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Old
11-19-2011, 10:33 PM
  #26
KIRK
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Originally Posted by Sidney the Kidney View Post
It's getting annoying how bad this team is playing defensively, especially in their own zone. The team is supposed to be built on strong defense, and while one of them is out (Michalek) that doesn't excuse the fact the remaining guys aren't looking too good. If you're going to spend all that money on the defense corps, then it would be nice if that was a team strength, not a weakness.

The coaching staff needs to get these guys sorted out. There is no excuse for them to play so bad in their own zone, and this has been the case for quite a few games this season, not just this recent stretch.

Also, what is with this team's inability to score goals? It would almost be more tolerable if the team was getting completely outshot and lost games that way. But to generate so many shots, but simply be unable to put pucks away is beyond frustrating to watch.

I know, I know, Sidney Crosby is coming back soon and will add another big offensive weapon to the arsenal. But I'm getting a little worried it'll be a repeat of the Montreal and Tampa Bay series again come playoff time, with the majority of our lineup unable to score if their life depends on it.
I'm not worried about this team offensively. It's predicated on using the three center model to break teams like Montreal and Tampa Bay. They beat Tampa last year with Malkin, and I'd like to think they'd have been Montreal the year before if Staal didn't nearly have his toe chopped off (missing game time and then playing at maybe 60%).

Defensively, here's what worries me:

1. Paul Martin needs to get his **** together.

2. Brooks Orpik needs to pick his spots better. It's o'k to rub a guy in the corner when you've got numbers back. It's not o'k to go over to rub a guy in the corner a split second after he passes if the numbers aren't backed.

3. The 5/6 options are o'k under the circumstances, but I really don't want to go into the playoffs with both Engo AND Niskanen playing.

That said, the team has cap space this year to add like 4M or so in prorated salary (probably closer to 5.5M or so since you'd have to move two bodies off the roster to add two bodies). I sincerely believe that Shero will target a top six forward and an upgrade for the third pairing. Whether he gets both, of course, is a different story.

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Old
11-19-2011, 10:38 PM
  #27
Sidney the Kidney
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Originally Posted by KIRK View Post
I'm not worried about this team offensively. It's predicated on using the three center model to break teams like Montreal and Tampa Bay. They beat Tampa last year with Malkin, and I'd like to think they'd have been Montreal the year before if Staal didn't nearly have his toe chopped off (missing game time and then playing at maybe 60%).
We'll see once Sid is back (whenever that will be). But right now, it's incredibly frustrating to watch them generate close to 40 shots per game, but struggle to score more than 2 goals. That Colorado game was an anomaly compared to the majority of the games lately.

Quote:
Defensively, here's what worries me:

1. Paul Martin needs to get his **** together.

2. Brooks Orpik needs to pick his spots better. It's o'k to rub a guy in the corner when you've got numbers back. It's not o'k to go over to rub a guy in the corner a split second after he passes if the numbers aren't backed.

3. The 5/6 options are o'k under the circumstances, but I really don't want to go into the playoffs with both Engo AND Niskanen playing.

That said, the team has cap space this year to add like 4M or so in prorated salary (probably closer to 5.5M or so since you'd have to move two bodies off the roster to add two bodies). I sincerely believe that Shero will target a top six forward and an upgrade for the third pairing. Whether he gets both, of course, is a different story.
Re: the bolded part.

The worrying part is that it's not even necessarily the bottom pairing that's letting us down defensively. It's the guys who are expected to log the important minutes who are playing incredibly sloppy in their own zone.

If it were a simple case of Niskanen, Picard or even Engelland costing us games, I'd be less concerned because, like you said, an upgrade at the deadline can easily solve that. But when it's guys like Martin, Orpik, and Letang looking like they don't have a clue how to play defense on any given night, that's not quite as easy to fix.

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Old
11-19-2011, 10:40 PM
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KIRK View Post
3. The 5/6 options are o'k under the circumstances, but I really don't want to go into the playoffs with both Engo AND Niskanen playing..
I agree very much..... but it has to be said that defensively these two guys are the ones playing better than anyone else among our D-men right now. And obviously that is a problem.

NB: I'll ask again, will someone try and do a take on where the PK broke down on the instances it was scored on tonight?

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Old
11-19-2011, 10:48 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Tender Rip View Post
I agree very much..... but it has to be said that defensively these two guys are the ones playing better than anyone else among our D-men right now. And obviously that is a problem.

