wing, but he's a bit of a pansy. Staal, on the other hand, has the ability to play a major, physical, power-forward type of game (like Tangradi). I'm totally cool with trying the experiment with Jeffrey at wing, and I am certain that EVERY possible permutation will be tried with our forward group.

It's just my hypothesis that Jeffrey may lack the elements to play an effective game at wing in the NHL, and we'll see what happens in training camp.
He showed some very good speed the games he played. That was almost unanimous. He was actually beating guys around the corner.

I don't think he would struggle on the wing in the least.


Quote:
Talbot isn't the fastest skater, but he has pretty good quickness in short spaces and is still an overall better skater than Letestu. More importantly, Talbot will block a shot with his scrotum. Sacrificing your body on a regular basis is not something that is ready tought.

And I've been pumping the idea of TK on the PK for some time, because of his willingness to do the above and also because of his great speed. TK play A LOT of time on the PK when he was in the OHL. So being a PKer is on his resume, and he does have the tools.

In the end, it doesn't matter about Letestu ever playing the PK because not only do we have 4 or 5 regulars on the PK already, there's about 3 or 4 other guys (Jeffrey, Kennedy, Kunitz, Vitale....or even Crosby or Malkin) who could be ahead of him as a PKer.

But with Cooke, Adams, Dupuis and Staal each signed for only 2 more years, we may be thinking about the longer-term picture. I would like to keep Vitale around this year because I see him as the heir-apparent to at least one of those first 3. He fits a need moving forward and brings elements to the game that the Pens not only value, but are part of our game plan.
Letestu's skating isn't as bad as some want to believe. He just doesn't have that 2nd gear when skating up ice, which leaves him prone to being caught from behind.

TK not being on the PK is the IQ reason I'm talking about. He's not there because the coaching staff isn't confident in his decision making. Other than that, he has all the tools to be a great PK'er.



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Yes, but if Vitale can be just as good on face-offs as Letestu and the latter can't play any other position, it may come down to this choice:

Do we want a guy (Letestu) who is going to score 10 goals and do nothing else getting 4th line minutes?

or

Do we want a guy (Vitale) who is crashing & banging bodies, agitating people, fighting, PKing (because that's something he actually does) and generating momentum, regardless of whether he's scoring or not.

Letestu is a nice player, but aside from face-offs, when he is not scoring, he's not really adding anything. So the question is: is he going to score enough to justify being otherwise one-dimensional?


That's a pretty crazy way of looking at things. Letestu could score more than 10 goals. He's PROVEN to be a better faceoff man. Vitale still has some proving to do in that regard, as he hasn't done it over an extended period of time like Letestu has.

Drop the PK'ing thing dude. It really doesn't matter either way. The bold paragraph makes you sound like a used car salesman. "Why would you want this brand new car when you could have this 1970 Pinto?!?!!?!" Letestu is a superior player in every single sense of the word. He's a better option for this team regardless of how you want to spin it. That's 4th line, with or without Vitale, is going to have more than enough physicality and jam with the other two guys who are going to be on it.

When Letestu isn't scoring, he is still played a very solid game, and he's still winning faceoffs, which is just a notch below on the importance scale of scoring goals. So not real sure that point is valid.

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Letestu does not project to be a legit shut-down guy. Please note, I did not say he is bad defensively. There is a different between not being bad/irresponsible defensively (Letestu) and being a really, really good defensive player with shut-down capabilities, which Jeffrey has.

Jeffrey has shut-down potential, while also having elite PK skills, while also having higher offensive upside than Letestu -- specifically in the playmaking department. Jeffrey can also be a great PP player. In fact, to me, it's not even close.

The gap hasn't widened yet, and that's only because Jeffrey got hurt and didn't have a chance to continue his game. But long-term, Jeffrey's potential is higher than Letestu's by a fair margin.
Letestu doesn't have to be a shutdown guy. He has to play solid defense and chip in offensively...he already does that. You don't know that Jeffrey has shutdown qualities. I would actually say he doesn't due to the fact that he isn't very physical...at all really. He's a little bigger than Letestu, but IMO, Letestu is much grittier and tenacious, which is useful in a defensive role.

There's nothing suggesting at the NHL level that Letestu and Jeffrey couldn't do similar things on the powerplay. You're pulling out your reach again.

