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Thoughts on our grit up front.

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01-15-2013, 04:13 PM
  #1
LeTANGled58
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Thoughts on our grit up front.

This team obviously is skilled up front offensively, and has a good defensive mind-set, but I feel we like grittiness and muscle. I don't know if Glass has a real mean streak in him, maybe others can chime in on this. Vitale is scrappy but small. Kunitz can get nasty at times, but not that much.

Our third line lacks a lot of punch. TK Sutter aren't the scrappy type and Cooke doesn't play with the same edge.

I feel we would get bullied around by Bruins/Rangers series.

What does everyone think? Is this not as big of a factor anymore?

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01-15-2013, 04:19 PM
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Ogrezilla
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I'm not too worried about it

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01-15-2013, 04:20 PM
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LetangInTheSO
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On a team-wide basis, I think we hover around average on the nastiness front. Our forward unit is a little soff, but not a huge cause for worry, IMO.

On the top unit, Crosby is difficult to intimidate, Kunitz has a decent mean streak, and Dupes is well, Dupes. No nastiness on that unit but I'm not hugely concerned about them being pushed around.

The second line is fine. Malkin is a tough customer, as is Neal (not that they throw down but they're both massive bodies) and whoever ends up playing with them should do fine.

The third line lacks grit. From what I understand, Sutter is an ideal 3rd line pivot (as a point of order, I would say that Staal was an ideal 2nd line pivot who we had on our 3rd line), but not "tough." Kennedy has no grit factor and Cooke is no longer a "cheap shot" threat to other teams now that he's cut that ***** out.

The fourth line will be gritty by virtue of Tanner Glass alone. I loved Glass in Vancouver. He's a bit of a liability in that sometimes he doesn't exercise enough discretion in terms of when to fly off the handle, but on the whole it's worth the tradeoff with him. I suspect that he'll become a fan favorite in short order.

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01-15-2013, 04:24 PM
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wej20
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could use a little more size on the 3rd line, Cooke - Sutter - Kennedy will rack up hits but they're not going to be crushing guys.

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01-15-2013, 04:28 PM
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MonsterSurge
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We need Zach Sill.


/thread

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01-15-2013, 04:28 PM
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Hottubber
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I think just getting bigger would help. Guys like Tangradi, Despres, Bortuzzo could all help in wearing down the opposition both offensively and defensively

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01-15-2013, 04:30 PM
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Jag68Sid87
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I would really like an enforcer who can actually play the odd fourth-line shift...someone the coach will trust to play more often than big Mac.

Also, if we can ice both Engelland and Bortuzzo in the lineup, that would help. Tanner Glass will provide some jam. Vitale. Tangradi? Orpik.

Overall, we're a little lacking. But if we can make up for it scoring goals, that would be cool with me.

Defensively, we're vulnerable in front of the net (not to mention IN the net).

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01-15-2013, 04:35 PM
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Jaded-Fan
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We do not have the grit we had a few years ago. But we are hardly soft either. And with the crackdown of late that has made players like Cooke change the way that they play I am not sure if you could have the kind of grit we had a few years ago, and obviously that some here are pining for, without the cost becoming prohibitive.

We have enough grit that no one is going to push us around. Hell there is a long 'retribution' thread regarding us on the Flyers board, which says something. I am not sure if we need anymore than we have. Times have changed, and that more than anything may make you think that we lost a small bit of grit.

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01-15-2013, 04:35 PM
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Zen Arcade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeTANGled58 View Post
This team obviously is skilled up front offensively, and has a good defensive mind-set, but I feel we like grittiness and muscle. I don't know if Glass has a real mean streak in him, maybe others can chime in on this. Vitale is scrappy but small. Kunitz can get nasty at times, but not that much.

Our third line lacks a lot of punch. TK Sutter aren't the scrappy type and Cooke doesn't play with the same edge.

I feel we would get bullied around by Bruins/Rangers series.

What does everyone think? Is this not as big of a factor anymore?
Glass was 8th amongst forwards in hits last year. He had 60 more hits than any forward on the Pens as well. He's got lots of sandpaper in his game.



When you have Hemsky and Gagner chasing after you, you're doing something right.

I would like to see another gritty forward on the third line, though.

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01-15-2013, 04:41 PM
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Jag68Sid87
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Originally Posted by Jaded-Fan View Post
We do not have the grit we had a few years ago. But we are hardly soft either. And with the crackdown of late that has made players like Cooke change the way that they play I am not sure if you could have the kind of grit we had a few years ago, and obviously that some here are pining for, without the cost becoming prohibitive.

We have enough grit that no one is going to push us around. Hell there is a long 'retribution' thread regarding us on the Flyers board, which says something. I am not sure if we need anymore than we have. Times have changed, and that more than anything may make you think that we lost a small bit of grit.
The Kings have more grit than we had when we won the Cup. The Bruins had more grit than us, too. It's not changing (who ends up with the Silverware). If you have the most grit and more discipline than most, you can win.

The good news is we don't HAVE to have as much grit as LA to win it all. But we will need better D and much better goaltending, and that's the rub. I'm not convinced we'll improve our D and G until one of Bylsma or Fleury is gone.

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01-15-2013, 04:43 PM
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MichiganWolverines
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Pick up Brandon Mashinter off of waivers.

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01-15-2013, 04:53 PM
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Jag68Sid87
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Originally Posted by MichiganWolverines View Post
Pick up Brandon Mashinter off of waivers.
I like this idea.