NB: I'll ask again, will someone try and do a take on where the PK broke down on the instances it was scored on tonight?
Are they playing better in their own right or because they're being protected big time by the coaches? Don't get me wrong . . . Martin is stinking up the joint big time. I just really see Shero looking to add a defenseman who is a legit 3/4 or maybe better at the deadline. Martin is shaky, and, even if he were steady, it's a big difference between trusting/protecting Engo-Nisky as a third pair right now and having to do it in the playoffs.

My other concern is up front . . . this team is going to need a power forward. He doesn't have to have the greatest hands, but the team needs one to play with Malkin. I love Neal, but he isn't a power forward. He is, as noted earlier, a skilled forward who's big and can play physically. Frankly, he's like Malkin (or a young Bill Guerin). Anyway, you put him AND Sully with Malkin, and there's just no forechecking and drive the net presence. Heck, Sully might be doing the most forechecking now (it's not his forte . . . his forte is to feed off what two others are doing, a la Park and TK, which is why I wonder if Sully isn't the answer with Sid and Kunitz when Sid returns).

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Old
11-19-2011, 10:51 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by Tender Rip View Post
I agree very much..... but it has to be said that defensively these two guys are the ones playing better than anyone else among our D-men right now. And obviously that is a problem.

NB: I'll ask again, will someone try and do a take on where the PK broke down on the instances it was scored on tonight?
First goal wasn't really a breakdown. Fleischmann tried to center and then cut in, pass hit a Pens stick, bounced about, and then ended up back on Fleischmann's stick (kind of like the Downie goal, which I'd chalk up to a fortuitous bounce more than a breakdown).

Second goal was one of those pinball's, although one could ask how Stephen Weiss was able, with Orpik on him, to kick the puck and then get his stick on it. Orpik should have dropped him on his wallet OR tied up the stick completely, but I guess he limits the physical stuff to when he takes himself out of the play to chase a guy into a corner.

One other thing to remember: Before the let down, I'm not sure if the PK was as great as the stats suggested. It was great, but, when the breakdowns or fortuitous bounces happens, either Fluery was making the big save or the other team would misfire.

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Old
11-19-2011, 10:55 PM
  #31
Darth Vitale
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- S. Florida still has a team.
- We lost to that team.

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Old
11-19-2011, 11:59 PM
  #32
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+ Caps and Hawks reminding us that it could have been worse.

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Old
11-20-2011, 12:25 AM
  #33
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You can put me in with the frustrated with our defense crowd. With defensive gafs aside it's even more frustrating to watch Martin right now. It seems to me he's the only one on our D that doesn't push the play immediately. Seemingly holding for an extra few seconds while the rest are rushing up the ice. When Geno is flying through the neutral zone you have to get him the puck.

Also seems like every time Martin has the puck on his stick something womanly is going to happen.

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Old
11-20-2011, 12:37 AM
  #34
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Seeing lots of complaints about the defense. Perhaps it's not so much on the individual players as it is on the system. This is not the start of a fire Bylsma rant .. I think he's doing a wonderful job. But isn't it inevitable at this point that other teams would have a pretty good understanding of the Pens system and how best to exploit it?

Bylsma and company must be aware of this. Tonight's line change led to a goal .. was that due to better chemistry on our line or Florida not having a counter move prepared? Going forward I imagine we'll see some line changes and plays being tweaked and all will be well.

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Old
11-20-2011, 12:44 AM
  #35
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The only important thing is that Staal keeps rolling. Over 82 games the Pens are going to have some stinker stretches. I would not worry too much, but the continuing development of Staal is a story that does have some long term imortance.

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Old
11-20-2011, 12:47 AM
  #36
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I actually don't have downs for this game. The loss was a team effort. Can't really pin it on one player.

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Old
11-20-2011, 12:57 AM
  #37
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The only important thing is that Staal keeps rolling. Over 82 games the Pens are going to have some stinker stretches. I would not worry too much, but the continuing development of Staal is a story that does have some long term imortance.
He's going to be money for us in the playoffs. He's always had a clutch nature, but now with a bit more refinement in his offensive game, he could potentially win us a series if Sid/Geno are getting shutdown.

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Old
11-20-2011, 01:01 AM
  #38
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He's going to be money for us in the playoffs. He's always had a clutch nature, but now with a bit more refinement in his offensive game, he could potentially win us a series if Sid/Geno are getting shutdown.
My only worry is that his development will hinder our ability to keep him after next year. Too bad he could not pull a Letang and take that step after signing a six year deal. That said, this team is in its prime right now. Let us bank some cups and worry about signings later.

