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Cole's Plus/Minus - Penguins vs. Caps (12.1.11)

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:32 PM
  #1
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Cole's Plus/Minus - Penguins vs. Caps (12.1.11)

Plus

+ Niskanen/Engo/Bort/Despres: It's been a very strange year for our defense. The guys I thought would be the issue are playing above their level of expectation. The top 4 (outside of Letang) is playing like garbage. Niskanen/Engo have been bright spots and the only reason I'm okay w/o getting another dman at the deadline.

And I give Bort/Despres an additional plus for being physical and playing a solid NHL game with a combined 1 full game of experience leading into tonight. Did they make mistakes? They sure did. They made nervous ones. But the skill that I saw out there makes me feel great about our defense. I know they are on their way up and they are going to be damn good.

Think about it... these two come up and play a game against a rival with a ton of skill. I'd say they did very well for themselves.


+ Staal: I thought Jordan looked very physical and very good. He was flying out there and was dynamic in both ends. I still don't love his defensive smothering game, but his offensive game has elevated at least 3 levels.


+ Fleury: I'll say it - he's our true MVP of the season so far. He's the one elevating his game when nobody else will. He's played maybe one poor game all season. His athleticism is showing. He's challenging and controlling rebounds.


+ Lirit: GDT juice is a flowin'.


Minus

- Defensive zone: We have a full thread on it and it's been the focal point of discussion for weeks. What else is there to say? I also don't love the individual play of Orpik/Martin right now, either. They just aren't playing up to par. It happens. They need to find their game.

- Lack of effort: All over the ice tonight I saw a lot of standing around. We weren't going full out to win battles. I am not sure why, either. This is a rivalry game and I didn't see that heart/determination from the Pens. There are a lot of 50/50 pucks out there we are losing in both the defensive and offensive zone.

A good example: Kunitz wins one damn battle and look what happens. That's the effort guys like #9, #48, #24, and #14 have to give all damn night.

- Simplified game: I see a lot of forcing pucks and not keeping things simple. I'd love to see some shots and crashing the net, too. I must be a broken record of saying I want to see our simplified game. I know we cannot do it all season long, but it looked so damn good.

- Niskanen's one gaffe: Gotta make sure that's an icing. It's that simple.

- Tyler Kennedy: I think TK has been pretty poor this entire season. He's just not playing his feisty game.


Even

Crosby/Malkin: It was one of those "ehh" games fomr #87 & #71. I thought they had moments of greatness and others they looked average. Geno had turnovers. Sid looked like he refused to go into the corners and was too quick with his decision making. I really wanted those guys to shine tonight. Show Washington what you are made of.

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:33 PM
  #2
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- 10 month layoffs.

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:34 PM
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I agree with your assessment especially regarding Sid and Geno, but I think you forgot something. The fourth line deserves a big +. They were our best line tonight, IMO. They were constantly creating chances and they got a big goal. I don't like to see Vitale sitting out games, but the fourth line was great tonight.

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:35 PM
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Only 17 shots against tonight. Per Bob Grove, its the lowest total the Penguins have ever allowed against the Capitals.

Just two shots by the Caps in the third.

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12-01-2011, 08:35 PM
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We may have found our future middle pairing. We may have. I thought the kids played about as well as you could have expected. Two big boys who can skate and play physical.

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shureshot66 View Post
Only 17 shots against tonight. Per Bob Grove, its the lowest total the Penguins have ever allowed against the Capitals.

Just two shots by the Caps in the third.
I'm very shocked Ovy just stopped shooting. What made him so crazy dynamic is just firing from everywhere. One time he caught the puck where it was a perfect one-timer on the PP and just fumbled it.

Very strange to see #8 like that.

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:38 PM
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+ Arron Asham...couldn't stay healthy last year but has been invaluable on that 4th line this year. Great dish to CFA tonight and he sack'd up against a much bigger guy and answered the bell for the Beagle debacle...great stuff from Ash

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColePens View Post
I'm very shocked Ovy just stopped shooting. What made him so crazy dynamic is just firing from everywhere. One time he caught the puck where it was a perfect one-timer on the PP and just fumbled it.

Very strange to see #8 like that.
To be fair, teams are now doing a very good job blocking shooting lanes against Ovechkin. They step up on him at the blue line and they force him to pass the puck. Ovechkin shouldn't be the one carrying the puck into the zone, that way, he could use his size to create space and get open. Backstrom should be the main puck carrier on this line, not Ovechkin.

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:39 PM
  #9
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Despres looked more than solid tonight. Can't wait until both him & Morrow are up full time & fully ready.

We are built to win these low scoring games, the Caps are not....

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:40 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColePens View Post
Plus

+ Niskanen/Engo/Bort/Despres: It's been a very strange year for our defense. The guys I thought would be the issue are playing above their level of expectation. The top 4 (outside of Letang) is playing like garbage. Niskanen/Engo have been bright spots and the only reason I'm okay w/o getting another dman at the deadline.

And I give Bort/Despres an additional plus for being physical and playing a solid NHL game with a combined 1 full game of experience leading into tonight. Did they make mistakes? They sure did. They made nervous ones. But the skill that I saw out there makes me feel great about our defense. I know they are on their way up and they are going to be damn good.