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01-15-2013, 04:57 PM
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LeTANGled58
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I like what I am hearing about Glass. I didn't know much about him coming in. My issue is he is a fourth liner, so he won't get a ton of playing time.

I just think about those teams with roberts,malone,ruutu laraque. What a tough team that was! I am a big fan of how the bruins build there team around tough big gritty guys who can actually play.

By no means do I believe we are soft, but I feel we are undersized in some areas that I think we should address this come playoff time.

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01-15-2013, 04:58 PM
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Zen Arcade
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Originally Posted by Jag68Sid87 View Post
I like this idea.
So do I.

Big, mean winger with some offensive upside, what's the risk?

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01-15-2013, 05:00 PM
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MonsterSurge
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Originally Posted by MichiganWolverines View Post
Pick up Brandon Mashinter off of waivers.



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01-15-2013, 05:12 PM
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MonsterSurge
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What about Haley?

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01-15-2013, 05:21 PM
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The top six I'm not too concerned with, especially if Tangradi is able to stick on the Malkin/Neal line. It's the bottom six that I think could do with a bit more size. This is where I wouldn't mind bringing in a tough physical guy with some size to replace Adams on that 4th line.

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01-15-2013, 05:23 PM
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MichiganWolverines
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He can do it all, although he's struggling this season, I think he would be great on the fourth line. He could be our Shawn Thornton.

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01-15-2013, 05:30 PM
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Terrapin
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Having a few big, mean, tough guys typically leads to success. Look at the fight and hit leading teams last year, then look at the standings. It's no coincidence. Which is why teams like the Rangers went out and got even badder, and teams like Buffalo brought in some guys that are tough to play against.

I'm not saying icing a team or even a line of goons is the answer. But having a bottom 6 that are all what, under 6 foot 200lbs, that with the somewhat exception of Glass can't or won't drop the gloves, it just doesn't make sense. People would rather see that 12th forward be someone like Jeffrey or Tangradi over a Laraque, Parros, etc. Why? Is the 3 goals Jeffrey or Adams will score that important?

Add in a defense that isn't exactly scary to play against, and you have a pretty overall soft team. Not pathetically soft, like say Carolina, but i think if this was a full season, this team would wear down after battling the New Yorks, Philly's, Boston's, of the conference. In a 48 game 'race', it may not be that big of a deal.

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01-15-2013, 05:34 PM
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Terrapin
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What about Haley?
I like Haley, and would have liked to have him.. Although he's pretty small. Other guys i would have loved seeing were Chris Neil or Gaustad. Icing a 4th line of
Neil-Vitale-Glass would have been awesome.

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01-15-2013, 06:05 PM
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Having a few big, mean, tough guys typically leads to success. Look at the fight and hit leading teams last year, then look at the standings. It's no coincidence. Which is why teams like the Rangers went out and got even badder, and teams like Buffalo brought in some guys that are tough to play against.

I'm not saying icing a team or even a line of goons is the answer. But having a bottom 6 that are all what, under 6 foot 200lbs, that with the somewhat exception of Glass can't or won't drop the gloves, it just doesn't make sense. People would rather see that 12th forward be someone like Jeffrey or Tangradi over a Laraque, Parros, etc. Why? Is the 3 goals Jeffrey or Adams will score that important?

Add in a defense that isn't exactly scary to play against, and you have a pretty overall soft team. Not pathetically soft, like say Carolina, but i think if this was a full season, this team would wear down after battling the New Yorks, Philly's, Boston's, of the conference. In a 48 game 'race', it may not be that big of a deal.
Pens d isnt scary by any means but I wouldnt say that Phillys or NYR's is either. Philly has Schenn & Grossman who are physical. Timmonen, Coburn, Meszaros etc are not. Rangers have Girardi who is strong. Staal & Mcdonough are good positionally but not overly physical, and Del Zotto is not at all. Up front they both have bigger bodies who can crash and bang but their d isnt that tough

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01-15-2013, 06:28 PM
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Jacob
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I guess I'm in the minority but I think there's a good amount of grit in our forward group (and at least one guy on each line that can really bury people) but our defense is a little soft/small for my liking.

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01-15-2013, 06:34 PM
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MichiganWolverines
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I guess I'm in the minority but I think there's a good amount of grit in our forward group (and at least one guy on each line that can really bury people) but our defense is a little soft/small for my liking.
Look on the bright side, our shortest player is 5'11". Our line-up is full of players that are around 6 feet or 6'1". But, I do agree that we need more size on defense (and actually use it).


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01-15-2013, 07:50 PM
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I guess I'm in the minority but I think there's a good amount of grit in our forward group (and at least one guy on each line that can really bury people) but our defense is a little soft/small for my liking.
I'm with Jacob on this one... our forwards seem fine from a grit/toughness POV, but the defense is very suspect.

Last year, I bet teams were licking their chops about the prospects of squaring off against Michalek / Martin in the post-season. Rightly so too - those guys were soff and got tossed around like a freshman on prom night.

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01-15-2013, 07:57 PM
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LeTANGled58
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Orpik obviously brings the grit to our top 4 D and Letang has a nasty part to his game as well as being a physical presence. Martin Lovejoy and Nisky all are soft but don't forget Engelland is back there. Despres has a big body too when he gets playing time. I feel our O is where we hurt in size and grit

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