I don't see Jeffrey as having much higher potential. I see 20 goals and 40-50 points as his potential, and I see a very similar total out of Letestu.


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Old
07-19-2011, 10:58 AM
  #433
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He was good for what he was in the regular season but disappeared in the playoffs. I just think he's one of the those players that doesn't fit well in a playoff type of game. He's a skill guy who isn't skilled enough to play in a top 6. Then he's isn't a great skater and isn't tough enough to fit a bottom 6 center playoff role.
To be fair, he wasn't exactly playing the role of a 3rd/4th line player in the playoffs this past season. I don't think it's fair to evaluate his playoff performance this past season where he ended up centering Neal and Kovalev on a de facto second line. He showed he can't be a second line center, sure. But that's a rather different role than the one he'd be expected to fill this season.

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07-19-2011, 01:44 PM
  #434
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He showed some very good speed the games he played. That was almost unanimous. He was actually beating guys around the corner.

I don't think he would struggle on the wing in the least.
That's a very fair hypothesis, but it remains to be seen. It still remains to be seen if Neal or Malkin are going to play RW. I think there's a very good chance Jeffrey can play LW, but I'm simply not convinced until I see it. It's just a wait & see, burden of proof kind-of stance.

Also, it depends what happens with Staal & Tangradi. If ET makes the team, that will probably push one of Staal or Jeffrey to the centre position. If Staal ends up playing LW on Malkin's line (or if Staal & Malkin play together at all), I think Jeffrey will be Staal's replacement as 3rd line centre. In fact, I think it's Jeffrey's potential as a 3rd line C that gives us a legitimate replacement & option for having Staal on the 2nd line with Geno.


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Letestu's skating isn't as bad as some want to believe. He just doesn't have that 2nd gear when skating up ice, which leaves him prone to being caught from behind.

TK not being on the PK is the IQ reason I'm talking about. He's not there because the coaching staff isn't confident in his decision making. Other than that, he has all the tools to be a great PK'er
TK is not a dumb player by any means. He sometimes tries to do too much on the offensive side of the puck, but he's pretty solid defensively. He has all the tools to be a solid PKer.

As for Letestu on the PK (which we both agree is pretty irrelevant on the current roster), it's not simply an issue of being undersized or being an average skater. It's a combination of being both undersized as well as lacking a top gear to really pressure people in tight spaces and maybe be a threat to score on a breakaway, as teams have to respect speedy forwards. If you look at most good PKers, they often have one or both of really good speed (i.e. Dupuis) or a long reach (Staal). It doesn't necessarily mean Letestu couldn't PK in the NHL for some team; but there are probably 4 or 5 guys I would try on the PK before him.



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That's a pretty crazy way of looking at things. Letestu could score more than 10 goals. He's PROVEN to be a better faceoff man. Vitale still has some proving to do in that regard, as he hasn't done it over an extended period of time like Letestu has.

When Letestu isn't scoring, he is still played a very solid game, and he's still winning faceoffs, which is just a notch below on the importance scale of scoring goals. So not real sure that point is valid.
When I use the 10 goal figure, please remember, I'm talking about him as a 4th liner getting 4th line minutes. I know he could score more if he was getting top-9 ice time, but if we have some combo of Sid/Geno/Staal or Sid/Staal/Jeffrey ahead of him at centre, then he may only end up as the 4th line C with 4th line minutes.

And with regards to Letestu's utility, I was saying: if you eliminate the face-off issue (i.e. if Vitale proves to be equal to Letestu in this regard), then that becomes a wash and then you have to make the decision if you want more of an offensive player as a 4th line C, or do you want more of that crash & banging physical player as your 4th line C.

I think you can make a great argument either way, and my line-ups before July 1 had Letestu as 4th line C and Vitale on the 4th line wing, which could still happen. But if Tangradi makes the team, and with the signing of Sullivan, that may push a guy like Dupuis or Cooke to the 4th line and take one of those spots away.

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07-19-2011, 01:51 PM
  #435
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Letestu doesn't have to be a shutdown guy. He has to play solid defense and chip in offensively...he already does that.
You're right: Letestu doesn't have to be a shut-down guy if he is on the 4th line. But he DOES have to be a shut-down guy if he's playing on the 3rd line and going up against other teams' top offensive players.