Think about it... these two come up and play a game against a rival with a ton of skill. I'd say they did very well for themselves.


+ Staal: I thought Jordan looked very physical and very good. He was flying out there and was dynamic in both ends. I still don't love his defensive smothering game, but his offensive game has elevated at least 3 levels.


+ Fleury: I'll say it - he's our true MVP of the season so far. He's the one elevating his game when nobody else will. He's played maybe one poor game all season. His athleticism is showing. He's challenging and controlling rebounds.


+ Lirit: GDT juice is a flowin'.


Minus

- Defensive zone: We have a full thread on it and it's been the focal point of discussion for weeks. What else is there to say? I also don't love the individual play of Orpik/Martin right now, either. They just aren't playing up to par. It happens. They need to find their game.

- Lack of effort: All over the ice tonight I saw a lot of standing around. We weren't going full out to win battles. I am not sure why, either. This is a rivalry game and I didn't see that heart/determination from the Pens. There are a lot of 50/50 pucks out there we are losing in both the defensive and offensive zone.

A good example: Kunitz wins one damn battle and look what happens. That's the effort guys like #9, #48, #24, and #14 have to give all damn night.

- Simplified game: I see a lot of forcing pucks and not keeping things simple. I'd love to see some shots and crashing the net, too. I must be a broken record of saying I want to see our simplified game. I know we cannot do it all season long, but it looked so damn good.

- Niskanen's one gaffe: Gotta make sure that's an icing. It's that simple.

- Tyler Kennedy: I think TK has been pretty poor this entire season. He's just not playing his feisty game.


Even

Crosby/Malkin: It was one of those "ehh" games fomr #87 & #71. I thought they had moments of greatness and others they looked average. Geno had turnovers. Sid looked like he refused to go into the corners and was too quick with his decision making. I really wanted those guys to shine tonight. Show Washington what you are made of.
Couldn't agree more with all of this.

Sid didn't look like he had the extra gear tonight but that's to be expected. He'll be flying and tearing it up in Carolina on Saturday, mark my words.

An additional + to Bortuzzo - the man looked solid as hell out there. I was impressed.

And a minus to Sullivan - by far his worst game as a Pen. He's been good for us but he was brutal tonight.

Letang, come back to us.

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:40 PM
  #11
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5-0 in GDTs!

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:40 PM
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I don't like the way some of our d-men, particularly Martin and Orpik, retrieved a few dump ins. Thought they were half-assing it to avoid getting plastered by the forchecker. However, Despres and Borruzzo were taking hits on dump-ins to get pucks out.

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:41 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColePens View Post
Plus

Even

Crosby/Malkin: It was one of those "ehh" games fomr #87 & #71. I thought they had moments of greatness and others they looked average. Geno had turnovers. Sid looked like he refused to go into the corners and was too quick with his decision making. I really wanted those guys to shine tonight. Show Washington what you are made of.
Maybe he was a bit nervous? Since well, y'know....


Last edited by ColePens: 12-01-2011 at 08:47 PM.
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Old
12-01-2011, 08:42 PM
  #14
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Ok the 3 stars were: 3. Ovechkin, 2. Chimera, 1. Martin.

Whaaaa?

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:43 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColePens View Post
Plus

+ Niskanen/Engo/Bort/Despres: It's been a very strange year for our defense. The guys I thought would be the issue are playing above their level of expectation. The top 4 (outside of Letang) is playing like garbage. Niskanen/Engo have been bright spots and the only reason I'm okay w/o getting another dman at the deadline.

And I give Bort/Despres an additional plus for being physical and playing a solid NHL game with a combined 1 full game of experience leading into tonight. Did they make mistakes? They sure did. They made nervous ones. But the skill that I saw out there makes me feel great about our defense. I know they are on their way up and they are going to be damn good.

Think about it... these two come up and play a game against a rival with a ton of skill. I'd say they did very well for themselves.


+ Staal: I thought Jordan looked very physical and very good. He was flying out there and was dynamic in both ends. I still don't love his defensive smothering game, but his offensive game has elevated at least 3 levels.


+ Fleury: I'll say it - he's our true MVP of the season so far. He's the one elevating his game when nobody else will. He's played maybe one poor game all season. His athleticism is showing. He's challenging and controlling rebounds.


+ Lirit: GDT juice is a flowin'.


Minus

- Defensive zone: We have a full thread on it and it's been the focal point of discussion for weeks. What else is there to say? I also don't love the individual play of Orpik/Martin right now, either. They just aren't playing up to par. It happens. They need to find their game.

- Lack of effort: All over the ice tonight I saw a lot of standing around. We weren't going full out to win battles. I am not sure why, either. This is a rivalry game and I didn't see that heart/determination from the Pens. There are a lot of 50/50 pucks out there we are losing in both the defensive and offensive zone.

A good example: Kunitz wins one damn battle and look what happens. That's the effort guys like #9, #48, #24, and #14 have to give all damn night.