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Old
11-20-2011, 01:12 AM
  #39
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My only worry is that his development will hinder our ability to keep him after next year. Too bad he could not pull a Letang and take that step after signing a six year deal. That said, this team is in its prime right now. Let us bank some cups and worry about signings later.
Even if he hits 70 pts this year, I don't think he'll ask for much more than Bergeron/Kesler money. He's done everything asked of him here, I don't see him leaving for an extra 500k or so. 5-5.5 is perfectly manageable imo.

Tangradi/Bennett/Despres/Morrow will be key in being able to keep our core together.

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Old
11-20-2011, 03:04 AM
  #40
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I wish we had taken more advantage in the beginning. The Panthers have had issues coming out of the gate in the first and we took the early lead, but didn't seem too focused on keeping it too long. Kunitz went from scoring a goal to looking lazy on their first goal.

Wasn't exactly a fan of BJ starting this game. I remember last season him looking so big and his pads looking so long and now he looks like Fleury in disguise. Definitely scrambling more than I like and sometimes was out of his net more than I recall him being last season. It is weird since he had like 28 saves and had some pretty good ones too, but he's just not giving off the same vibe as last season.

In the 2nd period Lange was talking about how Florida's PP was good and how Fleischmann was out there and he always seems to pick up points vs the Penguins, and sure enough, he scored the goal. A bit bouncy, but definitely one of those where they seemed to want it more than we did.

Other than that, the 3rd was something that left more to be desired. Came out kinda slow, had some chances, then took a craptacular penalty late.

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Old
11-20-2011, 07:29 AM
  #41
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The too many men penalty was atrocious. I called out too many men, way before the officials even noticed it and raised their arms. The Pens were playing with 6 men for an extended sequence. Did they think this was the finals and Uncle Gary would let them get away with it?

Blaming Johnson for the third goal is absurd. I also don't care what our PK rank is. You can't give your opponent a PP with three minutes left, especially for as stupid a reason as this was. Completely unacceptable.

Now, they need to send the Dad's home, forget about team-building excursions, and really dissect/address some things over game film: D-pairings, telling Orpik it's sometimes OK to play the stick/puck, telling Martin it's sometimes OK to play the body, telling Sullivan it's OK to shoot more than once a week.

My little rant aside, their still in great shape and one little bad stretch here and there can be expected. (as long as it's 'little' and 'here and there')

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Old
11-20-2011, 09:34 AM
  #42
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Anyone else hoping to see Neal-Malkin-TK in the next game? Having a shooting threat coming down LW while almost every rush up the right side makes sense.

Malkin is really starting to worry me. IMO the effort is there but the freedom he's gotten over the years has set in some bad habits. He's not the clean, pure center he used to be. A slump is one thing but shooting from bad angles and tons of give aways just shouldn't be the norm from him.

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Old
11-20-2011, 09:35 AM
  #43
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Typical underachieving against weaker Southeast opponents. Some things just never change. Getting shut down by Jose ****ing Theodore is even worse than getting shut down by Dwayne Roloson.

Why is it we can do so well against guys like Miller and Lundqvist, who are among the league's best goalies, but against wash-ups that are BARELY starters we can't even seem to buy a goal?

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Old
11-20-2011, 09:51 AM
  #44
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I don't get the need for a better 3rd pairing.

Niskanen and Engelland, our eventual third pairing, our playing the best defense on this team bar Letang AINEC.

Martin needs to stop pinching so much, everytime he does it almost goes the other way. He needs to play much more conservative than he is

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11-20-2011, 10:04 AM
  #45
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I only got to listen to the last 10 minutes on the radio due to work. How did Malkin/Neal look? I've been expecting him to break out since that Avalanche game, obviously that's not the case. Boxscore says 6 SOG for Geno. He sounded dominant at the end of the game. How did he look for the majority of it?

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Old
11-20-2011, 10:39 AM
  #46
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-Lost 2 games in a row.
+Where's the nearest bridge?

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Old
11-20-2011, 11:11 AM
  #47
torrencemd
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Originally Posted by 66-29-33 View Post
- I hate slumps
- We CANNOT keep giving out wins to other teams. By that i mean we need to STOP letting the other team score late. That's starting to become normal now.
Fortunately nearly every top Eastern Conference team lost yesterday too. But i am surely not impressed with the play as of late... This team seems to be needing an injection of life, Maybe the Croz comes back now with this 3 game homestand.




Please....

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Old
11-20-2011, 01:40 PM
  #48
AquaticBirdman
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I do find it kinda ironic (albeit frustrating) that of our 6 regulars, our lowest paid d-men (Letang, Engelland, and Niskanen) have been our best and most consistent performers. Michalek was playing rather poorly up till his injury, Orpik has looked very shakey since returning from his, and Martin has just flat out stunk all season long thus far.

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