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You don't know that Jeffrey has shutdown qualities. I would actually say he doesn't due to the fact that he isn't very physical...at all really. He's a little bigger than Letestu, but IMO, Letestu is much grittier and tenacious, which is useful in a defensive role.
Tom Fitzgerald certainly thinks so...

Fitzgerald's assessment: "He could be the smartest player we have in the organization, hockey IQ-wise. He's a very bright player. The puck always follows him around. Pucks don't follow guys around if they're not smart and don't know where to go. ... He's always had a good skills set, so [his assets are] his skills set and his hockey sense. His biggest hurdle to being an everyday NHL player probably would have been his skating, and that has improved, because of his dedication. To us, that is not a hurdle anymore. Can it still improve? Absolutely. But he's worked on his deficiencies. He can play against a top line as a checker or he can play against top lines as a head-to-head power guy. He's got it going on."


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10359...#ixzz1SZvjeJic


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There's nothing suggesting at the NHL level that Letestu and Jeffrey couldn't do similar things on the powerplay. You're pulling out your reach again.

Dan Bylsma: "We all feel like he took a step on half-wall and at point," Bylsma said recently. "He has a chance to be a power-play point guy or half-wall on second unit."

Read more: Penguins, Jeffrey agree to two-year contract - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1SZw45sx3

I haven't heard Bylsma say that about Letestu. So I'm not alone, and it's not a reach.

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07-19-2011, 02:43 PM
  #436
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Best case scenario I see Letestu as a 4th line Center/RH faceoff specialist flanked by 2 tough grinders like Cooke and Adams. Staal and Jeffrey are better suited for the 3rd line C job. I want no part of Letestu playing against top lines in the playoffs.

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07-19-2011, 03:28 PM
  #437
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That's a very fair hypothesis, but it remains to be seen. It still remains to be seen if Neal or Malkin are going to play RW. I think there's a very good chance Jeffrey can play LW, but I'm simply not convinced until I see it. It's just a wait & see, burden of proof kind-of stance.

Also, it depends what happens with Staal & Tangradi. If ET makes the team, that will probably push one of Staal or Jeffrey to the centre position. If Staal ends up playing LW on Malkin's line (or if Staal & Malkin play together at all), I think Jeffrey will be Staal's replacement as 3rd line centre. In fact, I think it's Jeffrey's potential as a 3rd line C that gives us a legitimate replacement & option for having Staal on the 2nd line with Geno.




TK is not a dumb player by any means. He sometimes tries to do too much on the offensive side of the puck, but he's pretty solid defensively. He has all the tools to be a solid PKer.

As for Letestu on the PK (which we both agree is pretty irrelevant on the current roster), it's not simply an issue of being undersized or being an average skater. It's a combination of being both undersized as well as lacking a top gear to really pressure people in tight spaces and maybe be a threat to score on a breakaway, as teams have to respect speedy forwards. If you look at most good PKers, they often have one or both of really good speed (i.e. Dupuis) or a long reach (Staal). It doesn't necessarily mean Letestu couldn't PK in the NHL for some team; but there are probably 4 or 5 guys I would try on the PK before him.





When I use the 10 goal figure, please remember, I'm talking about him as a 4th liner getting 4th line minutes. I know he could score more if he was getting top-9 ice time, but if we have some combo of Sid/Geno/Staal or Sid/Staal/Jeffrey ahead of him at centre, then he may only end up as the 4th line C with 4th line minutes.

And with regards to Letestu's utility, I was saying: if you eliminate the face-off issue (i.e. if Vitale proves to be equal to Letestu in this regard), then that becomes a wash and then you have to make the decision if you want more of an offensive player as a 4th line C, or do you want more of that crash & banging physical player as your 4th line C.

I think you can make a great argument either way, and my line-ups before July 1 had Letestu as 4th line C and Vitale on the 4th line wing, which could still happen. But if Tangradi makes the team, and with the signing of Sullivan, that may push a guy like Dupuis or Cooke to the 4th line and take one of those spots away.
Why would you eliminate faceoff ability? A guy with that kind of faceoff ability and scoring potential is vastly more valuable than a guy with that kind of faceoff ability and not even half the scoring potential.

There's very little difference between 3rd and 4th line mins on this roster for good players. Cooke and Talbot have played identical mins.