- Simplified game: I see a lot of forcing pucks and not keeping things simple. I'd love to see some shots and crashing the net, too. I must be a broken record of saying I want to see our simplified game. I know we cannot do it all season long, but it looked so damn good.

- Niskanen's one gaffe: Gotta make sure that's an icing. It's that simple.

- Tyler Kennedy: I think TK has been pretty poor this entire season. He's just not playing his feisty game.


Even

Crosby/Malkin: It was one of those "ehh" games fomr #87 & #71. I thought they had moments of greatness and others they looked average. Geno had turnovers. Sid looked like he refused to go into the corners and was too quick with his decision making. I really wanted those guys to shine tonight. Show Washington what you are made of.
Pretty much agree with all of that:

I think Sid was kind of 'ehh' for the whole game. Malkin was a definite minus for the first period and a definite plus for the second and third periods (a lot like the previous Caps game except no points to show for it).

Would someone please tell me what the difference was between a Paul Martin shift and a Simon Despres shift, I mean aside from the facts that Despres was willing to take a hit to make a play and Despres' shot, when he takes it, is low, hard, and on the net?

Despres most definitely looked like a rookie, especially in terms of how he reacted to sustained offensive zone pressure. BUT, his first passes were money and sprang the sequence of events that led to the Pens two goals. And, again, he's got a much better, more accurate shot than Martin or Nisky for the PP.

Bortuzzo was kind of like a young Scuds out there, slow with the puck, not flashy, but steady, which is a heck of a lot better than most of what I saw from the Pens regulars right now.

Speaking of which, my lord does the PP blow chunks. Martin serves no purpose. And, Sully, outside of a I think two or three nice keep ins, was awful, especially at the decision making.

As bad as Sully was on the PP, he was worse at even strength.

Then again, there's TK . . .

BTW, loved Jordan's game, again . . .

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColePens View Post
I'm very shocked Ovy just stopped shooting. What made him so crazy dynamic is just firing from everywhere. One time he caught the puck where it was a perfect one-timer on the PP and just fumbled it.

Very strange to see #8 like that.
2/3 of his career goals are like the one he scored for his third goal against Gonch in game 2 during the Cup year.

When defenses figured he couldn't levitate and you could actually play him closer and not be terrified he'd leap over them, here's the end result.

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:44 PM
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+ Beating the Crapitals in REGULATION for the first time since... God I have no idea!

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12-01-2011, 08:44 PM
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Ok the 3 stars were: 3. Ovechkin, 2. Chimera, 1. Martin.

Whaaaa?
Just came to post this.

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12-01-2011, 08:44 PM
  #19
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- Martin on the PP
Of any Pen with >2mins of PP time, he has the lowest scoring average and is nearly half the average of the second lowest who happens to be Sullivan. Too deferential with the puck and a weak shot are a bad combo. Hopefully Letang comes back soon.

-Faceoffs, everyone was losing them

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12-01-2011, 08:44 PM
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We may have found our future middle pairing. We may have. I thought the kids played about as well as you could have expected. Two big boys who can skate and play physical.
Agreed. They didn't shy away from the physical stuff and made some nice, crisp passes to the forwards and skated with confidence after some early mistakes.

Sid and Geno didn't look as good as they usually do. Sid in particular. That'll happen some games though. Even the best in the world have off days. The important thing is we won even without them at their best.

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:44 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bat Birth Control View Post
Ok the 3 stars were: 3. Ovechkin, 2. Chimera, 1. Martin.

Whaaaa?
Makes sense . . . Martin did more to help the Caps win today than any Capitals player did.

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:44 PM
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Staal was a beast along the wall tonight. Any time he went into the boards with a Cap, he always came out with the puck.

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:44 PM
  #23
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Oh and I forgot.

- No Letang on the PP. He was trully miss on the PP, we had troubles entering the zone and Paul Martind idn't generate anything from the point. Our most dangerous point man was Niskanen and he didn't see much time with the big boys, if Letang can't play Saturday perhaps Niskanen should get moved to the first unit.

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:46 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fogel View Post
- Martin on the PP
Of any Pen with >2mins of PP time, he has the lowest scoring average and is nearly half the average of the second lowest who happens to be Sullivan. Too deferential with the puck and a weak shot are a bad combo. Hopefully Letang comes back soon.

-Faceoffs, everyone was losing them
I would rather have seen Despres with the first unit than Martin.

Hockey Math . . . Martin + Sullivan on PP point = PP Death.

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Old
12-01-2011, 08:46 PM
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+ Despres and Bortuzzo. They played well and DB apparently trusts them enough to put them out with 2 minutes to play. Also, I ****ing love the name Bortuzzo, sounds like some Italian casanova.

+ Fleury was good in net, the Caps had only 16? shots tough, but he was there when needed.

neutral: Defense, they held the Caps to very few shots in the third, so they have done something right today, still if the Caps play at the level they are capable of, this game does not end 2-1.

- Cooke, I'm not sure if I don't want the old Cooke back, just without the stupid penalties. Finish your check.

- Martin on the point is just awful. I know he wasn't brought here to manage the PP, but still he sucks. I also blame DB for putting Martin in this position.

- Steve Sullivan has to shoot the ****ing puck.

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