Letestu has more offensive potential in his right hand that Vitale has. We'll be lucky to get 5-7 out of Vitale where as we are looking at 18-20 out of Letestu.

They aren't remotely comparable. As I've said before, it's not like it even matters. We will have a physical 4th line regardless of who is centering it.

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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
You're right: Letestu doesn't have to be a shut-down guy if he is on the 4th line. But he DOES have to be a shut-down guy if he's playing on the 3rd line and going up against other teams' top offensive players.
Staal will always be this team's shutdown player regardless of what line he's on. He will always be getting the matchups. What we then need from our bottom 6 is scoring depth.

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Tom Fitzgerald certainly thinks so...

Fitzgerald's assessment: "He could be the smartest player we have in the organization, hockey IQ-wise. He's a very bright player. The puck always follows him around. Pucks don't follow guys around if they're not smart and don't know where to go. ... He's always had a good skills set, so [his assets are] his skills set and his hockey sense. His biggest hurdle to being an everyday NHL player probably would have been his skating, and that has improved, because of his dedication. To us, that is not a hurdle anymore. Can it still improve? Absolutely. But he's worked on his deficiencies. He can play against a top line as a checker or he can play against top lines as a head-to-head power guy. He's got it going on."
Ugh. You've done this before. You're taking what someone said and just running with it. Letestu is a supremely intelligent player. There's no test or anything that measures hockey IQ. A player has it or they don't.

Jeffrey, if he's going to be a shutdown player, has got to learn how to use his frame better. It's all well and good what he showed in the minors. He's now playing grown men, and if he's going to be shutting them down, he's going to use his size more effectively, which he doesn't. He's not Jordan Staal where he just has to lean on a guy.


Quote:
Dan Bylsma: "We all feel like he took a step on half-wall and at point," Bylsma said recently. "He has a chance to be a power-play point guy or half-wall on second unit."

Read more: Penguins, Jeffrey agree to two-year contract - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1SZw45sx3

I haven't heard Bylsma say that about Letestu. So I'm not alone, and it's not a reach.
Why would he say that about Letestu? He's not going to stop reporters and say, "Hey guys...just want to throw this out there...Mark Letestu can play some powerplay...he's pretty good. That's it. Enjoy the weather!" This is a reach...again. You're taking a quote about a specific player and running with it. "Well...DB said that Jeffrey could see time on the 2nd poweplay unit!!!11 He didn't say that about anyone else!!!!" Letestu average 2 mins of PP time a game this season. I'm pretty sure it's safe to assume that the staff thinks he can play the powerplay.

Letestu is a superior player to Vitale and will be kept on the NHL roster, regardless of what you want to think. Letestu can do all that Jeffrey can. Quit trying to create a gap that doesn't exist.


Last edited by JTG: 07-19-2011 at 03:34 PM.
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07-19-2011, 03:33 PM
  #438
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Best case scenario I see Letestu as a 4th line Center/RH faceoff specialist flanked by 2 tough grinders like Cooke and Adams. Staal and Jeffrey are better suited for the 3rd line C job. I want no part of Letestu playing against top lines in the playoffs.
Jordan Staal will still be playing against top lines in the playoffs. Whatever line Staal is on, that is the one that is going to trying to match head to head with other team's best line.

If a specific line needs to be shut down (such as Washington), that's when you'll probably see the 3C model.

Top teams don't typically have a 3rd line shutdown line. Detroit uses Datsyuk. Vancouver uses Kesler, Boston uses Bergeron, Philly used Richards, and I don't think Chicago really chases matchups. I have seen both Toews and Bolland take a matchup. I would however lean towards Toews taking important matchups.

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07-19-2011, 03:53 PM
  #439
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Dan Bylsma: "We all feel like he took a step on half-wall and at point," Bylsma said recently. "He has a chance to be a power-play point guy or half-wall on second unit."

Read more: Penguins, Jeffrey agree to two-year contract - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1SZw45sx3

I haven't heard Bylsma say that about Letestu.
So I'm not alone, and it's not a reach.
Bylsma doesn't need to project for Letestu, because when he was waxing about what Jeffrey might do in the future on the PP, Letestu was doing it in the present:

Quote:
Letestu did see some time on the Penguins’ first power play unit against Montreal, playing a total of 3:40 with the man-advantage. Bylsma liked what he saw from the first-year center.

“In the faceoff circle, on the power play, he allowed us to gain possession right off the hop on some of those power plays,” Bylsma said. “He was a lot more authoritative in the way he played. He’s a gifted player, he’s got skill, but he has to play with an edge to win those puck battles and make plays that he can make, and he certainly did that last night.”
http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=549387

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07-19-2011, 04:03 PM
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Nice find.

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07-19-2011, 04:09 PM
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Nice find.
But he still hasn't PKed yet!

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07-19-2011, 04:14 PM
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But he still hasn't PKed yet!
He's not going to. We're a Cup contender. We don't have time to teach guys how to PK.

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07-19-2011, 04:23 PM
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He's not going to. We're a Cup contender. We don't have time to teach guys how to PK.
From everything I've gathered, teaching has never been a part of Bylsma's repertoire anyway.



"Practice time, boys...here's the puck, you're on your own. I'm off to Qdoba."

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07-19-2011, 04:31 PM
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The team has enough guys that are solid on the pk to not worry about making more players be PK competent.

Dupuis, Cooke, Staal, Adams are all stalwarts on the pk and guys like TK should get more ice time there as well. Talbot's minutes will need to get spread out and guys like TK who are solid fore checkers and back checkers should be getting increased duties in that regard, same for Kunitz.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.h...Name=timeOnIce

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07-19-2011, 04:44 PM
  #445
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Neither Jeffrey nor Letestu have to PK. I'm sure both will get some minutes, probably depending on where each is in the lineup. But jmelm wants to use that as some sort of crutch of an argument as to why Letestu may be on the bubble to get cut, and it really has nothing to do with anything.

Letestu is just getting the Tyler Kennedy treatment. I think Letestu will be dishing up some crow like Domino's when it's all said and done though.

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07-19-2011, 04:47 PM
  #446
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Originally Posted by JTG View Post
Neither Jeffrey nor Letestu have to PK. I'm sure both will get some minutes, probably depending on where each is in the lineup. But jmelm wants to use that as some sort of crutch of an argument as to why Letestu may be on the bubble to get cut, and it really has nothing to do with anything.

Letestu is just getting the Tyler Kennedy treatment. I think Letestu will be dishing up some crow like Domino's when it's all said and done though.
Letestu will get a little pk time, mostly because of his faceoff prowess. Just like Crosby, Sid would come out and win a faceoff, play a few seconds and then go and change up for a regular PK'er. I can see Letestu getting that duty as well. Sid & Letestu are the best faceoff men on the team, most consistent ones so I can see him getting pk time like that and one is a lefty and the other is a righty, so that's a plus too. But yeah, I know what you mean.

If people want to argue against a player, they will find something, they always do. I'm just trying to ignore people like that.

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07-20-2011, 12:58 AM
  #447
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We could also say that we simply don't know what kind of player Letestu is, yes? Is he someone who just had a nice run and will now become someone moving from team to team trying to get the right fit while risking waivers? Or will he be someone's Rich Peverley?
He just completed his first season in the league, where injuries saw him play all four C positions. He aced it when playing third line C, was OK on the 4th and was out of his depth centring on the top 6 - after returning from injury. But expecting him to do so in his first season... that's quite something.

Doesn't change that he will have to prove himself in camp again, true, because we have bizarre depth at C.
Yeah, pretty much. His season was nothing to sneeze at, bet he himself knows he received all this playing time because there were so many injuries. It's a whole new situation and he needs to prove again where he belongs in the Pens lineup. He's not waver fodder right now, but he's also not guaranteed anything.

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07-21-2011, 11:04 AM
  #448
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According to this camp recap video on the Pens site, the top scorers from the week's scrimmages were Gibbons, Petersen and Uher in a 3-way tie for 1st place. Followed by Tangradi who was also tops in overall off-ice testing.

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07-21-2011, 11:14 AM
  #449
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Pretty cool rink Geno is playing at. Never played in a rink that had windows before.

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07-21-2011, 04:05 PM
  #450
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According to this camp recap video on the Pens site, the top scorers from the week's scrimmages were Gibbons, Petersen and Uher in a 3-way tie for 1st place. Followed by Tangradi who was also tops in overall off-ice testing.
Tom Fitzgerald's title in that video is "Assistant to the General Manager."



EDIT: Damn, that's actually what he is. I always thought he was Assistant GM.

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